THESE THINGS SHALL PASS
SOUNDVIEW RECORDS SP 1008
WORKING FOR JESUS–STAND BY YOU–DIAMONDS IN YOUR BACKYARD–SAINT CHRISTOPHER–WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS–SHIFTING THE TIDE–JESUS’ HAND (FEAT. PATRICK MCCLARY)–LORD, LET ME DO RIGHT–YOU ARE THE ONLIEST (GOD I KNOW)–THESE THINGS SHALL PASS–LESSER MAN–OLD RUGGED CROSS
Just like us, Davis Coen grew up in the South, y’all–more specifically, in Mississippi, and his music reflects everything he absorbed as a young man. His roots lie in a country-blues-gospel style, and his tenth album overall is perhaps his most ambitious project to date. He’d always wanted to do an entirely-gospel based set, and “These Things Shall Pass” fills the bill. It is twelve cuts mixing traditional old-time gospel favorites with some contemporary covers and originals that recall any typical Sunday Down South, at churches everywhere just like Bethany Baptist, whose sign adorns the front cover photo as well as the photo on the CD inlay.
No set of this nature would be complete without nods to the Southern gospel traditions, and Davis treats us to two good ‘uns, the piano-and-steel-driven “What A Friend We Have In Jesus,” and “The Old Rugged Cross,” which will be “exchanged some day for a crown.” The latter features a swirling mandolin that adds to the authentic feel of this classic.
It’s what Davis does with the rest of the album that was impressive to us. He leads off with a fine rendition of Willie Meeks’ “Working For Jesus, altho it’s hard sometimes.” Shimmering guitar and keyboard lines clear the way for one of Davis’ originals, “in the boat on the river deep and wide, with the Good Lord Shifting The Tide,” while Patrick McClary, from Billy Joe Shaver’s band, joins Davis on a tune they wrote together, done in that old-time tradition, “I keep holding on to Jesus’ Hand.”
Our favorite again featured Patrick, as he and Davis appeal to the patron saint of safe travels, with “swoop down, Saint Christopher, and ride with me!” This one has a fine Delta-blues vibe, and those tinkling ivories add to the fun the fellows had with this one.
This is a season of rebirth and renewal, as well as one of eternal love and faith. Thru the cuts on this album, Davis Coen reassures us that, as far as the tribulations of the world are concerned, “These Things Shall Pass,” and love will light the way! Happy Easter, everyone! Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.