REVIEW: Jackson Heights – This Thing Called Life

Producer: Kent Humphrey, Allen O’Neal, Robb Tripp
Label:  Center Stage Music Group

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Back during the early 1980s, the Dixie Melody Boys began gravitating to a more Inspirational/Christian Country sound.  By 1985, they had morphed into the DMB Band.  Around the same time, the Mid-South Boys came on the scene with their brand of Christian Country music.  Over time, the DMB Band went back to their roots and their original name and the Mid-South Boys came off the road.  Jackson Heights is a fusion of both groups that was born out of a reunion event of the DMB Band back in 2012.  Consisting of Allen O’Neal, Frank Sutton (both formerly with the Dixie Melody Boys/DMB Band)), Kent Humphrey (Dixie Melody Boys/Mid-South Boys), Olan Witt, Jordan Humphrey and Jeremy Edwards, the guys are re-living the dream and still blazing trails along their way!

The recording starts off with upbeat, “LIVING THIS THIS CALLED LIFE” before the tempo slows down a bit for the haunting Russ Taff classic, “I CRY”.  The guys did a good job resurrecting this classic tune and it’s a highlight of the recording.

Written by and featuring Allen O’Neal, “RIDING THE WIND” picks the tempo back up before slowing down for the honest lyric, “GOD’S WAITING ROOM”.  Both songs are highlights of the recording.

Kent Humphrey penned a tremendous song entitled, “FIGHT”.  Featuring Duane Allen of the Oak Ridge Boys, in these times we live in today, many will be able to relate to the song…“I’m gonna fight, for what I believe, I stand the tallest when I’m down on my knees, I won’t let this world make up my mind, I’ll live for You no matter how hard the climb, when it comes to what’s wrong and what’s right, I’m gonna fight!”

Kent steps up to sing another one of his self-penned songs, “GOD DOESN’T CARE”.  The song is a wonderful reminder…”God doesn’t care about where you’ve been, He already knows about all your sin, that’s why He sent Jesus here to die on that cross, so leave your past all behind, seek and you’ll find…”.

The tempo picks back up for the easy feel of “THE ROAD THAT LEADS US HOME” before slowing down for the Joel Hemphill penned, “STRANGER”.  Featuring Allen, the song relates how we are strangers in this world…”longing for Home”.

The tempo picks up for “FEARLESS” before slowing back down for the worshipful, “HERE IN THIS PLACE”, before the recording closes out with the country balladry feel of, “WE CAN LOVE THROUGH THIS”.

Christian Country has a large audience and Jackson Heights is definitely at the forefront of that sound.  Those who follow the genre will definitely find a lot to like with the group.  Most die-hard SG fans may not enjoy the recording, though some may enjoy it simply due to the SG connection.  Coming from someone who may not have their finger on the pulse of Christian Country today, Jackson Heights is a good fusion of the old sound and the new country sounds of today.  This is a great recording filled with strong songs (7 that are written by Kent Humphrey) and they were paced pretty well.  It’s great hearing Allen, Kent and Frank singing again and making great music and I look forward to hearing a lot more from these guys in the future.

Track Listing:
(stars denote personal favorites)

Living This Thing Called Life
I Cry**
Riding the Wind**
God’s Waiting Room**
God Doesn’t Care**
The Road That Lead Us Home
Here in this Place
We Can Love Through This


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James Hales

James Hales, from Durham, North Carolina, has been a writer for since 2000. James is our featured reviewer and also contributes to monthly features periodically.
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