Image © Music For Missions 2004
Flo | Bethany | Susie
Image © Sound Resources 2004
"Practice Room" (lead vocals)
"Restore Us" (backing vocals)
"In You Is Life" (backing vocals)
"Under The Sun" (lead vocals)
(29 May 2004) The completely stunning follow-up album to A Remedy Raised (review) is an eleven-track anthology entitled All This Time (Music For Missions (USA) 2004). The eleven tracks are contributed by various artists in the Chattanooga, TN area and executive producer Eric Parker drew on producers Fred Schendel and Steve Babb and Glass Hammer participants. Like Parker's former album, the lyrical content expresses secular and gospel themes.
The album contains four tracks featuring female vocalists, and includes backing harmonies on several of the male led numbers by voices familiar to our readers. In addition to "Under the Sun" led and backed by Susie Bogdanowicz and the first solo track by Flo Paris, "Practice Room," Parker introduces Joy Jansen and Summer Hullender, singing lead on "Come Ye Sinners" and "In an Instant" respectively. Susie Bodanowicz and sister Bethany Warren contribute backing harmonies as noted below. All tracks are produced and played with incredible precision and uncompromising quality.
Jeff Blake opens the album singing the gnetly rocking track "In You Is Life," backed primarily by Eric Parker's acoustic guitar. Like Parker's earlier work, vocals across the album are mixed way up to ensure the lyrical content is suitably exposed. Susie Bogdanowicz contributes backing harmonies, and her vocal is mixed up near the front of the arrangement. Fred Schendel and others contribute to the rich instrumental content.
"Restore Us" is a folky track sung by Kirk Ward who also contributes acoustic guitar to the number. Contributions from Fred Schendel and Steve Babb complete the instrumental arrangement. While Bethany Warren's tender harmonies have been included, a vocal excursion bringing her voice to the fore would have been a nice addition to the tune.
Glass Hammer's Fred Schendel and Steve Babb, who appear across the album in various instrumental combinations, contribute the ballad "Heroes and Dragons" from their previous album Lex Rex (review). Glass Hammer's instrumentals perfectly back the sung parts.
We were intrigued that the two songs featuring Susie Bogdanowicz and Flo Paris on lead vocals were the longest tracks on the album. The up-beat standout "Under the Sun" includes contributions from Eric Parker (acoustic, 12-string guitars, bvs), Fred Schendel (keyboards, drums, piano, bvs), Steve Babb (bass, pedals, bvs) and Susan Hawkins (viola). Susie's voice is mixed way up above the progressive instrumental arrangements which never compromise the lyrical content. Production quality is stunning, exposing the extent of Susie's vocal range while allowing the backing vocals to contribute to the sound. Susan Hawkins' viola adds texture to the arrangement and is notable during a solo in one of the instrumental bridges.
Joy Jansen sings and plays acoustic guitar in the folky ballad "Come Ye Sinners." With words by Joseph Hart, it is sung to the tune "Beach Spring" from Sacred Heart. Susan Hawkins contributes a bluesy viola part to the arrangement. Eric Parker's "Hold Me Again" is an evocative progressively styled ballad backed by his acoustic guitar and supported by Fred Schendel and Steve Babb. The Glass Hammer-flavored keyboards blend with the guitar parts to produce an orchestral texture while not being overwhelming. Eric Parker has an excellent voice which shines through in this powerful track.
Chris Slaten's "In The Dark" is an upbeat and lightly arranged number. His (raspier than than the rest of the artists) vocals and acoustic guitar are joined by contributions from Nathan Shirai (percussion, bass, bvs), Fred Schendel (mandolin) and Susan Hawkins (viola). Summer Hullender sings lead and backing vocal parts and plays acoustic guitar in the evocative ballad "In an Instant." The power, range and texture of her voice are perfect to deliver the lyrical message of the material.
"Down The Road" is a country-influenced number sung by Mike Milton (acoustic guitar) supported by Summer Hullender (backing vocals), Tim Starns (mandolin, fiddle, dobro), Fred Schendel (drums) and Steve Babb (bass). We naturally appreciated Summer's harmonies which have been mixed right up alongside Mike's leads. The fiddle solo is also notable. Nick Walburn's ballad version of "Psalm 23" is accompanied by his acoustic guitar and Fred Schendel (piano, snyths, bvs).
The concluding track, "Practice Room," is a long and tenderly sung ballad performed by Flo Paris; it is the first track featuring her lead vocals to be released. With words and music written by Flo, the track, which blends pop, progressive and country stylings, is the standout of the album. Fred Schendel (keyboards, piano, acoustic guitar, drums), Steve Babb (bass) and Susan Hawkins (viola) provide instrumentals. The song illustrates Flo's power, range and ability to deliver material evocatively. We can't wait to hear more from her.
While we liked A Remedy Raised, we loved All This Time, especially the tracks featuring Flo Paris and Susie Bogdanowicz. Eric Parker has worked closely with Glass Hammer members and other artists to produce an album of diverse music drawn together with the gospel theme and progressive textures. Not to be missed!