by Chuck Dauphin
Back in the 1960s, the Dillards carved out a piece of fame with their work as the “Darling Family” on the Andy Griffith Show. Though the characters and their lack of words were an act, there was nothing put upon about their musical expertise, as the Dillards have released several great albums before and since.
Rodney and Co. have just issued this set, which should bring a musical blessing to many. Included are many traditional Gospel classics, such as “Leaning On The Everlasting Arms” and “Softly And Tenderly.” Wife Beverly adds her soaring vocal approach to “Gospel Ship” and “River Of Jordan,” both of which she does a fantastic job on.
There are also a couple of spirited originals that yield a passionate performance, such as “The Devil Just Can’t Knock Me Off My Knees” and “Don’t Wait For The Hearse To Take You To Church.” In addition, keeping with the Gospel theme, and tying in Mayberry, there are five TAGS-related vigenettes at the end of the disc that could easily be a marketable program for radio stations. The series had such a message with its’ lyrics, and this set entertains with them, as well as the great music – particularly a spine-tingling version of “Somebody Touched Me.” That’s good enough to say “Great Beans, Aunt Bee.” (If you know the Darling history on Griffith, I think you’ll understand.
It’s good to hear Rodney Dillard doing what he does best, and doing it so well. If you love Gospel music, get this. If you don’t, Dillard’s takes on these classics just might make you a believer!
For more on Rodney, go to www.RodneyDillard.tv!
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