Randi Travis – Hymns
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek
This may be Randy Travis’ second gospel album in three years, but that doesn’t make it redundant.Travis, like George Jones, Merle Haggard, and George Strait, could sing the back of a can of peas and make it sound inspired. When the material he takes on is the absolute core of country gospel and public domain spirituals, the result is nothing less than soul-stirring, powerful, honest, and truly beautiful. Here Travis takes on the reverential hymns such as ”How Great Thou Art,” ”Peace In The Valley,” ”Room at the Cross For You,” and ”In The Garden,” and makes them sound fresh and new. They are startling in their intensity and bare bones homage. In addition, the great nuggets of country gospel, such as ”The Unclouded Day,” ”Will The Circle Be Unbroken,” and ”I’ll Fly Away,” are taken back to the country church where they came from. From the bluesy, honky tonk alleyway, Travis sings songs from the cannon like ”He’s My Rock, My Sword, My Shield,” and ”Just A Closer Walk With Thee.” He reports from the dancefloor as the barroom clock is crossing over from Saturday night into Sunday morning. This is direct, unfiltered, hard-line gospel at its best, by a master.