What does it mean to live and walk by faith? If you have the Whisnants new CD, Walk of Faith, you’ll hear a definition in every song. Whether it is learning not to worry, witnessing to a friend or embracing how much God loves you – the whole project sums up the very subject.
A lot of work has gone into this new project, Walk of Faith. The Whisnants, along with Trey Ivey and Cliff Duren collaborated to bring us the arrangements and orchestrations we hear on this recording. The Whisnants first worked with Trey Ivey (of Legacy Five) last year when they recorded Home For Christmas with The Mark Trammell Quartet. For this project, Walk of Faith, Trey arranged the songs and helped produce the CD with the group. Out of the twelve songs recorded, eight are accompanied by a full orchestra. Cliff Duren of Brentwood Baptist Church is responsible for penning those orchestrations. It is also worthy to note that a choir appears on two ballads: I Love You This Much and There Is A Fountain. When you hear the music on these tracks, you’ll agree that a lot of time and effort went into maximizing each arrangement’s potential. The big orchestrations are beautiful! Yet, there is a good balance between the big arrangements, mid-tempo and fast songs. Every tune caters to the Whisnants sound and will remind you that no matter what may be changing in the world around us, the sound of this group remains the same. If you’ve enjoyed the music The Whisnants have released in the past, you will love this project also.
The lyrics in each song carry one central theme throughout the project – faith. You can’t leave worry in God’s hands without exercising faith. You can’t say that you are holding on to grace if you don’t have faith. You can’t say you’re going to leave this world rejoicing without faith. You can’t believe that Jesus rose from the dead without faith and you can’t tell people about Him unless you have faith. Every single song comes back to faith – it may be subtle in some lyrics, it may be the title of others, but it’s there. After listening to this CD many times, I believe that there are too many powerful lyrics on this recording to pin down just one and say it’s the best. There are so many life changing messages on this CD!
When the Whisnants began the presale for Walk of Faith, they released a square graphic each day revealing a new piece of information about the CD. Some of the graphics were song lyrics and some were quotes from Jeff, Susan and Aaron telling what they thought about the project. You can find these on The Whisnants Facebook page and are encouraged to share them on your personal wall. The group also released their first lyric video featuring their radio single, Worry Ends Where Faith Begins.
1 Joy in the House
Feature: All Vocals
Message: Worship is the theme this project begins with. In the first verse, we imagine a people gathered with a unified heart giving praise to their God. Hearts set on Christ above, they begin to feel Him move amongst them. What is the result? The chorus tells us, “There’s joy in the house when the Spirit dwells within…” When the people worship, peace prevails, victory is attained, strength rises up and hope dawns… Now, the second verse tells us that if joy enters the house of God, trouble can’t. Recall the mighty acts He has done? Give Him the glory for them because “When He hears us sing about Him, He can’t stay away…”
Other Comments: The intro opens with two “orchestra hits” that signal a peppy tune is ahead. A lick on the piano follows and you will continue to hear both techniques throughout the song. The first voice you will hear is Jeff’s, but before the song ends Aaron and Susan come in as well – everyone is featured on a line in both verses. “Joy in the House” is a great song that has a catchy beat and a positive message; when you hear it, you’ll be humming it all day.
2 Worry Ends Where Faith Begins
Feature: Susan Whisnant
Message: The sun sets and indicates the end of another day, but deep inside you worry about what the next dawn will mean for your future. Instead of sweet sleep you lay awake trying to solve the answers to your own questions – meanwhile, anxiety overpowers the faith you once had. But that isn’t the end, the refrain encourages you to “take a hold of faith again” for when you do – worry ends. Leave it in God’s hands and trust in Him, He’s still in control! With that in mind, the second stanza poses the question: why do we even bother worrying? Doesn’t lack of faith damage the work God wants to do in our lives? The Word says, “Without faith, it impossible to please God.” Leave fretfulness behind, walk on and claim the victory in Jesus’ name!
Other Comments: Worry Ends Where Faith Begins is the first radio single from this CD. It is hard to say, “This is the most powerful message on the project,” because many songs from Walk of Faith compete for that position (as we will see when we continue!). This I will say, it is a lyric for our day and time and will change lives. If this isn’t a number one song, something’s wrong, folks! You will hear a sweet violin gliding a melody across the strings as a band softly accompanies in the background throughout the song. The arrangement is on the softer side and keeps Susan’s voice in the spotlight.
3 Holding On To Grace
Feature: Jeff Whisnant
Message: The first verse repeats the simple story of salvation – then we hear the lyrics explain how some have added to and/or taken away from the simplicity of the Gospel. The chorus examines the different things people rely on concerning salvation: such as, good works and bad habits they gave up. Yet, if you were to ask the author of the lyric what they were depending on to get through heaven’s gates, they would simply say, “I’m holding on to grace.” In the second verse, they go on to say that when death snatches them away and they stand before the Lord, they will only plead the blood of Jesus to access entrance into eternal life!
Other Comments: What a lyric! I love the way the writer painted such a clear picture in these lines – our only hope is grace! The music is what you would envision from the Whisnants. It is very traditional; after the piano opens for the first verse you will hear a consistent tap on the drums, steel guitar and strings.
4 I’m Gonna Go Out Singing
Feature: Aaron Hise
Message: This song jumps right into the refrain and exclaims, “When it’s my time for leaving, I’ll be leaving testifying – Heaven’s gonna hear me praising from the moment I’m arriving’!” Basically, when they go, they’re going singing. In the first verse, the writer talks about how it was always the songs that brought him through the trials of life. Because of that, when he leaves this earth, he wants to do it in song! The second verse takes lines from familiar hymns like, “Shall we gather at the river?” and “When the roll is called up yonder I’ll be there,” and pieces them together to write their own story.
Other Comments: A lead guitar and banjo pick the intro and launches us into the song. You’ll continue to hear a lot of banjo in this track, maybe that’s why this number reminds us of a good Country tune. The song begins with the chorus and features Aaron on both verses.
5 I Love You This Much
Feature: Susan Whisnant
Message: From the view point of a child, the story begins… A little one asks, “Mom, how much do you love me?” The child found their answer as the mother’s arms stretched as far apart as they could, but then, she told the child about Jesus and how He died on a hill far away. Now, in the chorus, we hear the Savior speak… “I love you this much – then He opened His arms and died for me.” What mercy! What grace! As His blood fell to the ground, the act of sacrificial love displayed for all the world to see exactly how much He treasures us. The second verse explains how well-meaning Believers can hear this story so much they often lose sight of the precious meaning. But when that happens, all we have to do is go back to the cross and see those arms open wide saying, “I love this much!”
Other Comments: I hope that you can grasp the power behind this song from reading about it. This ballad brings the contrast of a parent’s love for a child and the Lord’s love for His children to a whole new level, but it isn’t just an emotional experience to be had when you’re “in the mood” – the second verse takes this amazing lyric and makes it practical for everyday life. The music matches the grandness of the message; you’ll hear a great orchestration from Cliff Duren and a choir on the last chorus!
6 My God Is So Good To Me
Feature: Jeff Whisnant
Message: This is a simple song about God’s goodness. The verses compare and contrast the Christian’s walk of faith on the mountain and in the valley, through the fire and cool waters, experiencing trials and victories and concludes by saying, it doesn’t matter what it is, God has been good to them. The chorus is a simple praise to that same God. The second verse also has a compare and contrast illustration with an earthly doctor who says there’s no hope and a Heavenly One who steps in with a healing miracle.
Other Comments: Some songs are just hard to write about – and it’s not because they’re not good! Sometimes the simple truth can’t be summed up, explained or rewritten differently. Sometimes, you just have to hear it to understand. That’s this song, and I think you’ll like it. Jeff sings both the verses and Aaron takes the lead on the chorus with Jeff and Susan echoing a different line after Aaron. It’s a great Southern Gospel song!
7 Do You Know The Savior?
Feature: Aaron Hise
Message: Do you know the Savior? It’s easy to automatically shout, “Yes!” But do you know Him as the Savior these lyrics describe? The first verse begins by explaining that He’s more than a story we hear at church or a song we sing – His love is real, gentle and strong. His grace won’t let you go. His mercy is forever and His hope everlasting. The refrain beckons, “Do you know the Savior? Let me introduce you…” Jesus is His name, He’s faithful and He died so that you can have life. He loves you! The second verse goes on to share how He pardons, forgives and waits for you to allow Him to do the same for you.
Other Comments: This is a sweet, soothing song. Yet, it’s riveting. I think you’ll agree that this song sounds like it was written just for Aaron – he’s had many popular solo’s through the years, but I guarantee you’ve never heard him this good! Though the lyrics appear as an invitation song, I love listening to this ballad every time I play the CD. This is one of those songs I think competes for the position of “the most powerful track on the project.”
8 A Grave Mistake
Feature: Jeff Whisnant
Message: Two thousand years ago, a scheme was made against Jesus. The Pharisees had Him hauled to Calvary, nailed to a cross and crucified. From the looks of it, it appeared as if the enemies of Jesus won. Then the third day dawned and it became evident they made a grave mistake… The refrain declares, “He came back alive!” Death was denied the power it craved and as the sun rose Sunday morning Jesus proved them all wrong. Indeed, the forces of darkness made a grave mistake! The second verse continues the story and tells how people are making the same “mistake” today. They claim that Christ is dead and powerless, but one day they will learn how costly that belief is when He returns.
Other Comments: These lyrics come from a new writer, Logan Peck, son of popular Rebecca Peck. If “A Grave Mistake” is any indication of the songs yet to come from this next generation of songwriters, then we’re in good hands! I love the play on words in the lyric! Jeff does a great job on the verses and it kind of reminds of their song called, “He’s Living Today.”
9 There Is A Fountain
Feature: Aaron Hise and Jeff Whisnant
Message: If you’re thinking about the hymn, There is a Fountain Filled with Blood, you may be surprised that this is a completely different song. Or is it? After listening to the three opening verses and chorus of this song, you may call it a “modern re-write” of the classic found in the hymnbook. The first verse tells the story of the cross – how Jesus shed His blood on Calvary so long ago. Do you remember how the hymn references the thief on the cross? Well, the second verse of this ballad takes that message and applies it to everyone – are you tired of the life you’re living? Are you searching for peace? Finally, the third verse ushers in the answer to all the questions of life, just kneel beneath Christ’s matchless flow of grace! The refrain explains how this fountain works – it washes sin away and changes your life forever.
Other Comments: This is the second ballad on Walk of Faith that utilizes a choir. I assure you the effect is amazing! But so is the orchestra; you’ll hear the strings swell and brasswinds add their magical touch. The ballad begins with three verses done back to back (the first everyone sings together, Jeff sings the second verse and Aaron the third) then the chorus follows, a bridge with a few lines from the hymn of the same name, and another chorus. Powerful ballad!
10 Walk Of Faith
Feature: Jeff Whisnant
Message: What do you think walking by faith means? Well, this song says it all begins when you kneel at the altar and feel His Spirit draw close to you. As life goes on you experience the mountains and valleys that heartaches and triumphs lead you through. My favorite line comes from the end of the first verse, “And I couldn’t see making a single one looking through these earthly eyes…” J The chorus says it all – it’s a walk of faith. Whether you’re following Jesus, trusting Him or being battered by the wind and storms; no matter what you encounter on the narrow way, it’s a walk of faith. The second verse goes on to recall some people who knew what walking by faith means…Moses and the Children of Israel as they walked through the Red Sea! Sometimes situations look like you’re trapped and there is no way out…until the Lord shows up!
Other Comments: This tune kicks off with a few lead guitars and lick on the piano – though it’s a new song written by Marsha Henry, it sounds like a good ole Southern Gospel number! When you hear it, I think you’ll agree that it is the perfect title for the project, it really does sum up what walking by faith means in three minutes!
11 Saved Is All You Have To Be
Feature: Susan Whisnant
Message: Have you ever thought, “My friend needs to hear about Jesus, I wish I could tell them, but I don’t feel qualified?” Then this lyric is for you! The first stanza begins by pointing out how many people we come in contact with that haven’t heard about the Gospel of Christ. Gathering the courage to start a conversation about Jesus can be challenging at first, but the chorus goes on to give us an encouraging word… Saved is all you have to be to share the Gospel. Degrees, philosophies, key words or eloquence aren’t required – God will provide every answer, all you need, is to know Him. The bridge continues to explain that there is nothing like a testimony from a child of God that expresses how He has changed them.
Other Comments: Like “Do You Know The Savior?” this song pulls you in and won’t let you go. Surrounded by strings and a piano, the music softly plays in the background as Susan sings. I love the depth the cellos give this piece. This song builds slowly and is unique in that Susan sings the verse, chorus and bridge by herself. It is one of my favorites from this CD and the message couldn’t be timelier than for today!
12 Healing Stream
Feature: Jeff Whisnant
Message: Gospel Music has had many popular songs called “Healing Stream” down through the years and I believe this one will soon join the ranks. I like the first line of the second verse that says, “And where sin abounds, this stream is deeper still…” The sinners and outcasts are bid to come. No one has a stain so bad that this flow can’t heal. All can plunge beneath this stream!
Other Comments: This tune is also very traditional in its style and caters to the Whisnants sound.
Conclusion: Walk of Faith is a must have – not just for people who like the Whisnants or Southern Gospel Music, but for every Believer on this earth dealing with the things life throws at them. These songs aren’t just songs; they’re experiences, they’re the things the heart desires to do and the truth that will summon the courage to step out in faith to do them. This CD is the Christian life in a nutshell. You can give this CD to any Believer and the songs will touch them. I think there are great things in store for this project and give it a five star rating!
Purchase Walk of Faith HERE.