Kenny and Amanda Smith Band
4 stars (out of 5)
Former Lonesome River Band guitarist Kenny Smith began recording this project directly following the death of his father in a farming accident, and and knowing that makes this Gospel album, which is dedicated to his memory, poignant, relevant and touching. Even with, or perhaps because of, the somber inspiration, Tell Someone is a fun jaunt through familiar and new gospel songs, uplifting rather than sorrowful.
The Kenny & Amanda Smith Band is made up of Smith on vocals and guitar and wife Amanda on vocals, with Jason Robertson on mandolin, Jason Davis on banjo, and Zachary McLamb on bass. Vocalist Wayne Winkle and fiddler Daniel Carwile each guest on about half of the album’s 13 tracks.
Frequently called upon guest artist Rhonda Vincent adds her vocals the the mix on the upbeat opening number “Shoutin’ Time,” one of my favorites on the disc. Other standouts include the festive standard “Stepping on the Clouds”and the lovely, dreamlike “Angels Calling at My Door.” New compositions for this album “Mary Had a Little Boy,” “Till I Get Home,” and “I Know Why.”
Kenny, Amanda and the rest of the musicians poured a great deal of passion and heart into this offering; you can hear the energy and emotion put into every note. The sounds are delicate, harmony-filled, and peaceful, with Amanda’s smooth, angelic voice perfectly complimenting the instrumentals like a mountain stream on a quiet, windless day. This is a beautiful, endearing album, a fitting tribute to a father who served as such an influence on a son’s musical dreams.
by Katy Leonard