The Gospel True Tones

The Gospel True Tones

The Gospel True Tones - No Friend Like Jesus

No Friend Like Jesus






For the final month of the year we take a look at the most recent CD from The Gospel True Tones.  Lexington, Mississippi, is the home of The True Tones.  The CD that is the subject of this review is No Friend Like Jesus.

This project came to our attention from Sharper Records.  You may have noticed from Gloryland Gospel Blog that Sharper Records have recently released projects on (what some would consider) “local groups.”  With the backing of Sharper Records, the groups are now receiving national attention and national distribution.  And, one of the groups that is the beneficiary of Sharper’s efforts is The Gospel True Tones

The Gospel True Tones have been around for over twenty-five (25) years.  The current members of the group are Odessa "Bubba"Young (Lead Vocals), Frank Benson (1st Tenor and Manager), John Hester (2nd Lead & 2nd Tenor), Renard "Reno" Anderson (2nd Tenor), Frank Hoover (Baritone), Chad Smart (Keyboards), Llanders Simpson (Bass), and Keith"Shun" Williams (Drummer).

The project begins with “Can't Beat God's Giving.”  The upbeat version of the ever significant truism is sure to have you on your feet.  It is also a good introduction to the group.  The song showcases their ability to handle upbeat tempo arrangements.  It also shows the strength of the lead singer's vocals.  He delivers one of his best performances on the project with this song.  The song also reveals the harmony that can be delivered by the background singers.  And, the song conveys the musicians respect for the singers.  In that, they do not (even with strong bass-lines and heavy drumbeats) overshadow the singers.    

After confirming that you “Can’t Beat God’s Giving,” the guys tell us to just “Hold On” for God’s blessing.  “Hold On” is a ballad that further solidifies the vocal talents of the lead singer.  The song appropriately incorporates a Bible story that conveys the saints waiting on the Lord.  The song is a timely reminder that your blessings are on the way – just Hold On.

The title track, "There's No Friend," is a uniquely crafted version of “What A Friend We Have In Jesus.”  The words are different, but the message is the same – in Jesus we have a true friend. 

"Praise The Lord" is one of those songs that allow the group to invite the audience to join in and sing along.  The upbeat song simply says ‘come on everybody, let’s praise the Lord.’  The background singings ensure that the audience will be drawn into participating in the praise.   

"Moving On" has somewhat of a rhythm and blues feel to it.  Don’t run away from it because of the heavy influence of rhythm and blues.  It is still a traditional quartet song.  And it has a powerful message.  The song also showcases the vocals of second lead John Hester.  It may also have you asking why Hester does not share in more of the lead duties.   

"Keep The Faith" is the quintessential gospel ballad.  It delivers a powerful message.  The harmony of the background singers is one of the best.  The interaction between the lead and background singers is just right.  The song is not being forced upon the listener, but you will find it hard to turn it off.  In other words, for this one, you may find yourself continually hitting the replay button. 

The project closes with "Witness."  It would not be a surprise to find this one being the closing song for any concert by The Gospel True Tones.  For many it would be considered a ‘drive song.’  Not a hard drive song, but still one that will ‘drive’ the listeners into clapping their hands and stomping their feet.   

Overall, this CD deserves your attention.  It would have been great to hear the lead singers sharing duties on the same song.  But, that is not a reason to ignore this CD.   After all, there is a timely message in each of the songs. 

We give The Gospel True Tones' No Friend Like Jesus a 7.5 out of 10.  Click on the title to hear "Can't Beat God's Giving."   Click HERE to purchase the CD.






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