Mickey Harris "Kneel & Pray"
- Hi there, here is a review of Mickey Harris' recent gospel album. Please check out Mickey's website or drop him a line for some more info about it. Joe
MICKEY HARRIS � Kneel & Pray
MJH Records 003
Playing Time � 35:12
Mickey Harris may be best known as the bass player in Rhonda Vincent�s band, The Rage. However, this solo project showcases another side of him as a strong bluegrass gospel lead and harmony vocalist who grew up in a Christian home in Tennessee that was always full of music. Before even entering first grade, Mickey became a guest on his uncle�s TV show, "The Carl Tipton Show," that aired in middle Tennessee for over two decades and had a loyal following of viewers. In fact, on this album, both "Kneel and Pray" and "I�m Going Home" were written by Tipton. Harris hails from Leanna, Tn. and started playing when he was 10 years old. Harris practiced hard and learned to play most of the bluegrass instruments from family members and festival performers. Whether singing in church or performing with his family, Harris has developed a varied gospel repertoire that includes favorite old classics, new evocative messages we haven�t heard before, and even some originals penned by family members. Much of his musical education also came from backing up others on stage, and during high school he had a band called High Lonesome. He toured with Tim Graves & Cherokee, Larry Stephenson, and Sally Jones & the Sidewinders before joining Rhonda Vincent�s band in August, 2002.
While we hear some of his Dobro playing on �The Great Speckled Bird," he sticks to acoustic bass and lets his friends also share the instrumental spotlight. They include Kenny Ingram (banjo), Wayne Benson (mandolin), Hunter Berry (fiddle), and Josh Williams (guitar, mandolin, resonator guitar). Harmony vocalists incude Rhonda Vincent, Alecia Nugent, Jamie Dailey, Louise Tomberlain, and Sophie Tipton Haislip. Featured in an a cappella arrangement of "Just a Little Talk with Jesus," Louise and Sophie are Mickey�s grandmother and aunt who also performed on Carl Tipton�s show in the 1960s and 70s. Carl, Louise and Sophie are all past heritage Award winners at Uncle Dave Macon Days.
Mickey is the only vocalist on four of the songs (I Don�t Want My Golden Slippers, Oh Mom, Master�s Call, Great Speckled Bird). The former selection comes from award-winning songwriter Tom T. Hall who also penned "They Called It A Church" with his wife, Dixie. Mickey�s own self-penned "Peace of God" is arranged as a strong duet with Jamie Dailey. The joyful quartet sound of "When I Wake Up To Sleep No More" has a strong declaration about the happiness encountered "on Heaven's bright shore (telling the story) / With the redeemed of all the ages / Praising the One whom I adore."
With family roots dating back to Tennessee�s early traditional music, Harris� family is very proud of what he�s accomplishing as a professional musician. Whether a sideman or featured lead vocalist, Harris is a solid and upstanding musician. His third self-produced recording, "Kneel and Pray" is also a very solid, upstanding project. (Joe Ross)
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