southern gospel, no depression, sheer delight

Be the Light (Psallo)
Zeb Son & Family

By Robert Gruber

For many a year now, Zeb Son has brought forth the gospel message in song around these parts. Possessing a heartfelt, honey-smooth tenor voice, Zeb could easily be a golden boy down in Nashville's burgeoning CCM scene. Instead, he chooses to whack the bushes here locally, according to God's plan for his life.

Be the Light is the second album of country-flavored Christian music by Zeb Son & Family. Straddling the fence between Southern gospel and new country (with traces of the popular "No Depression" style country-rock, a la Uncle Tupelo, Lost Dogs, etc.) Zeb's wife and daughters (Joy, Ashli and Ami, respectively) provide a reassuring blend of backing vocals for his homespun songs of family, faith and devotion. A fine group of local players (many of whom were with Zeb in his early '80s Christian prog-rock band Asher) lay down confident settings, rounding out his sound with guitars, dobros, mandolins and violins.

Aside from a finea cappella reading of the Fannie Crosby classic "Blessed Assurance," these are all original songs -- lyrically straight-forward, instantly memorable. "I'm Gonna Praise You" is a chorus/round that belongs in churches everywhere; "In His Hands" mines the Gram Parsons/Emmylou Harris duet vein; "Swim Upstream" is a great song to resist peer pressure to; "Jesus Knows," a beautiful psalm-like meditation on God's love. Fourteen songs in all, each one a testament to the integrity and obedient faith of Zeb Son & Family. You will love this.

Look forBe the Light in local Christian bookstores, or contact the group at (502) 222-7857.