Album Review: “Wake Up Church” by The King’s Heralds

The King’s Heralds are one of Southern Gospel’s best kept secrets. The group has an amazing heritage and history, dating to their original formation in 1927. Today the group is led by its longest tenured member, Tenor Don Scroggs, who joined The Heralds in 1983. Rounding out the group is Joel Borg at Lead, Russell Hospedales at Baritone, and Bass vocalist Jeff Pearles (who many will remember from his tenures with Palmetto State & Old Time Gospel Hour Quartet).

The groups newest release, Wake Up Church, is the subject of our album review. The cd follows the Something Old-Something New format, featuring 5 new & 5 older songs,  and was produced by Steve Mauldin is a pleasure to listen to, from start to finish. The project starts off with an excellent rendition of the Statesmen classic I Wanna Know,  that’s been made popular in recent days by The Mark Trammell Quartet. The Herald’s arrangement is a more  traditional approach, in the Statesmen mold. Next up, another Mosie Lister classic, I’ll Leave It All Behind, featuring Don. The harmony is incredibly smooth on this song, and Scroggs does a great job as well. Very enjoyable!

The third song is a new one, & great group number, written by Dianne Wilkinson & Rusty Golden, Positively, Absolutely, Indisputably True. My Heart Is Happy, written by Jerry Kelso, is the next song, and one of my absolute favorites one the album. Kelso has a knack for writing new songs that have that old-fashioned quartet sound, and this is a great one. Old time quartet singing at its finest! Closing out the first half of the project is The Heroic One, a beautiful song written by Dianne Wilkinson & Phil Cross. This features Don & Russell on the verses. The arrangement is wonderful, great vocals and performance.

The second half starts off with another Mosie Lister classic, Happy Rhythm, featuring Pearles. The song starts off with a great big band intro, and launches into the verses. Great arrangement and smooth vocals. Next up is the Rodney Griffin penned, He Included Me, featuring Russell & Don. The Heralds have an absolutely smooth blend, that is a pleasure to hear on every song. This Old House, follows and features Pearles again. Jeff Pearles has always been one of my favorite bass singers, and he has only gotten better and more fantastic through the years. A different arrangement than the famous Cathedrals version, but very good.

The next song, Wake Up Church, is a new song penned by Jeff Pearles & Daryl Williams. The song features Russell and he turns in a great performance. There is also some amazing harmony on the tag of the song, unlike anything you’ll hear elsewhere. Closing out the recording is a great medley, Our God Medley featuring How Big Is God/Holy, Holy, Holy/How Great Thou Art. Pearles is featured on How Big Is God, and channelled his inner George Younce, turning in a fantastic performance.  The medley is a great arrangement, and The Herald’s vocals are as good as it gets.

Bottom line, if you love smooth vocals, old-time quartet singing, and great arrangements ranging from the smooth quartet to big ballad, this recording is right up your alley. The Herald’s are one of the finest quartets in our industry, and this is one of their best recorded albums to date. You will enjoy this cd thoroughly, and I highly recommend picking it up. You can purchase it from The Herald’s website, www.theheralds.org. Pick one up, Today!

The King’s Heralds – Wake Up Church

review copy provided

Produced by Steve W. Mauldin

I Wanna Know, I’ll Leave It All Behind, Positively, Absolutely, Indisputably True, My Heart Is Happy, The Heroic One, Happy Rhythm, He Included Me, This Old House, Wake Up Church, Our God Medley.

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