Here on Fuson’ s Findings, the majority of what we cover is news items, album reviews, and commentary on national groups within the Southern Gospel industry. But from time to time, I like to bring artists to the attention of my readers that may not be someone you’ve heard of, but definitely someone you should get acquainted with. I’ve entitled this segment “An Artist You Should Know”. Today’s artist is a new group on the Southern Gospel scene that I believe is quickly going to be well known to fans all across the country.
Justified is a brand new group, that has been together for over a year. They hale from my home state, the great Wolverine state of Michigan. The group is comprised of Dave Potts on Tenor, Carl Ledford on Lead, Mark Jacoby on Baritone, and brothers Tim Caldwell on bass, and Dave Caldwell on piano. Although this is a new group, the members have long been a part of Gospel Music here in Michigan (Jacoby & Ledford were both members of the prestigious Calvarymen Quartet. Potts sang with the Gospelmen, and both Caldwell’s were involved in various groups, most notably Chosen (Tim) and The Vaughan’s (Dave).
They have just released a new project, entitled “I Love To Tell“. This is without a doubt one of the finest recordings I have heard in 2013, by a national or regional artist. Produced & Arranged by Tim & Dave’s brother, Bob Caldwell (former bass vocalist with The Kingdom Heirs, Statesmen, Brian Free & Assurance, Won By One), it has a great mix of old and new songs that absolutely hit the spot and showcase a vocal blend that is second to none.
The album kicks off with a great quartet song, and the title track, “I Love To Tell“. Right off the bat, the guys establish a great, solid quartet blend. Next up is “When I Cross“, a great country-rocker vibe song. Lead singer Carl Ledford carries the lead throughout the song, and sings the second verse. Third is one of my personal favorites, “Never Failed Me Yet“, featuring tenor Dave Potts on the verses. Ledford takes the over the lead on the chorus. It’s a great song, with a contemporary, progressive feel. Theres some great, tight cool modern group harmony on the chorus (a staple of a Bob Caldwell arrangement).
The bluesy “Trade This Old Body” is an outstanding song. I love the vocals on this one, Ledford is featured on the second verse, and sounds so soulful throughout the song. Another one of my favorite cuts for sure. The next cut is another up tempo song, “When I Rested In The Lord“, and is the first to feature baritone Mark Jacoby, who sings the first verse. Ledford sings the second verse. There’s a great transition on the bridge, where Caldwell, Jacoby, and Ledford each do a step out line, leading into a rocking key change.
The second half of the recording starts out with “Angels Are Waiting“, which is the first song to feature bass singer Tim Caldwell. Tim bass vocals sounds very close to his brother Bob, but Tim is a fine bass in his own right. Tenor Potts sings the second verse, and the group sounds fantastic on the chorus. Next up is “A Wonderful Life“; with Jacoby & Ledford on the verses respectively. I love how this song gets up and goes, and theres some nice step out lines for Ledford, Potts, and Caldwell on the chorus. The next song “God Made A Way“, is a bouncy-bluesy number featuring Ledford, that has a great groove to it. Ledford is such a treat to listen to, he’s a great lead singer that puts a lot of feeling into his vocals. The group continues to supply great, tight harmonies on the chorus.
Next up is “This Old Sinner Testifies”, a familiar song to many Southern Gospel fans. The group sounds great on this one as well, with Ledford featured on the second verse, which also features a step out line for Caldwell. The album comes to a close with “This Would Be The Day“, a great ballad that features Jacoby & Ledford on the verses. It has a great lyric that centers around the crucifixion, describing the day itself and the pain Our Saviour endured that day. Once again, I love the feeling that both Jacoby & Ledford put into both of their solos. The chorus is absolutely phenomenal, some of the best singing you will hear on this cd. The harmony is tight, and the group ends it on a definite high note.
With so many new groups vying for the attention of fans in our industry, make no mistake that Justified is a group that you need to hear. “I Love To Tell” is an excellent recording, that must be experienced from start to finish. With top tier vocals, excellent song selection, and great arrangements, this is a group that has all the talent in the world. I can easily see these guys going on to accomplish great things together. To find out more about Justified or to hear songs from “I Love To Tell”, visit their website. You can also find them on Facebook. Get yourself a copy of this great project!
Review copy provided.