The Jim Brady Trio’s first debut album, A New Chapter, officially releases January 27, 2015 and is one of the year’s most anticipated new projects. With two of the genre’s most profound songwriters and an accomplished arranger and producer, this new group is set to enter the world of Gospel Music with solid material, tasteful music and a bright future.
The Jim Brady Trio is Gospel Music’s newest addition in 2015. January 1st, they stepped on stage at Legacy Five’s Celebration NYE in the Governor’s Ballroom at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and made their official debut in front of 1,000+ fans. Later that evening, they made another debut, only this one on national television with the Music City Show. Shortly thereafter, they also appeared on stage at Dr. Charles Stanley’s church, First Baptist of Atlanta. From these early appearances it is evident that the Jim Brady Trio is “ahead of the game” and has designed a ministry that both their fans and peers believe in.
The songs recorded on A New Chapter mix traditional classics with brand new material; with such established songwriters as Jim and Melissa behind the creative process, you can expect to hear some new ones from their pens! The music presented on this album is very consistent and includes traditional Southern Gospel and a healthy modern sound that doesn’t push the envelope. I believe fans that enjoy both traditional and modern styles would enjoy this album and find many gems to fall in love with. A New Chapter is very well rounded musically and lyrically.
Theme: Beginning anew, walking in faith, embarking upon the unknown. The title of the project, A New Chapter, establishes the concept of taking something you already know and applying it to a different direction. The songs follow that foundation and speak of all the things that such an action requires: trust in God, faith, dependence upon Him, a strong assurance of His love and grace; and most importantly, knowing that He is for you. The two songs that showcase this the most are Stepping Out In Faith (also the trio’s first radio single) and God Of What’s To Come.
Members: Jim Brady, Melissa Brady, Tim Parton.
Note: Song title information given here on pre-releases is as provided in advance by the record company. Occasionally, one or two song titles may be changed by the time the actual product releases.
1 If It Had Not Been
Feature: Melissa Brady
Message: The chorus inquires, “If it had not been for the Lord, on my side; tell me where would I be?” The verses allude to “where” that would be by a complete description of how He has kept His child safe. The first verse tells of enemies that have been held back, dreary days that received miraculous joy and a Father who’s held a hurt child close in His arms. The second verse continues to list the things that God has done in this one’s life: being a constant companion, giver or joy, peace, victory and One who answers prayers. Indeed, where would anyone be without such a mighty God?
Other Comments: The music here follows the same style of the previous track, but with a heavier Black Gospel feel/sound. The intro begins with a piano and organ, with the organ in the spotlight; which carries into the first chorus. After we hear the chorus once, the drums and lead guitar kick in as the refrain is repeated.
2 God Of What’s To Come
Feature: Jim Brady
Message: Moving forward in obedience is the theme of this first track. The initial verse is written as a prayer to God, where a trusting soul admits that it took a while for them to summon the courage to step out and obey. But they heard His voice and followed – not in the safe familiar routine they were in – but to an uncertain future full of God’s grace. The chorus cries out in faith, “You are God! God of what’s to come!” He is the Mighty God who won countless battles both in the past and in this one’s life already. Therefore, He is worthy to be trusted with what is ahead. The second verse muses, “Change is never easy even for the bravest heart.” Especially so, when you are walking into the unknown. Instead of despair, this one declares that He had been faithful so far and will be present in whatever is to come. The bridge tells of God’s wonderful plan, “There are good works that you’ve prepared for me to do…”
Other Comments: According to an update on www.bradyhousemusic.com this song was written as an anthem for the birth of this new ministry. Beginning with a lone piano that ascends three chords, followed by a dramatic don! (musically called an orchestra hit) with the orchestra joining the rest of the intro, this track has every instrument in the orchestra on it. Strings, piano, winds, percussion…you name it, it’s there! You can hear them all throughout the song if you listen carefully. An excellent song to begin a new ministry with!
3 Stepping Out
Feature: Tim Parton and Jim Brady
Message: Abraham believed God’s promise, Noah built the ark, Elijah called fire from heaven, Daniel placed his trust in God, Moses led Israel out of Egypt, and Peter had courage to walk on water. After listing these great heroes of old, the first verse ends by saying, “Just like them, I’m stepping out in faith.” The refrain is like an anthem – the step of faith has begun, the Father is being trusted and though winds may blow I’m going to claim the victory and rest in His grace! The second verse adds that the fear of tomorrow does not need to be considered when God is going before you; God is in control of the future…so I’m going to keep walking in faith.
Other Comments: This is also a new song that was written special for this journey the Brady’s are embarking on. They said in one of their updates that it is, “Our testimony, as we step out into the unknown.” With a drum roll, the snappy tune begins with a combination of brass and strings, which are a mainstay in the track musically. Tim has the solo on the first verse and Jim takes over on the second.
4 Sounds Like Home
Feature: Jim and Melissa Brady
Message: This traditional song begins with a picture of what heaven must be like – joy, peace, the place where the river of life flows and a crown awaits. But the chorus says, “That sounds like home.” No tears. Only the glory and grace and saints of God waiting for us to join them. Yes, that sounds like home indeed! The second verse continues to meditate on all the wonderful things that heaven will be full of (and of course, what won’t be there!)
Other Comments: A traditional Southern Gospel tune with a traditional SG sound – a little piano, lead guitar, strings and gentle strumming of the acoustic guitar and of course, smooth harmony! Jim is featured on the first verse and when Melissa sings the second all the instruments cease but the strings. A beautiful rendition of a great song!
5 You Can Depend
Feature: All Vocals
Message: You can depend on Jesus – that’s the first thing you hear in this song, and that message, is one that dominates the lyrics in this chorus. Yesterday, today and forever, He’s dependable. The first stanza pops the question, “Are you broken because you invested in earthly things? Do you dread the rising sun because yesterday you lived the dream and today it’s vanished?” Why don’t you invest in the One who’s been proven faithful? He will stand when all else fails. The next stanza poses more questions… “Where are your fair weathered friends now that you’re in trouble?” Nowhere in sight. But there’s One who will be closer to you than family. When everything else goes wrong, the bridge reminds us, you can depend on Him!
Other Comments: A Jazzy piano opens the track and leads into this fun tune that features a little bit of everyone on the verses. Both verses feature Jim, Melissa and Tim on a different line until they reach the chorus again. The music has a touch of Jazz influences that can be heard in the styling of the piano, organ and lead guitar. Altogether, another great up-beat song with a meaty message!
6 The Love of God
Feature: All Vocals
Message: The lyrics to this well-loved hymn inspire me every time I hear them! “The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen could ever tell – Could we with ink the ocean fill? And were the parchment made, and every stalk on earth a quill and every man a scribe by trade – to write the love of God would drain the ocean dry!” Nor could the sky contain it all…even if it could be written on! The love of God! How wonderful! Yes! How marvelous is the love of God!
Other Comments: The vocals begin with Jim and a line later Tim joins in, as does Melissa on the third line. From there, they sing as one until they finish the hymn. This Lari Goss arrangement features the first and third verses of the original hymn. The accompaniment Lari penned for this piece is unexplainable. It evokes a deep feeling in the soul and is nurtured by the detail of the music as each line brings a new dimension to the listener’s ear. With the recent passing of Mr. Goss, his music is even more treasured and beloved.
7 When He Saved Me
Feature: Tim Parton
Message: The first verse of this tune paints a picture of God up in heaven; not gauging sinners according to the way they’ve been hurt, but a God who is eager to forgive even knowing our imperfections. The chorus explains that when Jesus went to the cross, He knew everything we’d ever be. He knew every sin we’d ever commit and He even knew what we could be like at our very worst…yet, He didn’t look on all that, instead, He knew we could be. The last verse describes the potential we have with God at our side – broken pieces fitting into a brand new vessel, an ever increasing possibility for good and a dream that can’t be snatched away. The bridge speaks of the mercy the Savior offered when we cried out to Him. Praise Him! He didn’t pass us by!
Other Comments: Once again, I like the difference between this track and the one originally recorded by the Booth Brothers in 2008 on Room For More. You will still hear a portion of the “Ooo, He saved me…” in the intro and the guitar keeping a steady strum throughout the rest of the song. But considering that there isn’t much on a track like this that one could change, I still feel that there is enough difference in the details to point out that it isn’t a copy from the Room For More project.
8 Greatest Of All Miracles
Feature: Melissa Brady
Message: Beginning with the first verse, we hear a voice that sings of the blind man receiving his sight and the empty tomb of Jesus. Though this one, and ourselves also, weren’t present to witness those miracles, we can testify to the miracle that Jesus worked in our lives. The chorus follows with a declaration of the blood, and the healing power in God’s touch. Yet, to one who knows the depth of their own sin, it is said, “The greatest of all miracles was when He saved me.” The second goes on to establish what we have seen in our day: Sin sick souls, made new. Chains – loosened. Prisoned spirits – set free.
Other Comments: In concert, Melissa relates the message of this song to her father’s miraculous testimony of how he went from a run-away teen, Rock n’ Roll musician, drug dealer to preacher. Such a testimony combined with the message of the lyrics make for a naturally powerful moment on stage. The song, on the other hand, begins with the soft touch of a piano and strings accompanying it and builds to a stunning climax.
9 The Half That’s Never Been Told
Feature: Jim Brady
Message: Heaven has a myriad of wonders to behold, and though some may look forward to the mansions and jasper walls, the lyrics to the first stanza of this song exclaim that there’s one who has their sights set on the other half of the story… The refrain suggests that there’s another part of the story that hasn’t been revealed. (After all, the Apostle John said that if everything that Jesus did on earth were written down, the world couldn’t contain the books that it would fill.) Those are things that this one is waiting to hear. The truths of eternal life. Things that haven’t even been described. Everything. The second stanza goes on to explain what those things are: unanswered questions – answered, mysteries of God – clarified, wondrous secrets – unveiled, etc.
Other Comments: The lead guitar and brasswinds announce the arrival of this snappy tune and reappear regularly throughout the song. On the turn around, you’ll hear Tim Parton tearing up the keys at the piano and a little convention style singing beginning at 2:15. Because this is also a song that Jim recorded while he was with the Booth Brothers, I really appreciated how different the track is on this CD. The BB’s arrangement is progressive, leaning heavily on drums and some electronic echoes, while Jim and Melissa’s version is more traditional, focusing on piano, brass and lead guitar.
10 On My Way Home
Feature: Jim Brady
Message: This song reminds us that our journey on this earth is temporary, one that we pass through to reach our true destination – heaven. Heaven is our home beyond the stars. Someday, Jesus will come to take us there and we’ll gladly go…this is what the chorus tells us. As the first verse begins, we hear of one who sought to find a place of acceptance among this earth. All was in vain until he walked the road that led to the cross. There, he found the peace he searched for…and so much more. The second verse dreams of that day when home becomes a reality. Until then, he keeps trudging on the path that will one day lead him to that place. The bridge reminds us that there is never a night there, no setting sun, only the days glorious light forever.
Other Comments: With a rolling finger style pattern on the acoustic guitar plus strings to complement, this song has a soothing melody and accompaniment. It’s the kind of song you’d want to listen to when you’ve had a stressful day and need to “un-wind.” On My Way Home also appeared on the Booth Brothers Isaiah 12:2 project that was released in 2014.
The two songs below will be released with the full project when it becomes available on the 27th.
Feature: Melissa Brady
Message: The verse of this ballad takes us into the home of a family and shows us what happens there. She puts things away in the kitchen, he tends the sick – she cooks the meals, he puts the children in bed. The next day, they’ll do it again. It’s called ordinary love, says the chorus, it delights in every day conversations and the little things that mean so much. I love the next few lines, “’Cause no one needs a superstar, no one needs a saint – we need someone to just show up, with ordinary love.” In the next verse, life has ended; it’s the funeral, and the family is broken. In times like those, it’s hard to know what to say or do to offer comfort. But when the next day dawns they’ll remember those who showed love and acts of grace. The bridge describes love as patient, kind, blind, forgiving…
Other Comments: This is a very sweet song that is backed up by piano and strings. No drums, no bass guitar. It’s the kind of song that slowly builds and pushes the lyrics into the spotlight. Because of the tender nature of the song, I really believe that it stands out on the project. Like On My Way Home, it’s a gentle reminder of a great truth.
Good Lord Willing
Feature: Jim Brady
Message: The chorus kicks off this tune with a fun lyric about spreading the love of Christ, every day, until life is through. The first stanza continues those thoughts by pointing out that we only have so many heartbeats on this earth, only so many chances to see the sun rise. “I want to make the most of every one,” it says. The bridge exclaims that the Lord’s return is near, so, while I’m here…(then the lyric returns to the chorus.)
Other Comments: When you hear the shuffle in the first few measures of this tune you know it’s going to be a fast one! Moments later the lead guitars come in and you’re launched into a song that plays off the saying, “Lord willing, if the Creek don’t rise…” which is switched to fit “Good Lord willing if the Church don’t rise.” The verses mostly feature Jim, but there are a few lines where Melissa joins in and makes them a duet in spots. In the second to last chorus Jim takes the melody and the others sing back up which almost makes it sound like a convention style song where everyone sings a different line at the same time. Fun song…and very catchy too!
Conclusion: This release from Daywind Records is 44 minutes in length and as already looked at, features 12 songs from the Jim Brady Trio. Some are new and some are classics. Combined, I feel that this new trio has established a solid sound that fans of traditional Southern Gospel Music will enjoy. The question that begs to be asked is: Does the Jim Brady Trio sound like the Booth Brothers? To answer: Jim was a big part of the BB’s sound for over a decade in both his talent vocally and in his writing, therefore, one can only expect to hear a little of that come through to his own group. (Good Lord Willing would be a good example of that.) On the other hand, I firmly believe that the Jim Brady Trio has already established a sound that is all their own. Jim and Melissa have been singing and recording together for many years and that has given them the time to develop their own sound, which I feel is the foundation for this trio. A unique example of this can be seen in the songs that were originally recorded with the Booth Brothers. (When He Saved Me, On My Way Home and The Half That’s Never Been Told.) Set side by side, the tracks/styles on those songs are completely different which shows the vision that Jim and Melissa have for their group. In closing, I thoroughly enjoyed this CD and will be wearing it out this year! The Jim Brady Trio has a vision and I believe that they will be successful in it.
To pre-order, visit Springside HERE
Read more about the Jim Brady Trio from the January issue of SGN Scoops -> HERE