Gardens in the Sky: The Bluegrass Gospel of James King

Gardens in the Sky: The Bluegrass Gospel of James King

by James KingJames King


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It may seem like James King's catalog isn't quite deep enough yet to justify a compilation, but this is actually a very effective and well-chosen program of gospel tracks taken from his own Rounder solo albums as well as his work with Longview, along with a couple of selections from the Doobie Shea collection The Stanley Gospel Tradition: Songs About Our Savior. The gospel genre offers an opportunity to recognize and appreciate even more fully the unique quality of James King's voice, which is darker and richer than the "high lonesome" bluegrass norm. Lonesome he is, but he sings in a lower register than is usually expected; on songs like "Garden in the Sky" (a dead-child tearjerker sung as a beautiful duet with Dudley Connell), the stark "Jerusalem Tomorrow," and the Southern gospel classic "Just as the Sun Went Down" his voice firmly anchors the reedy mountain harmonies that are provided by others. This being a bluegrass gospel compilation, there are a few inevitable moments of maudlin sentimentality (the line between emotion and spirit always being a fuzzy one in this particular tradition), most of them involving dying children and their mothers, but even those are consistently easy on the ear. There's nothing forward-looking or innovative here -- just lots of good, solid, meat-and-potatoes bluegrass gospel music that is sure to feed the receptive heart and soul. Highly recommended.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/20/2008
Label: Rounder / Umgd
UPC: 0011661059528
catalogNumber: 610595
Rank: 72036


  1. Will He Wait a Little Longer
  2. The Darkest Hour Is Just Before Dawn
  3. I Just Steal Away and Pray
  4. Daddy Doesn't Pray Anymore
  5. Garden in the Sky
  6. Jerusalem Tomorrow
  7. It's Hot Down Here
  8. Sweeter Than the Flowers
  9. Don't Worry Mama
  10. The Touch of God's Hand
  11. These Old Pictures
  12. Just as the Sun Went Down
  13. Message for Peace
  14. Angels Are Singing (In Heaven Tonight)
  15. The Prettiest Flowers Will Be Blooming
  16. Voice of My Savior
  17. Will You Feel at Home
  18. Happy I'll Be

Album Credits

Performance Credits

James King   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Rhonda Vincent   Baritone (Vocal)
Glen Duncan   Fiddle
Mike Compton   Mandolin
Tim Austin   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Barry Bales   Bass
Dudley Connell   Guitar,Vocals,Baritone (Vocal),Tenor (Vocal),Vocal Harmony
David Wallace McLaughlin   Mandolin
Jason Moore   Bass,Bass (Vocal)
Marshall Wilborn   Bass
Aubrey Haynie   Fiddle
Don Rigsby   Mandolin,Vocals,Baritone (Vocal),Tenor (Vocal)
John Wade   Bass,Baritone (Vocal)
James Alan Shelton   Guitar
Joe Mullins   Banjo
Doug Bartlett   Mandolin,Tenor (Vocal)
Adam Poindexter   Banjo,Guitar,Baritone (Vocal)
Craig Robert Smith   Banjo
Paul Williams   Mandolin,Vocals,Tenor (Vocal)
Jerry McNeely   Bass,Bass (Vocal)
Kevin Prater   Guitar,Mandolin,Rhythm Guitar,Baritone (Vocal),Tenor (Vocal)
Tim Smith   Fiddle
Ben Greene   Banjo,Baritone (Vocal)
Jason Carter   Fiddle
Dan Tyminski   Mandolin,Tenor (Vocal)

Technical Credits

Ralph Stanley   Composer
James King   Composer
Ray Park   Composer
Vern Williams   Composer
David Olney   Composer
Dudley Connell   Author
Jimmy Martin   Composer
Ervin T. Rouse   Composer
Carter Stanley   Composer
Albert E. Brumley   Composer
Marian Leighton Levy   Liner Notes
Lois Mann   Composer
Morry Burns   Composer
James Eubanks   Composer
Tim McGuire   Tray Photo
Traditional   Composer
Marlin Eubanks   Composer
Hazel Houser   Composer
Chris Stapleton   Composer

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