Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The James Rainey Trio Higher Ground CD Review

A few years ago, my sisters and I went on our first Singing at Sea, the annual Christian cruise that many of our readers have probably heard of or even been on. One of the highlights of that cruise was the Parade of Pianos showcase that featured pianists from several groups as well as some soloist pianists. That was, I believe, our first time seeing James Rainey, and over the past few years, we have become friends with James and his lovely wife Laura. We were excited when they announced they were working on a new album which just released recently, and we were thrilled to hear the finished project! We've had the pleasure of seeing James and Laura in concert, but this was our first chance to hear the actual trio, which is comprised of James, Laura, and Berdella McGrew.

This new album is titled Higher Ground and features some familiar classics as well as brand new songs. It kicks off with the title track, Higher Ground, (not the hymn we immediately think of, but a song by Rebecca Peck). This song is an encouragement to all of us to not get content where we are but to keep growing, keep moving forward in the Christian life.

When I Wake Up is a song that's typically thought of as a quartet song, but this trio version is just perfect!  Upbeat, happy, and reminds us that there is a better day coming when all our trials will be over.

Heaven's Harbor is also penned by the talented Rebecca Peck, and this is one of my favorites. We may go through harder trials or more troubles than we ever imagined, but there is a harbor of eternal safety awaiting us.

Unshakable Rock is a great song for when you may be feeling discouraged or down. It reminds us that our foundation is unmovable and no matter what we face, we can take our stand in the Lord and have no need to worry or fear.

I'll Follow You is probably my favorite song on the album. It's a simple message, yet one that we so easily forget in our day to day life - the need to simply follow Christ and not stress over what's going on around us. "To identify the path is not important, it's to know just what this journey's leading toward." We all need this truth brought to mind on a regular basis!

The Lord Is Good is a song I first heard quite a few years ago and it never gets old. The Lord has truly been good to me, first and foremost by saving me but in so many other ways, He has blessed beyond measure!

Lean On Me reminds us that the Lord is ever near, our strength when we're weak and our comforter when we're sad.

Oh I Want To See Him is a song we've often sung in church and I love hearing this talented trio sing it! What a day it will be when we actually get to see the One who died for us!

The Hand Of The Lord is another song I love. So often, we look at everything going on around us that we can't control, but if we hold to God's Hand, we're holding on to the One who does control it all.

Sure Sounds Good To Me has that pure, classic, 100% Southern Gospel sound. "When I hear about heaven, it sure sounds good to me" is exactly right when we see the condition of the world right now!

Thank God I Am Free is another classic that everybody will surely know, but the message is just as potent now as it ever was. Thank God for the freedom He gave us at salvation! No more shame and guilt over our past, our sins were paid for and forgiven!

Thank God I'm Saved is the final song on this album and it's a great reminder that we're not who we used to be. It draws from the account of Saul/Paul in the Scriptures and emphasizes the fact that when we are born again, we become a new creature in Christ.

Higher Ground is an album that is chock-full of refreshing Gospel music. As I've listened to the album over the past several days, I realized there's a main theme of encouragement that is much needed today. With all the mess going on in the world, disappointments, troubles, trials, and our own personal failures, it's easy to get discouraged and forget that we know the One in control, we know the One who sees all, and He forgave and forgot our sins at the moment we turned to Him. Higher Ground is an album you will be playing over and over, just like we have been!

Head on over to the Rainey's website where you can purchase your own copy of Higher Ground!  You can also keep up with them on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to check out their event schedule!

1 comment:

  1. This is by far one of the best albums produced by The Raineys. I am in love with the selections especially Heaven's Harbor. With the addition of Burdella and her rich vibraint tone , I do believe that have found a perfect harmonious tone that is so pleasing to listen to. I am eager to hear more from the Trip.