Johnny Ruffin, Jr.

Johnny Ruffin, Jr.


Johnny Ruffin, Jr. - The Last Mile


The Last Mile



Every now and then you pick up a CD from a solo artist that have you wonder – who is this singer? That was the reaction the first time we heard Johnny Ruffin, Jr.  The first CD we received, about five years ago, from this artist was It’s Not About Me.  That CD showcased not only the vocal talents of Mr. Ruffin, but also his songwriting ability. He has now recorded his sophomore project, which is the subject of this review, titled The Last Mile.

As we begin to appreciate his music, we learned that he is a former member of
Darryl and Donnie Joy Boyz of Nashville, Tennessee, and The Gospel Harmoneers of Branchville, Virginia. He is a member of The Brothers in Christ of Franklin, Virginia. He is also the minister of music at the Mt. Nebo Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, NC. And, he is a music producer. So, Mr. Ruffin is no stranger to the gospel music genre.

The CD begins with upbeat "He Brought Me All The Way."   The song immediately establishes that Mr. Ruffin is in his comfort zone handling songs with an upbeat tempo. In addition, there is a great message of the power of our Lord and Savior to bring us through whatever life throws our way. After an on air radio introduction by Bishop J. C. Watford, Ruffin moves into "I Know He’s Real," featuring Deacon Wallace Benton.

Next, Curtis Chappell is featured on the title song, The Last Mile.  Listeners that really appreciate smooth background harmony will really like this song. The interaction (and vocal exchange) between Mr. Chappell and Mr. Ruffin makes for a masterful interpretation of the message being conveyed by this ballad. And, the song delivers a powerful reminder to all that at some point you will be comforted with the Last Mile of life.

A teaser of “It Haven't Always Been Ez" (1 minute and 15 seconds), is followed by "Love Lifted Me."  Mr. Ruffin recorded "Love Lifted Me" with
The Joy Boyz of Nashville in 2000.  It is on the Joy Boyz' CD Too Blessed To be Stressed.  As a result of this song being added, you have the Joy Boyz singing background on Mr. Ruffin’s new CD.

"Thank You 4 Making Away 4 Me," which was written by George Dean of
The Gospel Four, is the next song on the CD. This is followed by the hymn “I Decided 2 Make Jesus My Choice.” If you thought Mr. Ruffin was one dimensional in is vocal abilities, this song proves otherwise. Mr. Ruffin, and the background singers, really deliver a heartfelt rendition of this song. You just might find yourself reaching for your handkerchief about two minutes into the song. And, look out, because even after the CD stop playing you might find yourself humming the song.

Bishop J. C. Watford returns with an introduction to "Never Said A Word." This song features the vocal talents of Ray Braswell, Jr. Yes, this is the Ray Braswell that has become one of the most sought after record producers in gospel music. Together, Ray and Ruffin deliver a message to the world (a standard interpretation of Luke 23:9) not to be discouraged.

This is one of those CDs that may be hard to find after a few years.  So, you just might want to get a copy now.  Years from now, you will be disappointed to not have added it to your collection. 


Overall, the sophomore release from Johnny Ruffin, Jr. is a good recording.  We give The Last Mile a solid 8.5 out of 10.  To purchase this CD contact Mr. Ruffin.  Click on the title to hear a “He Brought Me All The Way.”



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