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Saturday, June 13, 2015

On their official website The Chapelaires state that their main purpose “has been to introduce people to their Saviour, Jesus, and to encourage Christians who have become discouraged as they walk through storms and valleys in their lives”. The group’s most recent album is LEGACY OF FAITH (2015). In the liner notes they say the following of the album’s title:

“We are so thankful that we were all blessed to have Christian parents who shared their faith with us. We thank God for the glorious legacy of faith we have in Christ. The songs that we have chosen speak directly to the Faith we live day by day”.

David Jackson started the group back in 1968 as a male quartet. He sings bass. Sheila married him in 1974 and joined the group then. Myrna Hand joined in 2004. Over the years she has performed with the likes of The Singing Canadians and The Viscounts. Lastly, Phil Pugh was born in Richmond Hill, Ontario in 1977. His influences are Motown, R&B, Blues, Black Gospel, and Southern Gospel.

LEGACY OF FAITH was recorded, mixed, mastered, and produced by Tim Schwindt at River Music Productions in London, Ontario. The graphic design was capably handled by Kathy Daw at Summit Sound, Inc.

Sanford F. Bennett and Joseph P. Webster’s well known ‘In the Sweet By and By’ is up first. Here, it has a breezy, easy listening feel to it and paints a picture of a happy ending for believers:

“There’s a land that is fairer than day/And by faith we can see it a-far/For the Father waits over the way/To prepare us a dwelling place there/In the sweet by and by/We shall meet on that beautiful shore/In the sweet by and by/We shall meet on that beautiful shore”.

‘All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name’ is a hymn of praise that appropriately has an all around majestic feel to it:

“All hail the power of Jesus’ Name/Let angels prostrate fall/Bring forth the royal diadem and crown Him Lord of all (2X)…/Let every kindred, every tribe on this terrestrial ball/To Him all majesty ascribe and crown Him Lord of all (2X)”.

William J. And Gloria Gaither wrote ‘I Do Believe’. It is a wonderful, gentle ballad of personal faith:

“I do believe You are the One/The home I’ve longed to find/My only hope/God’s only Son/I do believe/I touch, I see/That all along/You’ve longed to be/My Lord, my God”.

‘He Keeps Me Singing’ is an upbeat country gospel testimonial:

“Feasting on the riches of His grace/Resting ‘neath His shelt’ring/Always looking on His smiling face/That is why I shout and sing/Jesus, Jesus, Jesus/Sweetest Name I know/Fills my every longing/Keeps me singing as I go”.

‘The Risen Lamb’ is a pretty ballad that anticipates life in Heaven:

“When I see the the risen Lamb I’ll be complete/When I meet the One who gave His life that day on Calvary/I’ll bow down and worship at the feet of the risen Lamb/I’m waiting for the moment when I hear that trumpet sound/When the Father says to Jesus ‘Go get My children now’/There’ll be no more sin or sorrow, no more burden, no more pain/In that day of His returning, I will look upon His face”.

‘The Blood Medley’ runs over seven minutes long and is a real treat performed with a celebratory country twang. One of the four songs included is ‘There is Power in the Blood’ written by Lewis E. Jones in 1899. These lyrics will make some skeptics scoff:

“Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?/There’s power in the blood, power in the blood/Sins stains are lost in its life giving flow/There’s wonderful power in the blood/Would you do service for Jesus your King?/There’s power in the blood, power in the blood/Would you live daily His praises to sing?/There’s wonderful power in the blood”.

‘Tradin’ the Old Cross’ is a happy sounding Southern Gospel song of spiritual determination that makes good use of horns:

“I started out with a made up mind to one day cross the finish line/I’m pressing toward the mark and for the prize/At times I’ve had to stand my ground and Satan’s tried to turn me around/But I will not be hindered by his lies/No, I’m not gonna walk away, I’ve got too much at stake/I’ve come too far to turn back now/Every battle that I have fought will soon be forgot/And I’m trading this ole cross in for a crown”.

Jim Brady and Rodney Griffin wrote ‘He Can Move that Stone’ in 2009. Many a believer will relate to these thoughts:

“Sometimes it seems God’s forgotten me/Does He really care?/Is He aware of my every need?/Then I recall His Word/He controls this earth/What He brings me to He’ll bring me through/That’s good enough for me”.

Gerald Crabb wrote ‘The Cross’. It is a moving, inspirational ballad that reflects on a pivotal historic event:

“There was a cross made for the Son of God at Calvary/Two pieces of rough timber on a hill/Through His hands and through His feet/He took the nails for you and me/Angels watched as He died for the lost/Though He could have walked away, He chose the cross”.

‘Be Still My Soul’ is a solemn sounding song of spiritual self-talk:

“Be Still my soul, the Lord is on thy side/Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain/Leave to thy God to order and provide/In every change, He faithful will remain/Be still my soul, thy best, thy heav’nly Friend/Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end”.

With LEGACY OF FAITH Ontario, Canada’s The Chapelaires have released a strong and memorable album of gospel music that should appeal to various age groups. The harmonies are tight, the vocal solos are spot on, and I really enjoy David Jackson’s bass parts. The instrumentation is beautiful. If you enjoy Southern Gospel music with straight forward, Christ-glorifying lyrics, this album is a must have! I’m rating LEGACY OF FAITH 95%.