Hear The Track HereThis is the third time I have reviewed something by Christian Rock artist Ron Gragg. Firstly as part of the Soundclick project that became the track from Cam's Even Song - Praise The Name Of The Lord (January 2007) and secondly in his own right with Bang Bang (July 2008). I've found a few things to quibble about but overall these things are as much a matter of taste as opinion anyway. The God I know and love made music the only language I'd ever need so who am I to say right or wrong. As you may have suspected, I am getting all sweaty in the pulpit because - above all things - it is time to get down (yeah!) on my knees (oh yeah) and pray (amen) I said pray (amen) that I get the tone of this review right.
(Ed: yeah, way to go Gilmore. The instinct of a bull moose.)
Nothing But The Blood is Ron's interpretation of the Robert Lowry hymn first published in 1876 and popularised lately by Jars Of Clay. This is obviously a peice of music dear to Ron's heart because it appears he has unearthed the original (longer) version that somehow got changed in most modern church hymnals. When reviewing Bang Bang I gave Ron a bit of grief about the tentative nature of the vocals and I don't have any problems on that score with this track. In fact, the vocals (and lyrics) are the star turn in this deceptively simple arrangement, and it is rightly given centre stage. His growly, laconic vocals are a treat to behold.
For me the true test of how good the track is, especially when listening to something of this nature, is how will it appeal to someone who doesn't like hymns and think most Christian Rock is pants? Well, if you took no notice of the lyrics or the songs original provenance, even the most hard hearted cynic would have to admit that - if nothing else - this treatment is a very good peice of musical work. On that basis I have to say I liked this immensely because it shows respect in all the right places, and a warm, welcoming sound that this artist should be proud of.
Highly Recommended treatment of a classic hymn.