Closer Than I’ve Ever Been
Daniel Crabtree, a gifted and divinely inspired songwriter with an engaging roughhewn vocal style, is a man on a mission. As he explains in the press material accompanying his fifth album: “I believe a spiritual battle is going on inside man and the world …. As Christians, we should be willing to take on the armor of the Lord and fight the daily battle of right and wrong and let it be known by all that we are on the Lord’s side.”
In one way or another, these 10 original songs express and reflect variations on this over-arching spiritual call to arms. The message comes through unabashedly on compositions such as “Would You Be A Soldier,” “God Has A Plan” and “Knock On Heaven’s Door.”
“Love For His Children” is the earnest confession of a man who is steeped in his faith and unerringly loves the Lord yet is painfully aware of his own imperfections. The deeply moving “Scars In The Palm Of His Hand” is the haunting testimonial of a man to whom the savior vividly appears in a dream.
“John The Baptist” and “Abraham” are both well-researched and dramatic retellings of the harrowing spiritual struggles of two of the most important Biblical figures.
Crabtree (who c0-produced these tracks with Donna Ulisse, who also pitches in on harmonies), is ably backed by Scott Vestal (banjo), Cody Kilby (guitar), Jesse Brock (mandolin), Jason Carter (fiddle) and Mike Bub (bass).
Taken as a whole, these songs come across like a deeply moving and stark sermon infused with honesty and no-holds-barred intensity such as one might have heard in an old brush arbor chapel of yesteryear.
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