He Just Keeps Getting Better

Thank God (Crossroads Music)
Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver

By Bob Mitchell

Today I was listening to some 1982 recordings by Doyle Lawson and they still sound great; several weeks ago, I received the latest Lawson release and it's great, too. Simply put, the Lawson name guarantees some of the best in bluegrass. In 2003 he won the IBMA Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year, Song of the Year (for "Blue Train") and Vocal Group of the Year.

Quicksilver, a dynamic ensemble that sings and plays with all of the emotion that can be put into a song, is a powerful group and its most recent project contains music with a powerful message. For forty years, so many accolades have been bestowed upon Lawson and his groups that it's a daunting task to find new things to say. But I will say this: He remains a consummate professional and one of the best in the industry. Thank God is the first album to appear on his own label in more than ten years (following a decade with Sugar Hill) and it is a recoding that deserves to be heard.

Twelve carefully selected songs pay homage to classics that were written and recorded in the 1940s, '50s and '60s. In fact, Carl Story's "Savior's Love" is currently at No. 7 on the Bluegrass Now national survey of top bluegrass gospel songs. Some of my other favorites include the following: a soaring arrangement of Carter Stanley's "Calling From Heaven"; the expressive Louvin Brother's waltz, "That's All He's Asking of Me"; Willie Nelson's "In God's Eyes"; the compelling Fred Rose title cut and two tracks from the legendary Don Reno, specifically, a masterful "The Lord's Last Supper" and "Some Beautiful Day."

Jamie Dailey (guitar) and Barry Scott (bass) are not only exceptional musicians but also superb vocalists. "Thank God" contains some of the tightest and finest harmony you will ever hear. The Lawson, Dailey and Scott trio is exceptional. Newcomers J. W. Stockman and Jess Barry provide some of the finest twin fiddles you will hear, especially on "Will The Angels Play Their Harps For Me," and "God Moved In." No matter how many gospel recordings you have, this one belongs in your collection too. If you are not familiar with bluegrass gospel this is an excellent starter CD.