Going To Stay In The Old Time Way

Paul Williams And The Victory Trio

Rebel, 2012

http://www.facebook.com/paulwilliamsandthevictorytrio

REVIEW BY: Curtis Jones

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/05/2012

American Southern gospel music has become more and more homogenized in an effort to appeal to a wider audience.  Yet there are a few artists who are able to continue to play in a very traditional mode and still find popularity in that wider sphere.  Paul Williams is one of those artists.  He was one of the original bluegrass artists back in the day, and actually took a long hiatus from the business and pursued a “normal” career in the postal service.  But in 1999 he returned, and he has been a force ever since. 

Going To Stay In The Old Time Way showcases two of Williams’ talents.  The first is that he is an impressive songwriter, and this album gives several quality original offerings from him.  The second is his ability to take some older gospel tunes and give them a bluegrass shine.  Some of the quality originals on this CD include “Kept And Protected,” which is a song that was the title track for a Doyle Lawson And Quicksilver album in 1997.  I was unaware until receiving a copy of this album that Williams had penned the tune, and his newest version remains fresh and upbeat.  “He'll Calm the Troubled Waters” is also a solid original.  The title track, while not an original, does lay out Williams’ personal conviction that, indeed, the old way of worship which he participates in around his home in eastern Tennessee, is the best way there is.  There is no ham-handed “anything goes” attitude here, and it is refreshing.  nbtc__dv_250

Some older songs that have been redone include Dottie Rambo’s “I’ve Never Been This Homesick Before” and “The Grave Cannot Hold Me,” both transferred from the Southern gospel genre to bluegrass with ease.  “You’ve Got To Keep On Walking” is also an older tune which I have always heard sung rather slow, but Williams And The Victory Trio speed it up immensely, making it hard to sing along with if you know the tune, but it is still a foot-tapper all the same.   

One of the best songs on the entire album is one written by eastern Kentucky songwriter Bill Castle, who has penned several tracks recorded by bluegrass artists, including IIIrd Tyme Out.  “Miracle Man” is upbeat, biblically based, and has a beautiful melody.  It is one of those songs that hits the perfect combination of melody and lyrics that every songwriter hopes to achieve, and Williams’ tenor vocals serve the song incredibly well.

For his age, Williams keeps an impressive schedule and a regular output of new material.  With Going To Stay In The Old Time Way, he continues a string of quality albums of solid gospel music.

Rating: B

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