worshipful, well-wrought songs

Child of the Father (Sparrow)
Cheri Keaggy

By Robert Gruber

Simple, direct, honest and heartfelt -- four words that easily describe the accomplished singing and songwriting of Cheri Keaggy. With a voice that fits comfortably in the range of Amy Grant or Susan Ashton, and a knack for crafting inspired, worshipful songs, Child of the Father is a sparkling gem of a debut disc.

Produced (but not overproduced) by Charlie Peacock, Child of the Father is a low-key affair, built around smooth piano arrangements and performed by an exceptional group of veteran session-folk, including Phil Madiera. "Make My Life An Altar" and "Open My Heart" would not at all be out of place in a Sunday morning worship service; indeed, "Worship Medley" appears written for that purpose, and to good effect. "Here You Stand" has an ethereal, Daniel Lanois quality to it, a beautiful song seemingly written to a missionary.

Though "Little Boy On His Knees" veers a bit too close to "cutesy" for my taste, Child of the Father is an assured effort. In case you were wondering, Cheri Keaggy is a niece-in-law (and label-mate) of guitar great Phil Keaggy who, sadly, appears only in the "special-thanks" on this disc. Though his assistance on future recordings would be cool, Cheri Keaggy's talent stands just fine on its own.