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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Tell Someone

  • reviewed by Christa Banister Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2007 1 Jan
Tell Someone
Sounds like … gospel-infused bluegrass that's a cross between The Hoppers, Alabama, Alison Krauss, and the Del McCoury BandAt a glance … on its first foray into gospel music, these already-renowned bluegrass musicians make an impressive debut with Tell SomeoneTrack Listing Shoutin' Time Someday Soon Mary Had a Little Boy Stepping on the Clouds Angels Calling at My Door One More Chance, Lord I Know Why I've Got More to Go to Heaven For Free Indeed A Great Big Hand (Reaching Down) Till I Get Home I Can't Sit Down Tell Someone How Precious He Is

Although the Kenny & Amanda Smith Band has won countless awards in the bluegrass arena, including the "Emerging Artist of the Year" honor in 2003, gospel music has always been close to its members' hearts—especially the husband and wife who lead the group. In fact, Tell Someone is described more as "a homecoming" than a departure from their usual style.

"We've wanted to do a gospel album for a long time," says Kenny. "Amanda has been singing gospel music since she was 8 years old. The first place she ever sang was in church."

And when one listens to Tell Someone, that really doesn't come as a shock as Amanda croons with the conviction of someone like Shirley Caesar, albeit with a more homegrown accompaniment on the buoyant opener "Shoutin' Time" and the joy-inspiring reflection on eternal life, "Someday Soon."

"Mom and Dad said I could sing before I could talk," Amanda recalls. "I was always humming or trying to sing. I used to sit there with a record player and put on an old Inspirations album and sing to it when I was little. By the time I was 8, I knew a lot of those songs."

Adding to the superior quality of the effort is Kenny's much-acclaimed guitar playing. As a two-time winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association's Guitarist of the Year, his contributions truly set the Kenny & Amanda Smith Band apart, especially on the catchy, toe-tapping "Stepping on the Clouds" and the reassuring strains of "A Great Big Hand (Reaching Down)."

In addition to appreciating the sounds of gospel from a stylistic perspective, Kenny says gospel music was the catalyst for his conversion to Christianity. "That's how I ended up getting saved—through those wonderful gospel songs," Kenny remembers. "We had a revival when I first got out of high school, and I ended up being saved and started singing with my cousin. So that was really my first introduction to singing, too."

Now many years later, gospel music continues to minister to both Kenny and Amanda as the album was recorded in the face of tragedy after Kenny's father was killed in an unexpected tractor accident.

"I think that really had an effect on how the songs and the whole project turned out," says Amanda. "I think the emotion on it is amplified by 100 times just because of what we were going through. You don't realize how much you lean on the Lord in a situation like that."

For more information on Kenny & Amanda Smith Band (and to hear clips from Tell Someone), check out

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