COGAN STATION, PA (ANS) -- Country singer Randy Travis recently released his first ever gospel and praise & worship project entitled “Worship & Faith” (Word/Warner). This wonderful CD contains 20 recordings - including many favorite hymns like “Just A Closer Walk With Thee,” “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?,” and “In The Garden.” He also recorded some praise & worship favorites such as “We Fall Down,” “Above All,” “Open The Eyes Of My Heart,” and “You Are Worthy Of My Praise.” Randy handled most of the arrangements, and no electric instruments were used in the making of the CD - giving it that traditional gospel/hymn-like sound.
Mac Powell of “Third Day” joins Randy on the old hymn “Love Lifted Me.” Randy also dug out an old hymn entitled “He’s My Rock, My Sword, My Shield” and gave a beautiful melodic arrangement of “How Great Thou Art” to the album.
This is Randy’s third Christian CD of his new life...or what we could call, “Opus 2.” In October of 2000, Randy released “Inspirational Journey.” The CD took several years to make, and it was filled with a country southern gospel flavor that pleased Randy and many of his fans. Among the tracks was the hit song “Baptism” - a song Randy had also done as a duet with country star Kenny Chesney. Randy’s song “The Carpenter” featured guest vocals by Jessi Colter and the late Waylon Jennings. He also gave his arrangement of “Amazing Grace” to the album - dedicated to his mother and his father-in-law. His mother, who passed away, had always wanted Randy to record “Amazing Grace.” And his father-in-law wanted him to record the hymn for his first gospel album, but he died a year before Randy released the CD. And Randy sang “Amazing Grace” at his funeral. Upon his gospel release, Randy released a TV special two-disk version of “Inspirational Journey” featuring a bonus disk of previous Christian material recorded by Randy, spanning over fifteen years of material.
Two years later in October 2002, Randy released “Rise And Shine” - a new album filled with the classic Randy Travis sound. For weeks, the CD has been at the top of both the Gospel and Country charts. Gospel radio played the opening track “Raise Him Up,” whereas country radio played “Three Wooden Crosses,” “Pray For The Fish” and the title track “Rise And Shine.” It took several months after its release before country radio began to play the first single “Three Wooden Crosses.” But upon release, it immediately jumped to the number one spot and remained in the Top Ten for weeks - giving Randy his first number one in almost five years. Of the other songs, “When Mama Prayed,” was featured in the final episode of Touched By An Angel in which Randy made his final guest appearance. Those who were lucky enough to get an early copy of “Rise And Shine” were able to get a bonus DVD featuring the making of the album and interviews with Randy concerning his faith. In the DVD, Randy expressed that his eyes had been opened to Music Ministry.
It’s a new life and a new beginning for Randy Travis - going from being a country singer to a Christian singer. And this is just the beginning. As Randy continues to minister through music, we can expect to see more projects like “Inspirational Journey,” “Rise And Shine,” and “Worship & Faith” - maybe even a new Christmas album. After all, Randy did consider his 1989 Christmas album as his “first.” So, hopefully we can have this to look forward to next year at this time.
Christopher Pick is a missionary, music teacher, and recording artist.
His website is: www.cdbaby.com/chrismusic and he can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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