The prolific poetry and songcraft of songwriter Rick Lang is brought to life in the twelve stylish tracks that make up Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout, a brand new compilation album produced by the award-winning Jerry Salley. Comprised of appearances by some of the most recognizable names in bluegrass, country and gospel music, Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout is a beautifully written ode to spirituality that takes the best components of the pastoral songbook and fuses them into a single tour de force. With everyone from High Road, The Whites, Claire Lynch and Dave Adkins along for the ride, this record compiles a litany of shimmering melodies and bold lyrics that will put a smile on the face of anyone in need of a musical pick-me-up.
All of the artists featured on this album share a love of bucolic tonality, but each contributes a different layer of emotion to the complete piece. The Cox Family’s “There Will Be Singing” plays like an Appalachian bluegrass ballad laced with words that bless us with promises of a better place waiting for us on the other side. Marty Raybon’s earnest attitude in “I See God” and “I’ve Read the Book” is perhaps the most searing and memorable on the LP, but Bradley Walker gives him a real run for his money with the furious “Henry Clayton Parker” which reminds us that you don’t have to be sitting in the pew every Sunday to find and know God’s everlasting love. There’s no filler here; just one glimmering inspirational after another.
The lyrical content that Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout is built upon is deeply moving across the entire record, with some of the more personal and intimate moments coming in “Don’t Tune Him Out,” the aching Jerry Salley/Brandon Rickman/Bradley Walker song “The Back of the Church” and of course Kenny and Amanda Smith’s “They Were Fishermen.” The latter track is conceptually constructed with simple lines that are colored in with passionate, stinging vocals. We feel the tenderness that comes with humble souls finding common ground in the love of Christ, and though the words are stately the prose is anything but inaccessible. More modest songs like “Sunday Morning Gospel Jubilee” and the title track carry just as much weight, but aren’t tethered to the same formula compositionally.
Packed with monikers that need no introduction in country music circles, Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout is an LP that doesn’t disappoint if you’re looking for sweet harmonies and uplifting lyricism that rings true no matter where you come from or what you’ve been through in life. Bluegrass music is one of the last uncorrupted fronts in all of the country genre, and through the steady hand of producer Jerry Salley we get to experience it without the annoying external varnish that goes against the values of the album’s theme. This is feel-good audio for a generation of country fans who are proud to get in touch with their roots, and with the aid of an unparalleled songwriter like Rick Lang we’re able to do just that in this solid and original gospel experience.