Mike Gross, KSEY-FM, Seymour, TX & KTNK-AM, Lompoc, CA                                                                               March 23, 2018

Album: Out of Darkness Artist: Cherilyn Johnston
This is a very interesting new CD of 12 tunes combining the sounds of both Western Swing and inspirational music sung by a very talented young lady. It was produced by Western Swing steel guitar great Albert Talley. He is also spotlighted on Steel Guitar on this album. The album opens with the swinging He Keeps Me Singing and then goes on to the first of three originals composed by Cherilyn, Out of Darkness. Other tunes included from her pen are He is Risen and Let Your Living Water Flow. Cherilyn also includes Cindy Walker's Christian Cowboy and a wonderful medley of Leaning on the Everlasting Arms/I've Got Peace Like a River. The sacred classic The Old Rugged Cross is done Texas style and a classic mix of Western Swing and Gospel on Amazing Grace. There is a swinging Where Could I Go and the remaining cuts, Blessed Assurance, Great is Thy Faithfulness and Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.

     The musicians joining Albert and his steel are Hank Singer- fiddle, Chuck Back- lead guitar, Wayne Bennett-drums, Jim Pack- bass, Jerry Matheny- rhythm guitar and Mike McClain- keyboards.

     The CD can be purchased for $20 including tax and S & H by check to CherSongs Publishing, 3330 N. Galloway Ave #304-80, Mesquite, TX 75150 . Online $22 plus shipping and tax from www.CherSongs.com 

Mike Gross, KSEY-FM, Seymour, TX & KTNK-AM, Lompoc, CA March 23, 2018

Western Swing with Spirituality!      By Fred Sawtelle

On her debut album "Out of Darkness" Cherilyn Johnston has taken the melodies and lyrics of old-time gospel songs and fitted them onto the musical framework of classic western swing with delightful results. Included with these reworked standards are three of Cherilyn's original songs: He is Risen (It's a New Day), Let Your Living Water Flow, and the title song, Out of Darkness.

The album starts with a peppy "He Keeps Me Singing" which, if it doesn't get you singing, will definitely have your toes tapping. Fiddle and steel guitar share an instrumental break that'll have you expecting to hear Bob Wills crying, "Ahh!" The first of her originals, "Out of Darkness", continues the swinging pace with a celebration of deliverance from bondage to freedom, darkness to light. On "Blessed Assurance" she trades the traditional somber 6/8 time for a livelier shuffle beat which matches and enhances the spirit of rejoicing conveyed in the lyrics.

"Christian Cowboy", composed by Cindy Walker, preserves the urgency of the lyrics and melody while slowing the tempo slightly and adding a final fermata followed by a stirring outro. A mashup of "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" and "Peace Like a River" is followed by "The Old Rugged Cross" (with a shuffle beat!) starting with the classic C&W two-note intro that regular boot-scooters will immediately recognize. Cherilyn's second original, "He is Risen (It's a New Day)" returns to the theme of deliverance through Jesus' death and resurrection. Bubbly, buoyant "Where Could I Go", with strong steel guitar backing, had me snapping my fingers in time.

With "Great is Thy Faithfulness" the tempo slows at last to a timing that would allow dancers to catch their breath. "Amazing Grace" uses a shuffle beat for a swinging mid-tempo rendition. Unlike "The Old Rugged Cross" and "Amazing Grace", Cherilyn keeps the waltz time of the original for "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus", as well as the serious mood, and brings piano accompaniment to the fore. Cherilyn's third original, "Let Your Living Water Flow", finishes the album on a soothing note, with the music conveying the feel of water flowing as the lyrics speak of it.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Previous events

Jun2

Sunday Morning Worship

First Assembly of God Church, 4555 Highway 14, Thornton, Texas

Music and Testimony With Pastors Paul and Glenna Moore.

Oct7

Sunday Gathering

Lone Star Cowboy Church Hill & McLennan Counties, 401 Interstate Highway 35 South, Abbott, Texas

Aug5

Sunday Morning Service

Gulf Coast Christian Center, 725 W. Brazos, West Columbia, Texas

FREE