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The release of the Mark Trammell Quartet’s new Cd, Treasures, takes us back in time to the classic songs of the Cathedrals.  This project is the “unofficial” tribute to those two men who Mark sang with in his early career, Glen and George.  These twelve songs are now standards in the genre and have been staged and recorded by many artists, yet, this project knits together all these favorites on one unforgettable project.  It is worth mentioning that there are many Cds out there that pay tribute to the Cathedrals, but I have come across more than one person who thinks that Treasures is the best of all.  I personally agree!  For anyone who is looking for the resurrection of old quality quartet music – this Cd is for you.

On this Cd, you will hear vocals from:

Tenor – Joel Wood
Lead – Dustin Sweatman
Baritone – Mark Trammell
Bass – Pat Barker

When you listen to this project you might notice that most of the songs are sung together as a group, there are not many solo features on this Cd.  I think the reason for this is because it’s a tribute to George and Glen, and most of the songs chosen for this recording are ones that featured them.  So on this project, you will hear Mark Trammell taking on Glen’s part and Pat Barker singing George’s part.  The other guys aren’t featured that much, but since it’s a tribute, I think that’s okay.  Their other Cd’s give each vocalist a solo, but Treasures is special.

Also, if you have this project and would like to tell us what your favorite song is, or why you like it – feel free to post a comment!  Always love hearing for my readers!

1. Echoes From The Burning Bush
Tempo: Fast
Feature: all four parts
Message:  Basing it’s theme on the Old Testament story of Moses and the burning bush, the first verse of this happy song walks us through that story step by step, until the chorus, where the significance of this simple story is brought to light.  The refrain implies that there is much joy in just hearing the voice of the Lord through the burning bush.  Phrases like: “how they thrill my soul,” and “words that are so sweet to me,” point our thinking in that direction.  The second verse takes us through God’s simple plan of salvation.  He sent His Son to die for our sins and through His blood we are saved from the eternal fire.  The whole song seems centered around hearing from the Lord, whether it be from an Old Testament story where God speaks through a burning bush, or through His Son saving mankind on the cross in the New Testament – God wishes to speak to us, and such knowledge should thrill our souls also!

2. Gentle Shepherd
Tempo: Slow
Feature:  All four parts
Message:  This song was recorded live in concert and is one of the two bonus cuts from this project.  Beginning with the chorus, the lines are penned like a prayer, imploring the Lord to lead and feed us, like a shepherd would his flock.  The words to the verse are very simple,  yet, refreshing… “There’s no other, we can turn to – who can help us face another day.” Such truth in those lyrics!
Other Comments:  Though this is one of those very, very slow songs, and it can be tempting to skip on to the next track to find a faster number when listening, the message is very practical and is worth every listener’s attention.

3. Bloodwashed Band
Tempo: Medium/Fast
Feature: Bass vocals
Message:  I love the imagery in the first two lines of this song.  Illustrating the day-by-day Christian life as a spiritual warfare against Satan, two great defenses a Believer has is pictured in “standing up” for Christ, and “kneeling down” to pray.  (Love the contrast!)  The rest of the verse voices that if the blood of Jesus has cleansed your sin… “that makes you a member of the bloodwashed band.”  The chorus praises God for being a part of the “band,” and goes on to relate how they were saved – by the blood of Christ – and what they were saved from – the bonds of sin.  The second verse reports that God’s army is advancing and the end of the battle is soon.  Shortly, the soldiers will march into heaven hearing angels sing the praises of their Captain (Christ).
Other Comments:  When the chorus is encored, the track pauses just enough to let you think the song is over, then, surprises the listener with another chorus.  The effect is perfect!

4. That Day At Calvary
Tempo: Medium
Feature: Baritone vocals
Message:  Beginning in the garden of Gethsemane, where in agony Jesus asked the Father to take away His bitter cup, the first verse sets the stage for the pain He would later endure on the cross on our behalf.  The refrain declares, “That day at Calvary, He changed my history.” ~ then, goes on to list the things that the narrator receives because of Christ’s sacrifice…a new life, the ability to conquer what the Devil throws his way, and a changed life.  Verse two reminisces about the narrator’s life before salvation, when there was a fear of certain things, but once born again, those fears were wiped away.

5. I’ll Have A New Life with Everybody Will Be Happy Over There
Tempo: Medium/Fast
Feature: Bass vocals
Message:  The first verse of I’ll Have A New Life looks forward to the day when Christ will come for His people, this number chooses to call that time, “resurrection morning.”  Our physical bodies that are weak down here on this earth, will be changed into glorified bodies, ready to enter paradise!  The chorus dreams about that coming time in heaven, or, our “new home,” as the song calls it.  Up there, sorrow won’t exist, neither will pain or strife, but everyone will have a new body in the likeness of their Savior and a new life to go along with it!  The second verse continues thinking about the second coming of Christ and how wonderful that day will be.  After another chorus, the song blends into another chorus of a well known classic, Everybody Will Be Happy Over There.  This quartet song has the same theme as I’ll Have A New Life, it talks about how everyone in heaven will be two things: one, happy; and two, shouting and singing His praises for all eternity.

6. Statue Of Liberty
Tempo: Slow Ballad
Feature: All four parts
Message:  This ballad is a “patriotic song,” one that Americans can listen to and be proud of their free country, yet, it also has a great comparison to being a Christian, and the freedom we have in Christ.  The first verse begins with a description of Lady Liberty in New York, at Ellis Island.  The lyric uses the statue as a symbol that everyone can look to and know that liberty, or freedom, exists under her shadow.  The first chorus proudly states, “I’m so proud to be called an American.” In contrast, the second verse and chorus takes on a different kind of patriotism.  Verse two begins by depicting the scene of Calvary, where Christ gave His life for us so we can live forever.  The second chorus follows that thought line by announcing, “I’m so glad to be called a Christian.” My favorite phrase is the last two lines…“as the statue liberates the citizen, so the cross liberates the soul.” The bridge goes on to specifically call the cross “my statue of liberty,” and how it is there, the soul is set free.

7. Old Convention Song
Tempo: Fast
Feature: All four parts
Message:  This fun song takes us back to the good ole’ days when they had “dinner on the ground” and sang songs in “shape notes” underneath the trees outside the church .  Old songs would be the special, and the specific question, “how long has it been, since you’ve heard an old convention song?” – leads us into the chorus.  The refrain expresses the love of those old convention songs one sang as a child.  Naming a few of those oldies and remembering how they were sung all day long, brings about the same question that led into the chorus.  Verse two describes how the style of Gospel Music has changed over the years.  Though, if the message of the Gospel remains the same, the lyric declares, “I know they can’t go wrong…” Yet, the longing for the sound of the convention songs lingers still.
Other Comments:  This is the second bonus track on the project.  Love live!

8. I Thirst
Tempo: Slow
Feature: Bass vocals
Message:  Written in first person, the speaker in the verse tells of the time when they were “thirsty,” and went to the Lord asking for water.  In His grace gave more than required, but as the lyric says, “but for this water, my Lord had to die.”  The chorus considers Christ’s words on the cross “I thirst” and contrasts it with the thought that even though He was thirsty, through Him came the river of redemption, the creation of the sea, etc.  I like the last line that states, “In His great thirst – He brought water to me.”  The second verse talks about the river that flows from the throne of God, yet, that same river dwells inside Believers with mercy and love.  (The reference to the river flowing out of the throne of God, I believe, is talking about our redemption).

9. Master Builder
Tempo: Fast
Feature: Baritone vocals
Message:  The first verse of this song takes a unique twist of what Jesus did before his public ministry and weaves it in with His work of building His church.  Many speculate what the Messiah’s life was like growing up, seeing that Scripture doesn’t mention much of it.  The lyric of verse one suggests a thought worthy of consideration.  If Jesus was indeed a carpenter like His earthly father, then Joseph would have taught Him everything He needed to know about building…how to drive a nail, pound a hammer, etc.  This would serve our Lord well, (for though He didn’t need anyone to teach Him anything,) His whole ministry would consist in being a builder.  This thought leads us into the chorus which calls Jesus the “Master Builder.”  A “firm foundation” and “the Rock” are some of the materials He uses, and His work is continual and won’t stop.  Yet, the most important aspect of the Lord’s work is found in the last line of the refrain… “and He can make a brand new you.” Hinting at the plan of redemption.  Verse two talks about when Jesus went back to heaven and began building again.  This time, His project wasn’t a chair or a stool like He made in Galilee, but a special city, the New Jerusalem, made for His children that would live in mansions and walk on streets of gold.

10. Wedding Music
Tempo:  Slow
Feature:  All four parts and Bass vocals
Message:  The first line of this ballad opens with a question – “Is that wedding music, I hear?”  The following proclaims that the Bride (speaking of the Church of Christ) is ready, heaven is making preparations, and the time is so close you would think you were hearing wedding music!  Since the chorus of this song came first, we are ready to go into the first verse.  The verse tells about a family (the family of God) preparing for the wedding.  They invite everyone to come and are ready, waiting for Christ to call them in.  The second verse tells us that we are going to leave this earth soon and go to that celebration spoken of  in the chorus.  I like the detail and thought put into the next line, “the Father then will lead us to the holy land of splendor.” We all know that in traditional weddings, the father of the bride leads her down the isle to the groom, we almost get that same thought with that line, only with the Heavenly Father being our guide.
Other Comments:  All the guys sing the chorus and first verse together, and Pat (bass vocalist) gets a solo on the second verse.

11. Then I Met The Master
Tempo:  Ballad
Feature:  Baritone vocals
Message:  The first verse compares being lost in sin to a baby or young child that cries because it is separated from it’s parents.  This paints a good picture of the helplessness of mankind under sin.  Just as a baby can’t do anything for itself, but depends on adults, so we can’t do anything for our sin without Christ, we depend on Him to take care of it.  Then, upon meeting the Master, we find that we are no longer lost, but belonging to Him.  The chorus emphasizes the difference the Lord makes in a life, and tells what He did.  The first thing I noticed about the refrain, was the reference to the Lord finding the sinner, changing his life and causing a new day to dawn.  Softly repeating the phrases, “then I met the Master, now I belong to Him,” again, we head onto the next verse.  Whereas the first verse compares being lost to an infant, the second verse contrasts it with being like a blind man who searches for light, but never finds it…that is, until he meets the Master.

12. Boundless Love
Tempo:  Fast
Feature:  All four parts
Message:  The affection of parents, siblings, or even best friends can’t compare to the love of Christ.  The proof is at Calvary – there, Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice and proof.  This is the idea in the first verse of this “barn-burner” classic!  The chorus sings of the boundless love of Jesus that will last forever, reaching down to each an every person that can say, “even me.”  Verse two tells of God’s desire for every person to know that He loves them, and that He takes a personal interest in their well being.  Finishing up with the promise, “He will never fail you, when the doubts assail you, He’ll be with you day and night,” ~ the chorus loops back around and gets encored a time or two.  (Wouldn’t have it any other way)!

Author: lynnschronicles

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