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Peaceful, tranquil & reverential treatment of hymns
Volkert Volkersz | Snohomish, WA United States | 05/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I received "Hymns from the Ryman" as a Christmas gift. Since Gary Chapman has been known to "rock," I was a bit hesitant to slip this disk into the CD player. I've had my fill of contemporary arrangements of hymns, so I was pleasantly surprised with the peace, tranquility and reverence that emanated from my speakers.Chapman--probably best known for his many years as lead guitarist with Amy Grant--has assembled some of the most talented--but for the most part not well-known outside of Christian music circles--instrumentalists in the Nashville area. Chet Atkins needs no introduction as one of the finest guitarists in the business for over 40 years. Here we get to listen in on some of his comical chatter--between songs--which has become a trademark on many of his recordings with others. He appropriately plays a gentle acoustic guitar solo on "Softly and Tenderly."Michael W. Smith is the outstanding keyboardist/songwriter known for his fine work with Amy Grant before setting out on a successful solo career (with at least one crossover hit). Here Smith gives "Holy, Holy, Holy," a slow, sustained treatment, reminiscent of acoustic piano master George Winston.To me, the surprise discovery on this recording is the superb, clean, clear fiddle work of Ruth McGinnis. I had noticed her name as a studio musician on other recordings, but here she shines, and she is deservedly featured on many tracks, including a solo Celtic interpretation of "Amazing Grace."I've long been a fan of harmonica player, Buddy Greene, who is also a fine singer/songwriter/guitarist in his own right. Here he appears with Ruth McGinnis in a tasteful harmonica/fiddle duet on J.S. Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring." I would've enjoyed a bit more of Buddy's playing on this album, but he adds a nice touch on this piece, which he has also done on one of his own albums.Chapman intersperses these fine instrumentals with some nice vocal renditions of hymns and gospel songs like "This is My Father's World," "'Tis So Sweet" and "The Lord Bless You and Keep You." This last one starts out sounding like a Gregorian chant, but breaks into choral harmony thanks to the magic of overdubbing.This CD is one I play often. It works perfectly as background music in the school library where I work, but I love to listen to it at louder volumes and really pay attention to musicians, and to the One they're singing and playing about."
A beautiful recording
Suzanne Amara | MA | 04/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think this CD would have great appeal to many people. The hymns are sung in a way that's so very hard to find---simply and with respect for their meaning. Some numbers are instrumental, and are very well done. I especially liked "Softly and Tenderly", a hymn that before hearing it here had never been a real favorite of mine, but this great version here changed that! Very, very enjoyable CD."
Steven R. Norris | 01/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had looked for Christian Hymns sung in a simple but commited-believing way for a such a long time! So difficult to find here in Germany! Then I ordered this CD! Super! Hit the mark! Simply beautiful! Glorifying the Lord! Thank you, Gary! Only one little mistake: For the title "Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring" it says "Traditional" in the booklet. That's not true. This melody was written by the composer of composers J. S. Bach! (BWV 147)! Let's give credit where credit is due!PS: Anyone know more of this kind of interpretation of hymns? Write me: email@example.com"