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No Other Name

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2008 1 Apr
No Other Name
Sounds like … worshipful southern rock and blues in the vein of Mama's Pride, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Charlie Daniels, and the Allman Brothers BandAt a glance … Soulful, vertical, unabashed, and classic all in one, No Other Name has all the makings of a veteran rocker coming to terms with faithTrack Listing Everything I Need God Will Make a Way Trust in the Lord No Other God Like Mine Change the World Isaiah 61 Oh How Wonderful No Other Name Look at What You've Done for Me Amazing Grace Why So Downcast Holy Spirit You Are Welcome

The latest veteran to make a switch to faith-based music is Danny Liston, a singer and guitarist who made his rounds in the music circuit in the group Mama's Pride, a Southern rock outfit that shared the stage with the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Wet Willie, and the Allman Brothers Band. But being the son of an alcoholic, not to mention numerous gigs with Southern rock's greatest bands, got the best of Liston, who drank heavily and abused drugs as part of his high-flight lifestyle. It took a head-on encounter with God at a church service that he begrudgingly attended to completely turn his life around.

Recorded at the illustrious Ardent Studios in Memphis, No Other Name is Liston's first Christian release, the final notch in his road to recovery and embrace of Christianity. While it's been many years since Liston's conversion, listening to this collection of faith declarations is almost akin to listening to someone who's just begun to taste and see God's goodness. There are absolutely no pretenses about where this seasoned musician is on his Christian walk, and that's a good thing: he's coming to grips with the faith of his youth and singing about it.

By the same token, Liston's spiritual reformation and his simplistic chapter-and-verse lyrical approach do not mean he is skimping on his strong blues and rock tradition in favor of something safe for the whole family. Au contraire, Liston keeps his soulful roots vocals and reputable guitar prowess firmly in place, in no small part thanks to producer Jim Gaines (Santana, Tower of Power, Stevie Ray Vaughan), whose extensive rock credentials only help the album retain its classic qualities.

That explains why it's such a joy to hear rollicking sing-along numbers like the Proverbs 3:5-inspired "Trust in the Lord" or the Psalm-like "No Other God Like Mine," both of which are replete with worshipful statements that are commonplace in God's Word and Christian music, yet never come across as clichéd at the hands of Liston. Even the oft-covered hymn "Amazing Grace" is given a cool rock 'n' roll makeover, played to the tune of "The House of the Rising Sun" (a nice little treatment employed by the Blind Boys of Alabama on their Spirit of the Century album).

In other words, No Other Name shows Liston combining what he knows best with what he knows to be true: bluesy Southern rock with the Gospel.

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