Blessed Assurance 1: Timeless Hymns American Class
O happy day! The fearless foursome of Alexandra Lajoux, Chris Dennard, Jarvis Smith, and Jeff Severson have completed their first album of hymns. Alexandra and Chris did the lead singing, Jarvis played keys, and Jeff played guitar. Jarvis and Jeff applied their golden ears to everything as producers - and Jarvis went the extra mile by recruiting the backing singers and the additional instrumentalists. This album began nearly five years ago when several church choirs joined at a recording studio to sing Gospel songs in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr in a 'Day of Praise' in January 2007. That album, managed by Alexandra, featured keys by Jarvis. (A shout out to Brother Wesley Robinson who invited Sister Angela Shepperd who invited Brother David Nelson, who invited Jarvis - that's how the Holy Spirit works!) Alexandra and Jarvis collaborated again in 2009 in a cover version of 'One Day at a Time Sweet Jesus.' The song was the first song he had ever played when he learned the organ, and Alexandra had always loved the Dolly Parton version. The maxi-single featured an opening track with lead vocals by Alexandra and Rayshun Lamarr, along with Robin Walker on other tracks. Jarvis produced that album, which has received more than one thousand downloads and streams. When Alexandra heard Iris Dement sing 'Leaning on the Everlasting Arms' at the end of the new 'True Grit' remake, she contacted Jarvis to collaborate again, inviting Jeff Severson to serve as lead guitarist as co-producer. Jarvis brought in a rising young star named Chris Dennard. Alexandra and Chris recorded 'Leaning' and both decided on the spot to keep singing! Jarvis recruited instrumentalists and backing vocalists, including Rayshun; and Jeff provided an unending stream of guitar arrangements and sage advice, Alexandra and Chris enjoyed their recording journey throughout and are happy to present the world with this recording. Bridging two generations and two traditions this old fashioned yet modern 'Country/Gospel' album will build the Kingdom! Glory be to God! Here are the credits: 1. Blessed Assurance. 3.30. Words by Fanny J. Crosby, Music by Phoebe P. Knapp (cocreated 1873). Vocals Alexandra Lajoux and Chris Dennard. Piano and Organ Jarvis Smith. Guitar Jeff Severson. Bass Ronald Lindsey. Drums Matthew Seawright. 2. Old Rugged Cross. 5.58. Words and Music by George Bernard (created in 1913). Vocals Alexandra Lajoux and Chris Dennard, with Rayshun LaMarr (backing vocals). Piano and Organ Jarvis Smith. Guitar Jeff Severson. Bass Courtney Gibson. Drums Stanley Edwards. 3. Oh Happy Day: Original Hymn. 1.16. Words by Philip Doddridge (created in 1704 with a different melody), Music by Edward F. Rimbault (recreating melody in 1854), Vocals Alexandra Lajoux. Piano Jarvis Smith. 4. Oh Happy Day: Modern Arrangement. 4.11. This new arrangement was inspired by the 1968 Edwin Hawkins Choir version first sung in 1967. Vocals Chris Dennard with Rashida Olley and Orieyama Linebarger. Bass Courtney Gibbs. Drums Matthew Seawright. 5. Precious Lord. 1.54. Words by Thomas A. Dorsey (created in 1932), Music by George N. Allen (for the hymn "Maitland" in 1844). Vocals Alexandra Lajoux. Piano Jarvis Smith. 6. Leaning on the Everlasting Arms. 3.33. Words by Elisha F. Hoffman and Anthony J. Showalter (cocreated in 1888), Music by Anthony J. Showalter 1887. Vocals Alexandra Lajoux and Chris Dennard. Piano Jarvis Smith. Guitar Jeff Severson. Recorded at Cue Recording Studios, Falls Church Virginia. Recording Engineers - Ken Schubert and Keith Burrell (with "DJ" and Sean Russel). Art by Mark Williams National Media Services, Front Royal, Virginia. Dedicated to the memory of Stella Swingle Reed This album will be (we hope) the first of a series of beloved hymns that know no bounds of time and space for their appeal. Copyright American Classic Recordings 2012. AmericanClassicRecordings.com.