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JFH Staff Review


Steven Curtis Chapman, Deeper Roots: Where the Bluegrass Grows
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Steven Curtis Chapman
Deeper Roots: Where the Bluegrass Grows



Artist Info: Discography
Genre(s): Bluegrass
Album length: 13 tracks: 46 minutes, 44 seconds
Street Date: March 22, 2019


READER RATING:   


Steven Curtis Chapman isn’t looking to reinvent the wheel with Deeper Roots: Where the Bluegrass Grows. Rather, as the title suggests, it is an homage to the bluegrass history of Kentucky and the Chapman family — similar to the original, 2013 Cracker Barrel exclusive, Deep Roots. The presence of Ricky Skaggs on the album really cements it in true bluegrass form with one of the genre's biggest names. From front to back, the project is filled with reimagined covers of Chapman's previous work and classic hymns with only a couple original tracks.

What this outing lacks in groundbreaking innovation however, it makes up for by the comfort and joy provided to the listener in a sort of “chicken soup for the soul” style presentation of familiar melodies and themes. The few new additions that are offered flow well with the rest of the album both sonically and thematically. A listen all the way through provides a warm and safe experience — both a sense of familiarity for the listener, and creative safety.

It would have been nice to see more risks taken with the bluegrass renditions of the classic material, but those influences are so present in Chapman’s work naturally that the majority of the album doesn’t come across as very much of a stretch. No single part of the album stands out as poor, though, either. There are great tracks to be found here, such as the duet with Rascal Flatts’ Gary Levox, “‘Til the Blue,” but taken in full, the album isn’t particularly noteworthy. While the choice to avoid any major risks feels intentional, it is at least a little bit disappointing.

Deeper Roots is a good album. There is plenty to like here if you have an affinity for Steven Curtis Chapman or this genre. Respect is given to every rendition of the historical tracks picked for the record, and it all comes together for a cohesive adventure. Don’t expect any surprises or twists, but if you are looking for an easy listen that goes down smoothly, there is joy to be had Where the Bluegrass Grows.

- Review date: 3/21/19, written by Michael Knipp of Jesusfreakhideout.com

 

JFH Staff's Additional 2 Cents


    Steven Curtis Chapman's return to bluegrass with Deeper Roots shows audiences the genre in its finest form. The good mix of upbeat songs with contemplative tunes and a heaping helping of family and friends to aid in the process, speaks to the strengths of bluegrass. Some song choices seem like missteps (did we need another rendition of "I'll Fly Away"?) and some of the special versions of his previous songs don't translate well in this new mould, but overall, this is a solid effort that longtime fans of Chapman and the genre should enjoy. - 3/21/19 John Underdown

 

 

. Record Label: None (SCSEE Music)
. Album length: 13 tracks: 46 minutes, 44 seconds
. Street Date: March 22, 2019
. Buy It: iTunes

  1. Where The Bluegrass Grows (3:16)
  2. Dive (feat. Ricky Skaggs) (3:28)
  3. 'Til the Blue (feat. Gary LeVox) (4:17)
  4. Cinderella (5:35)
  5. Victory in Jesus (feat. Herb Chapman Sr and Herb Chapman Jr) (3:42)
  6. Great Is Thy Faithfulness (with Herb Chapman Sr and Herb Chapman Jr) (2:48)
  7. My Redeemer Is Faithful and True (3:21)
  8. How Great Thou Art (feat. Jillian Edwards Chapman) (4:48)
  9. Life Is Like A Mountain Railway (feat. Herb Chapman Sr and Herb Chapman Jr) (3:57)
  10. I'll Fly Away (2:58)
  11. Without Him (feat. Herb Chapman Sr and Herb Chapman Jr) (3:12)
  12. Be Still and Know (feat. Caleb Chapman) (3:00)
  13. I'd Rather Have Jesus (feat. Herb Chapman Sr) (2:29)

 

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