Since 2012 The Gospel Plowboys have been dedicated to sharing the message of Jesus Christ through song. Based in Concord, North Carolina, the group’s fourth album, Still Standing, features mostly original material with a couple of traditional favorites sprinkled in.
The first two tracks, Dallas and Don’t You Want To Go, were both written by guitarist Michael Jenkins. The former is a story song that moves along at a smooth pace, while the latter is an upbeat number describing the anticipation of entering the gates of Heaven.
Along with Jenkins on guitar and vocals, the Gospel Plowboys also consist of Andrew and David Brown on bass and mandolin respectively, Kris Miller on vocals, Alec McCallister on fiddle, and Peden Williams on banjo. Chris Burton is featured on banjo on Don’t You Want To Go as well as Why Not Now.
What Would You Do For Jesus Now was co-written by the group’s founder David Murph, along with Andy Murph. The vocal harmony on this particular track is first rate and really gets the message of Christ’s sacrifice across even more effectively.
As mentioned earlier, this recording does contain two Gospel standards. Just A Little Talk with Jesus is performed with a really great rhythmic groove and smooth vocal harmony. The group’s rendition of I’ll Fly Away is rendered very traditionally. It’s a well done rendition.
Let the Lord Fight Your Battles, written by Rick Lang, contains a hopeful message of calling on the Lord for help when times get challenging. The song’s melodic content has strength and confidence that fits well alongside Lang’s written words.
The title track, Still Standing, by Kris Miller is the most moving piece on the recording. With its lyrics detailing how to continue going forward in life after losing a loved one, this song hits home for a lot of listeners, and I’m sure for the Gospel Plowboys who have continued their mission after the passings of founding members David Murph in 2017 and John Goodson in 2019.
Like every working band, the Gospel Plowboys have experienced ups, downs, good times and bad times. Still Standing is more than a song and an album title. It’s a testimony of where the group is now. No matter what challenges they’ve faced, they’ve continued their work of ministering through picking and singing. This project exemplifies that calling.