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.
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"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
The Gospel True Tones'
No Friend Like Jesus a 7.5 out of 10. Click on the title to hear
Beat God's Giving."
to purchase the CD.