High Fidelity live up to their name when it comes to proclaiming their faith, and love of making music. As its title implies, Music In My Soul is spawned from devout devotion, and the sounds that emanate from the core of their beliefs and their astute instrumental acumen. The band — comprised of Jeremy Stephens (guitar, banjo, vocals), Corrina Rose Logston Stephens (fiddle, vocals), Kurt Stephenson (banjo, guitar, vocals), Dante Amick (mandolin, guitar, vocals), and Vicki Vaughn (bass, vocals) — are a tight-knit quintet, and while this marks their first gospel record overall, they’ve clearly mastered the music, and found a way to express themselves in ways that reflect their dedication and devotion.
That said, they’re also able to relay a sound plied from a traditional tapestry and any number of archival influences. The 14 songs shared here come from the pens of several standard-bearers, Ralph Stanley and Jim & Jesse prime among them. Corrina Rose Logston Stephens’ upbeat and emphatic The Mighty Name of Jesus is the only band original, but it easily stands up to the high bar set by the standards.
As one might expect, these songs are celebratory in tone, with the rousing I’m Ready To Go providing enticement to the faithful to join a journey home. I’ll Be No Stranger There, Are You Lost In Sin, and My Lord Is Taking Me Home are equally infectious when it comes to conveying the promise of greater glories in the hereafter. Banjo, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and naturally mesh perfectly in sync, but the group’s high harmonies also make a formidable impression, both in harmony and with call and response.
Given the fact the group won the International Band Championship from SPBGMA their first year out in 2014, and then five years later, were nominated for the International Bluegrass Association’s New Artist of the Year, it’s hardly a surprise to find them operating with a full flourish. Even so, the band’s cohesive delivery comes across as both reliable and remarkable. Their’s is a formidable approach that not only conveys feelings, but finesse as well.
I Need the Prayers, We’re Living In the Last Days Now, The Darkest Hour Is Just Before Dawn, Walking With My Savior, and the a cappella I’m A Pilgrim prove that point, effective mid-tempo entries that prove equally emphatic sans the deeper arrangements that characterize the album’s driving deliberation. On the other hand, when they delve into an instrumental, in this case a song titled There Is Power in the Blood, their instrumental acumen becomes clear. The slower stride taken by My Lord Keeps A Record is especially affecting.
Ultimately, Music In My Soul is an album that’s destined to become a standard of sorts, a set of songs that are comforting in their caress. In the process, it leaves little doubt that its title rings true.