There’s been an awful lot of good music coming from the hills of east Tennessee lately, particularly in the area around the small town of Cumberland Gap. That’s in large part thanks to Steve Gulley, whose Curve Studio is located there. One of the latest bands to emerge from the area is Crosspoint, a contemporary bluegrass Gospel group who have recently released We’re Gonna Rise, their first project for the Rural Rhythm Christian label.
Gulley’s touch can be found throughout the project, which was recorded at his studio. He served as producer and co-engineer, and served as a co-writer for the title track. The band’s style is also fairly similar to the type of music Gulley has become known for – a nice mixture of traditional and contemporary sounds, complete with solid vocals and musicianship, and often faith-based.
There are several band originals on the album, including three written by guitarist Gary Kidwell. The co-write with Gulley is one of those. It’s a mid-tempo number reflecting on Jesus’ return and the rapture of Christians to heaven – a popular subject throughout various types of religious music, and this is a pleasant, enjoyable take on the topic. Mercy and Grace has a nice 90’s country sound, relating the singer’s thankfulness for salvation. Glory Bound also emphasizes the importance of salvation, set to an uptempo, modern traditional melody.
Another original comes from mandolin player Steve Partin. Lord Do a Work in Me rejoices in God’s love and asks for the Lord’s daily guidance. Coal Miner’s Prayer is the final original on the album, written by dobro player Cleve May. The song tells the story of an old miner who has given his whole life to his job but finally decides to give things over to the Lord. It’s very fitting for a band based in Appalachia, and has a clever hook: “While digging for coal, this old man found gold.”
>Additional highlights on the album include the banjo-guided, traditional Let’s Praise Him, which is a great choice for an opening track, and Talk With Your Heart, which was written by Cumberland Gap Connection’s Mike Bentley. It reminds listeners that accepting Christ is a two-way street – that we have to listen when Jesus speaks to us. The closing track, I Dreamed I Drove the Nails, is also well-done. Listeners may remember it from the David Parmley & Continental Divide version from several years back. Crosspoint does a fine rendition here, with tight harmonies on the chorus.
Though this is Crosspoint’s first venture into the national bluegrass scene, they are a skilled band. Members Partin, Kidwell, May, Alan Powers (banjo), and Daniel Oxendine (bass) come together to form a tight group. Contributions from guests Gulley, Stuart Wyrick, and Justin Moses also add to the album. Fans of contemporary bluegrass Gospel will likely enjoy We’re Gonna Rise.
For more information on Crosspoint, visit them on Facebook. Their new album can be purchased from several online music retailers.