There’s A Rainbow Somewhere – The Songs of Randy Stonehill
With There’s A Rainbow Somewhere – The Songs of Randy Stonehill, a large gathering of artists contributed to an album celebrating the singer/songwriter/humorist Randy Stonehill’s fifty years of creating memorable and compelling Christian music. Many of the industry’s biggest artists, including Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant, recorded favorite Stonehill songs for the project. The album also includes some of Uncle Randy’s most noteworthy artistic collaborators, such as Terry Scott Taylor and Phil Keaggy. The result is a nearly overwhelming selection of newly interpreted Stonehill music.
This album’s standout track (on a record with multiple standouts) is Bob Bennett and Honeytree’s duet on “First Prayer.” It’s still one of the best musical/lyrical firsthand depictions of the conversion experience, and these two seasoned performers sound wonderful vocalizing together while backed by Matt Nelson’s expressive cello. It’s followed by the song with, perhaps, Stonehill’s best ever lyric–“Rachel Delevoryas.” Mike (77s) Roe sings it wonderfully, with just a touch of a cry in his voice. This sadly beautiful story song — about bullying, before bullying was even a national issue—is made all the more potent and touching due to Rob Watson’s heartfelt string arrangement. It’s reminiscent of the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” in all the right ways.
Most of this album goes down easy sonically, with few exceptions. One of the more challenging tracks is the somewhat noisy and borderline avant-garde “Puppet Strings” by Fleming & John. It feels at times like this one might break out into some kind of noise rock, but only really threatens to do so. Everything here is well worth a listen, though, except, maybe, Tim Hawkins’ “Barbie Nation.” He does a good job on it, but because it sounds so much like the original, this overly reverent imitation renders it relatively unnecessary. Oh, and while Kevin Max is perfectly cast to perform “Lung Cancer,” this anti-smoking rocker is not one of Stonehill’s best.
All in all, though, it’s wonderful to have this worthy tribute to Randy Stonehill, who is, without question, one of Christian music’s very best.
YouTube Album Sampler:
Spotify Album Playlist:
There’s A Rainbow Somewhere Track list:
1 – Phil Keaggy ‘Lazarus Heart’
2 – Sara Groves ‘Born To Love’
3 – Michael W. Smith ‘I’ve Got News For You’
4 – Jars Of Clay ‘Broken Places’
5 – Sixpence None The Richer ‘King Of Hearts’
6 – Andrew Peterson ‘Charlie The Weatherman’
7 – Tim Hawkins ‘Barbie Nation’
8 – Kevin Max ‘Lung Cancer’
9 – Matthew Ward ‘Until Your Love Broke Through’
10 – Amy Grant ‘Old Clothes’
11 – Russ Taff ‘Remember My Name’
12 – Michael Gungor ‘Wonderama’
13 – Ashley Cleveland ‘Keep Me Runnin”
14 – Dave Perkins ‘Hope Of Glory’
15 – Terry Scott Taylor ‘Lantern In The Snow’
16 – The Choir ‘The Last Time I Saw Eden’
17 – Steve Taylor ‘Fire’
18 – Bob Bennett & Honeytree ‘First Prayer’
19 – Michael Roe ‘Rachel Delevoryas’
20 – Julie & Buddy Miller ‘That’s Why We Don’t Love God’
21 – Lost Dogs ‘The Glory & The Flame’
22 – Fleming & John ‘Puppet Strings’
23 – Phil Keaggy & Friends ‘I Love You’ (Bonus Track)
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