Yeah, yeah, yeah, I already know I'm an atheist, but, dang it, as I mentioned in the Special Consensus review (here): 1) I just loves me a good Jesus song, 2) I sprint to find great bluegrass, and 3) this is an amazing conflation of the two. Every cut on Lord Bless This House is solidly Christian, and the disc is dedicated to God, but playing and singing like this can't help but attract even the most hidebound cynic and pessimistic misanthrope. The very first cut, Let the Light Shine Down is a whirlwind well counterpointed by its follower, the balladic Lord Bless This House and Mike Andes' down-home singing. Then catch the killer backing vocal choruses in Gone Home, with that balalaika-ish mando, and, lordy-lord, Jeeter, I almost feel like paying a visit to the parson and pouring my danged soul out!
Just when a tear wells up, however, the boys dive into Bells of St. Mary, a mid-tempo melody that brings the smiles gallopin' on back. Skip over to the a capella take on Bill Withers' classic Lean on Me and listen as Nothin' Fancy works a subtle conversion of Bill's humanist intent over to the holy. Clever lads, and their harmonies are marvelous, lending a clear air to the gospel refrain. Ending the disc with the standard Peace in the Valley was also a wise choice, solo breaks boosting the rolling tempo into a stately set of tradeoffs.
There's plenty to like in this disc whether you're a believer or not, and even the most jaded sinner boy just has to perk his ears up at the back-40 beauty of it all. My friend, you can be so heavenly minded that you're no earthly good or a cynical free-minded atheist like me, but come one and come all, 'cause Lord Bless This House is meant for each and every two-legged creature in the 50 states and beyond, testament to what inspiration can wring from we who toil and laugh beneath a radiant sun…or Son…and amen, hallelujah.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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