Here is a wonderful concept that turns out to be something of a roller coaster ride. For Kenny struggles with his singing voice when it comes to some of the slower ballads. His voice has never been what you would term as choirboy-like and there is nothing wrong with that and his smoky toned singing being something of an ‘acquired taste’.
Great though his versions of material he grew up with that he recalls family members singing (and playing on the porch) Rogers doesn’t always do the newer material justice. For the songs ‘Peace’ (Beth Nielson Chapman, Michael McDonald), Brice Henderson’s ‘He Showed Me Love’ (steeped in piano (John Jarvis) and ‘Grace’ (Michael W. Smith, Martin Smith) lack the presence of the traditional favourites. Which is natural enough, but there are times he is found straining for notes unsuitable for him to leave me cold. That off my chest, and comes as warning not as a direct rebuff of his applaud erstwhile efforts.
The above out of the way I do, particularly enjoy his powerful handling of ‘What A Friend We Have In Jesus’, ‘Will The Circle Be Unbroken’ and ‘I’ll Fly Away’ that sees him joined by The Whites (Buck, Sheryl and Sharon) and don’t they sound great. As for ‘Let’ The Circle Be Unbroken’ a song his father used to play on the fiddle a rich choir of voices lend support to him and musicians Bryan Sutton (mandolin, banjo), Tony Harrell (harmonium). ‘In The Sweet By And By’ has Rogers in relaxed mode as he is joined by country duo, Winfield’s Locket (Leslie Martin, Brooke Martin). Plus you have Larry Franklin (fiddle), Jerry Douglas (Dobro), Jarvis (piano) and Viktor Krauss (bass), Steve Brewster (drums, percussion) and choice of guitarists Mark Casstevens, Brent Mason and Pat Buchanan and steel player Russ Pahl who help weave a wonderful, tight tapestry of sound.
Of the newer material his version of ‘Circle Of Friends’ (Douglas McKelvey, Steve Siler) featuring the fine work of vocal group Point Of Grace with it’s impassioned chorus not only suits Rogers’ singing but with fine use of organ, steel guitar etc it is a Rogers’ biggie (and I feel way better than much of the saccharine flavoured of material he his millions with!)
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