The Harper Family

Pisgah Ridge, 2012

REVIEW BY: Curtis Jones


One thing continually comes to mind when I listen to the Harper Family's debut offering on Pisgah Ridge records. It just sounds so fresh!  All genres run the risk of falling into a rut, and a sub-segment of the music world that is steeped in tradition like bluegrass gospel can find itself in the deepest of caverns. Yet the Harpers offer new approaches to several covers and bring along several originals to spice things up. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The Harper Family is a husband/wife team of Gaylon and Katrina along with their teenage children Dalton, Dillon, and Hannah. The amazing part about this group is the immense musical talent these kids have. Dalton has some downright impressive guitar licks on both lead and rhythm (listen to the intricacies on "Born To Sing"), and brother Dillon has some flashes of brilliance on the mandolin. Hannah, at twelve, packs more power in her vocals than several female pop singers have combined. It is clear that she is a kid, but I cannot wait hear what this girl sounds like with a few more years of maturity in her voice. Her performance on the dynamically challenging vocal to "Count Your Blessings" is nothing short of inspiring and fun to listen to. Bottom line: keep an eye on this girl's career.

The family focuses a lot of effort on high octane bluegrass gospel foot stompers. "Salt And Light," "Troublesome Waters," (which I have never heard played fast), and the enormously uplifting "I'll Live Again" are awesome examples of both their fresh approach to gospel tunes and their great family harmonies. They do settle down some, such as on originals like "Changes" and "King's Ransom," but they don't lose their edge.

Hopefully, the Harper Family will continue to grow musically and get even better. Whichever way they go from here, Changes is a very promising album for the future of bluegrass gospel.

Rating: A

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© 2012 Curtis Jones and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Pisgah Ridge, and is used for informational purposes only.