Since their formation in 2006, Tribute Quartet has risen to become one of the top tier quartets in Southern Gospel Music. Lead singer Gary Casto and Baritone/pianist Josh Singletary have been joined by Tenor Riley Harrison Clark and Bass vocalist Anthony Davis to complete the lineup of this fine group. Their last release, Our Anthem, saw the group attain a milestone with their first Number One song on the radio charts, “Good News From Jerusalem”. Their newest release, “Journey Of Hope”, is once again produced by Roger Talley, who has produced all of Tribute’s mainline projects since 2008’s “For This Time”.
The cd kicks off with “He’ll Do It Again”, featuring Clark on the verses. It’s a fun song with a great groove, and the lyrics are an encouragement that God is still able to perform miracles just as he did in the Bible days. Up next is “All Made It Ashore”, featuring Singletary. Another great song lyrically, that reminds the listener that even if our trials take an “act of God, all made it ashore”. The third track is an amazing song written by Kyla Rowland, “I Am A Solder”, that will also serve as the projects first radio single. A majestic, orchestrated anthem featuring Casto on the verses, this song has a lot of potential. I really believe this song has the ability to become a signature song for Gary. There is some great harmony on the chorus and through the key changes. You will definitely not want to skip this one!
The next cut is a cover of the Perrys classic, “I Remember The Day”, done in a quartet style. The group sings the first verse together and Davis sings the second. Track number Five is a very interesting song, the Caribbean-influenced “Those Who Know Me”, which features Singletary. If the Booth Brothers gave us the “Southern Gospel Samba”, Tribute may have given us the “Southern Gospel Conga”. Only time well tell! Singletary does a great job on his solos on the verses, and the horns on the song are awesome. I love the lyrics on the chorus…
Those who know me know peace like a river
Those who know me know joy like a flood
Those who know me they’ve been forgiven
Those who know me know me through the Blood.
Trust me when I tell you this song WILL get stuck in your head! The halfway point of the album is a beautiful song by Dianne Wilkinson and Rebecca Peck, “I Will Rise”. Riley has made a name for himself as one of the finest young tenor singers in our genre, and his talent is truly showcased throughout Journey of Hope. I absolutely love the lyrics to this song and the orchestration and vocals knock this song out of the park. I can definitely hear this song going to radio as a single, one of my absolute favorite songs on the cd.
Next up is another fun song, “He’s Everything I Need”. Its a great moving and grooving song, in the vein of a “Long As I Got King Jesus” black Gospel feel. The guys do a great job on it. Josh Singletary returns to the mic for another feature, “Everybody Needs Jesus”. This is an easy flowing kind of song that you can definitely picture Singletary singing, and he sounds great. The ninth song “In The Valley” features Anthony Davis and is almost in the baritone range. Anthony really shows his versatility on this song and does a great job on the first verse and chorus. then Clark sings the second verse and delivers a great vocal. The blend and vocal arrangement on the chorus is just plain good singing.
The tenth song brings back another old song that Gary and Josh used to perform during their days with The Wilburns, “I Could Sing About Heaven”. The group sings the first verse and Davis featured on the second. Finishing out the recording is a great ballad that features Casto, “God Of All My Days”. The lyrics of both verses tell a story, the first verse of a faithful worker facing the loss of his job and the second verse dealing with a faithful servant of Christ whose body is failing. The chorus assures us that the Lord is truly the “God of all our days”, no matter what changes come our way and that he’ll never leave us.
Journey of Hope is not just a great title, it is the recurring theme that the listener can hear from each song. Beyond a shadow of a doubt , this is the best recording Tribute Quartet has ever released. It builds off the momentum of Our Anthem, yet opens the door a little wider and showcases a group that is versatile enough to sing any song of any style and perform it to perfection. The songs are fantastic, and the vocals are performed with passion. Kudos to producer Roger Talley & Tribute for sticking to their guns creatively and making their record, their way. If I were to rate this album, it would be 5 stars from me. I am placing Journey of Hope right alongside Brian Free & Assurance’s “Unashamed” as one of the best albums I’ve heard this year.
If you’re a fan of Tribute, you will be pleased. If you’ve never heard Tribute Quartet, what an introduction to this fine quartet!
Review copy provided.