“Surely I Will”

One of the best things the SN does that no one - including me, until now - gives them enough credit for is putting together the Just Call It Southern compilation discs for magazine subscribers. I purposely wait to renew my subscription at NQC every year just to get the cds. Yeah, the songs are often the second or third cuts from albums and more than a few stinkers slip in, but the discs are worth the $20 for the history lesson they offer. Fer instuhnce. On disc 2 of the volume released this year, there’s a Lesters track, “Surely I Will.” It’s like finding a $100 bill in the sea of peanut shells, hotdog wrappers and empty drink cups kicking around your feet at a baseball game. When I talk about IAG singers who need to learn how to render a melody line well, this is the kind of singing I wish we could hear instead. The soprano’s voice is so clear and confident, with a lot of wonderful little colorations and inflections shaded into certain words and phrases (listen to how she progressively adds texture and force to that word “If” at the end of each verse and chorus … she pushes the tone just a bit further to the back of her throat, supporting with just a touch more breath each time until it becomes a kind of declaration of spiritual intent by the end of the song). It’s a wonderful example of creating an effect with subtle augmentations simple flourishs rather than showy ornaments and baroque improvisations and all manner of overdone melisma. And too, the song is classic southern gospel, an artifact, alas, from a sparser, less-is-more age of arranging and accompaniment. There are, I think, no more than four instruments here at any given time, and most of the instrumental burden is carried by a bass and piano (the keyboard and guitar fills are a masterclass in accompaniment by themselves). So here’s where you come in. Who’s the soprano? What album’s she singing on? And who wrote the song?

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Comments

  1. Nate wrote:

    This may answer questions 2 and 3 for you if it is the same song.

    http://www.thelesters.com/Products.htm

    CD TITLE
    Songs Of Albert E Brumley
    Jesus Hold My Hand
    No Place To Hide
    Surely I Will Lord
    Steal Away and Pray
    Put On A Crown
    I’m Bound For That City
    I’ll Meet You By The River
    I’d Rather Be An Old Time Christian
    When I Thank Him For What He Has Done
    I’ll Fly Away
    I Wonder (Recitation)

  2. Nate wrote:

    According to the bios, Trecia Cisneros has been there since 1999 so if it was recorded since then, odds are it is her.

  3. Katie wrote:

    You’re right it is Trecia Cisneros and they recorded that song on the project, Songs of Albert E. Brumley a couple of years ago.

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