Count Your Blessings released in early November (2012) by Legacy Five, and in many ways encompasses three major “firsts” for the quartet. With the departure of long standing member Glenn Dustin, Count Your Blessings is the project to debuts L5’s new bass singer, Matt Fouch. Though this quartet formed just over a decade ago, Matt will be the second man to ever fill the bass position for this group. Be sure to take a special listen to the tracks featuring Mr. Fouch, such as; Blood Washed Band (track 1), Count Your Blessings (track 4), It Is No Secret (track 5), Everywhere I Go (track 10) and the song he shares the spotlight with tenor Gus Gaches, You Sure Do Need Him Now (track 8.) I guarantee, you will NOT be disappointed with what you hear! On the other hand, this project is also the first to be produced and arranged by group members Gus Gaches and Trey Ivey. These men understand what they do, and they took that understanding into the studio with them and walked out with what I think is Legacy Five’s best CD yet. Further, the sixth track, titled Someday Soon, is the first song written by the Gaches family – Gus, Tamra and Kylie – that has appeared on an Legacy Five recording. That song is one of the strongest tracks on the CD – once you hear it, I’m sure you’ll agree!
Within the project, I’d suggest that two themes weave their way through the lyrics in each song. In numbers like Blood Washed Band, Someday Soon, I’ll Meet You There and Heaven Came Down, I see the anticipation of heaven. While songs like I Call You Faithful, He Loves Me So, Count Your Blessings, It Is No Secret, You Sure Do Need Him Now, Everywhere I Go and I’ve Enjoyed The Journey express the presence of God in your life and mine. I also love how the project opens with a song that talks about our salvation (Blood Washed Band) and finishes with one that says, “I’ve enjoyed the journey walking with my Lord…” It’s perfect!
Musically, it is traditional Legacy Five. There are so many good “quartet” songs on this project, it almost takes you back in time to the all night sings! The only exceptions I would be tempted to point out would be I Call You Faithful (track 2), which is a little progressive (but not too much!) and Heaven Came Down (track 9) that hints at a Celtic feel from time to time. But true fans wouldn’t frown upon this ‘cause the song Monuments had a Celtic feel and other ballads could be considered similar to I Call You Faithful – so like I said, it’s L5 all the way!
On this recording you’ll hear vocals from…
Tenor – Gus Gaches
Lead – Scott Fowler
Baritone – Scott Howard
Bass – Matt Fouch
Piano – Trey Ivey
1. Blood Washed Band
Feature: Matt Fouch
Message: Many names have been ascribed to those of the Christian faith, in Savannah Foust’s writing, she called it the “Blood Washed Band.” The picture of soldiers marching into battle fill our mind as we listen to the first verse where the child of God and Satan war against each other every day. These brave heroes of the faith take their stand for Christ while on their knees in prayer. If you’ve been plunged under the crimson flow – you’re in that army too! In the chorus, we hear the soldiers praising God for entering their lives, breaking their bondage, and admitting them to the “blood washed band.” The second verse mixes the present with the future by speaking of how this army of Believers continually marches to their heavenly goal and anticipates walking into that city and hearing the angels sing.
Other Comments: Artists in SGM have brought this old Cathedral song back to the fans listening ear (Remember The Music, the Mark Trammell Quartet, etc.) But the arrangement that L5 chose to begin this track with sets it apart from all other renditions! I love the “marching band” (drums) that start the intro. Truly spectacular! Plus, this song gives L5 fans their first listen into their new bass singer, Matt Fouch – and what a great job he did on this first track!
2. I Call You Faithful
Feature: All Vocals
Message: Our Lord and Savior has many characteristics, the ones you will hear credited to Him in this song are true to His working in our lives. The verses are offered up to the Lord as a prayer – and the first begins by declaring that God is faithful. The next four verses follow back to back, with only one word changing every time. In the second verse, “Faithful” is replace by “Holy,” and then “Healer,” and “Savior” in each succeeding verse. We then experience a line that bridges the fourth verse to the fifth, and uses all those names and ends with the one describing the fifth verse – awesome. When that verse concludes we have a sixth verse that exclaims, “Lord, You are all that – Lord you are all that to me!” The song ends with a repeat of the first verse.
Other Comments: The style of this song crosses over into the Praise and Worship category, but L5 was careful with the music and pulled it off. I had never expected Legacy Five to ever sing a song like this, but they did, and it didn’t change their sound a bit! I think this proves just how diverse music really is! No one is featured as a solo on this song, they sing it all together and let it build!
3. He Loves Me So
Feature: All Vocals
Message: The theme of this song can be found in the title itself – God’s love. The first verse begins by a simple statement, “I am glad my dear Redeemer walked the shores of Galilee.” He beckons me to pursue His steps, and because of His perfect example of a holy life and endless mercy, I will gladly follow…all because of His true love and faithful promises. The simple words, “He loves me so,” fill the chorus and explain that since Jesus Christ came down to this earth and brought us His Father’s plan of salvation, I’m going to heaven all because of His love for me and you. The second verse looks upon His ways and calls them beautiful, and I too, sing His praise. No matter where the path may lead, I will follow and know that it is best for my life – for above all, I know that the Savior will never, ever leave me!
Other Comments: This song was originally cut by the Imperials in 1976 on their Just Because album. L5’s rendition is the first time for me to hear this song, and I was very blessed by it! It’s a very smooth, easy listening song. Be sure to listen how the guys echo each other in the last chorus. (That’s my favorite part!)
4. Count Your Blessings
Feature: Matt Fouch and Scott Fowler
Message: When we take the time to look at what the Lord has done in our lives, our blessings multiply beyond our imagination. That’s what the first verse of this song talks about, when the storms of life send us crashing through the waves of every trial and bring our spirits to an ultimate low – we can count our blessings and see how they outnumber the attacks of the foe. The chorus says the exact same thing – we should “count our blessings one by one” and see all the good things that God has done in our lives. The second verse goes on to say that if we carry a heavy burden, we should continue to count our blessings – ‘cause when we do, all fears and doubts will flee and we’ll sing a new song of praise to our Savior.
Other Comments: While the first verse is sung by the quartet as a whole, Matt gets to shine on the lead in the chorus, and Fowler gets the solo on the second verse. Another asset to this song is the increase in tempo – I’m sure you’ve never done it in church as fast as L5 does it here! I think that’s a good thing though, it creates an excitement and adds energy to something that we often hear sung slow and unmotivated.
5. It Is No Secret
Feature: Matt Fouch
Message: How powerful is our God? What can He accomplish? Well, this song says it isn’t a secret at all! Beginning with the chorus, the lyrics proclaim, “It is no secret what God can do – what He’s done for others, He’ll do for you.” He will forgive your sin and welcome you into His arms just like He would anyone else! In the evening when you look back on the events of the day, the first verse questions what you see…did you fall that day? Did you long for more strength to get you through? Well, don’t worry, because God has promised to see you through it all.
Other Comments: Though this song is very short (chorus, verse, chorus) the feel of the gentle rhythm reminds me of a breath of fresh air. I think you’ll enjoy hearing Matt featured on a slow song – the tone is perfect!
6. Someday Soon
Feature: All vocals
Message: I love the picture the chorus of this song paints – someday soon, we’re going to wake up in a different world. One where trials and sorrows are a thing of the past, and singing with fellow Believers on the streets of gold is a thing of the future! The first verse explains how we are waiting for the Lord’s soon return, watching the eastern sky for His coming, and patiently waiting for His call. With the house in order, there’s nothing holding us back, we’re ready to go! The second verse goes on to expound what heaven will be like; no broken hearts, no anxiety, instead, we’ll sing with the redeemed. Though we may not know when the Lord is coming back, we do know this, we’re going to stand before Him someday! The bridge sums it up – “Someday soon, we’ll be together. Someday soon, to live forever…with all of those who have gone before.!” Someday soon, their will be no heartache, suffering or pain as we sing “over in Gloryland!”
Other Comments: The first thing I’d like to point out is the intro – I absolutely love the piano rocking those eighth notes! It sets a lively beat that complements the lyrics. The chorus repeats itself at the beginning of the song and everyone gets to sing a line on the verses. Hands down, this is my favorite tune on the recording!
7. I’ll Meet You There
Feature: Scott Howard (Howie)
Message: A simple message with saving hope – no matter who we “lose” on this earth, if they know the Lord, we’ll get to meet them on the other side! We see in the first verse, the story of an old man shuffling down the hallway – hurrying to his dying wife’s side. He didn’t want to be late for her “Home-going Day.” The story goes right into the second verse, where the lady who had been unconscious for 6 days, woke up and took her husbands hand. She said, “We’ve fought the fight, we’ve run the race – all by God’s amazing grace, and before I go I just want you to know…” The chorus completes her thought with this promise – I’ll meet you there. She goes on to encourage him not to lose hope, because in heaven, the lifetime on earth will seem like just a few hours. So, once a day passes and the morning dawns, they’ll be together again. That day became a reality for that old man in the third verse. Only this time, he was ready to go and his little grandson was by the bedside, tears streaming down his face. The old man said, “Son, I’m gonna miss you too.” Then he shares with his grandchild the same words that his wife spoke to him just a few years before. The bridge promises that everyone will be there (heaven) – the saints who have gone before and your loved ones!
Other Comments: This is by far the saddest song on the CD. While writing this review, it choked me up to listen to the lyrics – but because of that, it will be a blessing to many as they are reminded of the promise, that their loved ones who died in Christ, are waiting to meet them again. On the other hand, this was the perfect solo for Howie! It fits his voice like a gem and reminds me of others like; Destination Known, I’m So Glad I Found Jesus and Above All Circumstances.
8. You Sure Do Need Him Now
Feature: Matt Fouch and Gus Gaches
Message: “You need Him every day and every hour…” is the theme of this song, and the opening line. There are three parts to this song, the first one features a bass line that sings about how we have to walk and talk with our Lord. We are beckoned to share the Savior’s saving love with the world, and once our race is run, a crown awaits us in heaven. The tenor part begins the second section of this song (I like to think of it as a channel) and speaks of how we need the Lord both in the morning and in the night watches. Finally, all four voices join together for the third section, a part that declares, “If you ever needed the Lord before, you sure do need Him now!”
Other Comments: This number is a great quartet song and my “second favorite” from the project. What makes it so fun, is the order of the stanzas. Matt begins the song with a rolling bass line that shifts to the next stanza that features Gus, the chorus is then sung, and the song reverses itself. Meaning, after the chorus you hear yhe solo from Gus again and the song ends with Matt’s verse. (Which is opposite from the way the song began.) It’s truly unique!
9. Heaven Came Down
Feature: Scott Fowler
Message: John W. Peterson wrote this hymn describing the salvation experience. He called that day a “wonderful, wonderful day,” in the first verse, one that would never be forgotten. He spoke of wandering in darkness until he met the Savior and found a “tender, compassionate friend.” Then, the darkness rolled away and a little bit of heaven came down to earth to indwell in his soul. The chorus says, that he was made whole at Calvary – where sins were washed away, night was turned to day, and when “heaven came down and glory filled his soul!” The next verse tells of the enduring hope that he now has. It is one that will stand through the ages. He’s certain of his future in heaven because of that day when he believed at the cross.
Other Comments: This old hymn is arranged with a Celtic feel and carries a light, happy mood through and through. Legacy Five begins the song by singing the first verse together, and then Scott shines in the second verse and line by line, Gus and Howie join him.
10. Everywhere I Go
Feature: Matt Fouch
Message: The blessed knowledge that God is with me no matter where the path of life may lead is the subject of this quartet song. Starting with the chorus, the lyrics happily proclaim that everywhere I go, the Lord is not only with me, but He is cheering me on to run the race, as He walks beside me leading the way. In the first verse, I narrate to the listener that I’m climbing up a mountain in search of the city of God. Along the way, the hills tower high above me on one side and then the valleys plunge below on the other. Yet, through the difficulties of the trek…I’m not climbing alone. Now, the second verse says, the crossing has been tough, but as long as I keep my focus on heaven’s gates, there’s no doubt that I’ll get there. Personally, the last line is a favorite!…“Though I may be weary and the outlook may be dreary – but the uplook points to victory and Jesus said so!”
Other Comments: This popular song written by Kirk Talley has been cut by many artists in SGM, not only Legacy Five, but the Browns and the Perrys also. All three renditions are enjoyable, and L5’s has that classic “quartet” feel to it!
11. I’ve Enjoyed The Journey
Feature: Gus Gaches and Scott Fowler
Message: This song says it plain and simple – the walk of faith down on this earth has been a glorious ride! Written in first person, this tune begins by recalling the time when that river stood in front of them…and how once again, the Lord parted the waters for His child seeking to get across. The chorus cries out how much this child of God has enjoyed walking with the Lord. When the enemy came – He was their defense. So why fear? Why fuss? He’s always been there…“and He hasn’t failed yet!” Like the children of Israel, the second verse tells us that He is ahead, leading the way – a fire by night and a cloud in the daytime. When you’re walking with Him, each morning brings a new joy to behold!
Other Comments: What a positive message and fun way to end a project! The verses are split between the tenor and lead – Gus is featured on the first stanza and Scott on the second.
If you would like to purchase a copy of Count Your Blessings, click HERE!