Friday, June 23, 2006



The Wes King Tribute Project

Some of you may be very familiar with Wes King's music. I got the chance to go to a kicking-good concert some years ago at a roomy Baptist church in Fort Lauderdale. It had Wes, Phil Keaggy, and one of my top-fave-revered Christian acts, OUT OF THE GREY. I cannot tell you how good it was. I almost needed some duct tape to keep myself from exploding with delight.

Sadly, Wes King became ill. Burkitt's Lymphoma. If any of you have ever had a loved one undergo serious treatment for cancer, you know the treatment can be horrifying. It was for Wes. He's doing better, but I'm sure your prayers would do him much good.

So, lots of talented folks, friends of Wes and artists you may recognize, have covered a slew of Wes' songs to raise money for Wes and his family as he undergoes his treatments and recovery. You can help Wes with a donation/purchase.

And you can help yourself with some great, God-honoring tunes.

The CD is titled after a song by Wes and the purpose for the project:

Life Is Precious: A Wes King Tribute

I ordered it yesterday. My impressions based on the samples:

Luminous does a wonderful and fresh cover of "The Robe," perhaps my favorite Wes song in terms of how it makes me feel when I sing it. And this group is FANTASTIC. I tried to find a cd online by Luminous--cause I loved their sound--but they're in NZ and to order the cd is 30 bucks. Ouch. Still, I may order it all the same. Go here to sample their work.

The Shelley Moore Band does an impeccable job with "Did You Tremble?" Her vocals are reminiscent of Natalie Merchant with a hint of Jennifer Knapp, but Shelly didn't bore me the way Natalie tends to.

Kim Hill, one of my fave CCM artists, covers "By His Wounds." I think it's not Kim's best. It's a song that has lovely bits, though is not uniformly great, so I figure Kim did her best. Some fun guitar touches.

Scott Krippayne covers "Lazarus," which offers some awfully nice piano work.

Phil Keaggy adds his superb guitar work (as usual) in his cover of "Getting Used To The Darkness." His McCartneyish voice has aged into a deeper, less boyish sound, which I think suits the song.

Sarah Adams sanctifies "Holy" with her marvelous, moody interpretation. The slight break in her voice when she sings, "For when I see him, I shall be as He is," matches my own experience when I think about that longed-for-day.

SF-related/Fandom Note: I could envision this song on a Buffy TVS soundtrack. It's got that yearning-female-vocalist with an-atmospheric- arrangement sound. I love it.

You can sample more of her music at her site.

Amy's Confession adds a gorgeous interpretation of "In a Moment," a song you'll want to play in your car on a sunny day--if you can hit a long stretch of road. Program repeat. The bridge is a deliciously haunting thing.

Goodbye Audio unabashedly rocks out on "Since I Was A Kid." Garagey-band fun!

Paul Colman's cover of "Holy Ghost" makes me want to put on heels and walk like a video-babe up and down my living room. I've never been a babe and never will be (unless we get to be babes in Paradise.) But this song is so strutalicious, well, I can't help myself. : : fingers snapping : :

Another one to definitely try at the site: Brother Down's "Simflify."

I've gushed enough. Here's what I really didn't like:

Derek Webb's "I Believe," sounds less like he believes and more like he needs a nap. I have his excellent "She Must and Shall Go Free" on hubby's iPod. Listen to that, skip this one. (But buy the tribute cd!)

Cheri Keaggy's vocals on "Life Is Precious" didn't make me feel like life was a basket of rubies. It made me want inexpensive ear plugs.


If any of you out there are fans of Twila Paris--whose music I've loved since I was a fresh-faced 24 year-old--you'll want to hurry to give Carolyn Cavanagh a listen. (I discovered her through MySpace.) Sample "Worship You" and tell me if you wouldn't have thought Twila was singing had you not known otherwise?

My fave is "Make Me A Candle." The music rushes briskly and Carolyn's voice fits it perfectly--ethereal, vulnerable, but passionate. "Emmanuel" is a lovely addition to the Christmas catalog. "I Will Bow" makes me want to lower my body and praise God. It should fit nicely in many a church repertoire.

I was less blown away by the "Irish Blessing" that has so many others raving. I guess having listened to Rita Connolly and Connie Dover and Maire Brennan and Aine Furey and Iona and Capercaille for years has raised the "pretty Irish tune" bar for me. But if you liked that Titanic song, you'll like this one. Same feel.


If you like Kim Hill--and if you don't, what the heck is wrong with ya?--she's got a new cd called BROKEN THINGS

Kim's strong, "natural woman" vocals--that can do both country and rock effectively--are drenched with the power of a spiritual, but authentic woman who's got a guitar and knows how to strum it. Why this talented woman isn't more widely known, well, it's a mystery!


Sheryl said...

Oh my goodness ... I was at that same concert! What a small world :-) It was phenomenal. I remember being so awed by the guitar playing of all three guys: Wes, Phil & Scott Dente. Such tremendous talent with hearts for the Lord to top it all off. Christine's vocals were amazing too. It was a truly special experience.

Thanks for letting us know about the tribute CD. I'm purchasing one right away.


Camy Tang said...

I totally want to get this tribute CD. Thanks for the review!

Mirtika said...

Welcome. And Sheryl, now neat we were at the same concert.

I wish OUT OF THE GREY came down here more often and were faster in putting out cds. :) But I understand family's gotta come first and touring is insane if you've got kids.