Country Faith is a multi-faceted brand that celebrates the heart and soul of Country Music. It was launched by award-winning author/columnist Deborah Evans Price to provide country artists with a platform to share their faith. Their Hymns album is a compilation of some of the world’s best loved hymns performed by some of the greatest country music legends of all time, including Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, and Randy Travis. Every song contained here is a classic.
The bluesy guitar work and honkey tonk piano on the opening track is down-home amazing as Willie Nelson sings about the future we have in heaven in “Uncloudy Days.” Johnny Cash’s throaty vocal mixed with the Carter Family’s choral stylings make “Were You There” one of the more memorable tracks on the album.
Vince Gill and Amy Grant give a powerful performance on “Rock of Ages” with the Hammond B-3 organ and steel guitar undertones, while Hanks Williams’ classic, “I Saw The Light,” sounds just as fresh as it did when it was first released in 1948.
Randy Travis’ voice is unmistakable as he wraps up the album in fine style with the acoustic version of “Blessed Assurance.” The fiddles, penny whistle, and 12-string guitar give this song sparkle and a true country feel. I could see Randy and his band sitting out on the porch at sunset praising God with this on a summer evening.
There is something special about listening to these old hymns done in a classic country way that hearkens one back to the foundations of our church in this country. Christian country music began as a combination of cowboy music, early mountain music, and music from the southern plantations from those who sang about God’s grace and love amidst persecution and slavery. There is beauty, history, and true heartfelt worship in these songs that should never be forgotten.
If your church does a country-western service, these will fit nicely into your worship. But even if you don’t, I challenge you to throw in one of these classics with similar instrumentation. You might be surprised what happens.