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  Songs From the Longleaf Pines
Artist: The Charlie Daniels Band
Label: Koch Records  
Length: 13 Tracks / 32:21

After a career that has spanned over 40 years, Charlie Daniels releases his 45th album, _Songs From the Longleaf Pines_.  This new project is a collection of gospel/bluegrass songs, including "Preachin', Prayin', Singin'," "Keep On the Sunny Side," as well as old familiar hymns "Softly and Tenderly," "How Great Thou Art," and "I'll Fly Away" (Instrumental).

Having been in the industry so long, Daniels has built up a loyal following and those fans will not be disappointed.  This album may earn him some new fans even if this doesn't sound like his normal projects. This album is a good introduction to gospel/bluegrass music for those who are not familiar with this genre since it features some of the top musicians in gospel/bluegrass music.  

After opening with a recitation of John 3:16, the album launches into "Walking In Jerusalem (Just Like John)".  This opening track sets the feel for the project with its nimble strings playing and catchy vocals.  This song will have people clapping their hands and stomping their feet, which will continue through the second track.  The album slows down a bit for "I've Found a Hiding Place."

Highlights of this album include "Softly and Tenderly" and the instrumental track "I'll Fly Away."  One of the unique features of this project is the frequent recitation of various Bible passages including John 3:16, which opens the album; "The 91st Psalm," and "The 23rd Psalm."  These recitations show a sweet and calming side to Daniels' voice that will make listeners long to hear him recite more of the Word of God.

This is a solid album that fans of Daniels will enjoy as will fans of gospel/bluegrass.  Others should pick this album up for those times when they just feel like listening to something different from their usual music fare.

Burton Wray April 23, 2005



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