Just Sing: I’ve Just Seen Jesus

My favorite Gaither Kool-Aid drinker, regular reader KC, sent me this official youtube release from the Gaither Mothership of the Larnelle Harris David Phelps and Sandi Patty Roseanne Roseannadanna Lana Ranahan covering “I’ve Just Seen Jesus.”

“Everyone is talking about” this clip, the mothership tells us in the youtube blurbage. Uh huh.

But certainly this is one of those big show-stopping warhorses that Gaitherland does so well. It speaks to the astonishing ease with which Phelps has been pulling off this stratospheric stuff for so long now that there’s really not much to say (other than that it’s astonishing how easily he pulls off this stratospheric stuff, but then that’s all been said before right?).

If I were going to quibble, it’d be with some of the oversung flourishes with which he seems to be ornamenting more and more of his line-endings. It reminds me of Loren Harris near the end of his days with the Perrys, when his renditions of “I Wish I Coulda Been There” sounded like they were being sung in the lost language of bored singers. Harris was no slouch in his prime, but of course Phelps inhabits another planetary system of musical talent entirely. And well … I guess I wouldn’t find it too hard to believe if Phelps were getting bored with this material. Then again, what is there left for him to do?

Oh … and speaking of doos … somebody needs to tell Phelps that his new doo is a big don’t.

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  1. Bud wrote:

    If you watch the video with no audio, it looks like an operatic couple arguing over who is right, coming to an agreement at the end, but not really meaning it.

  2. John Situmbeko wrote:

    On the contrary, I think Phelps’ new hairdo is a big Do! I love the “operatic couple” style, it rocks. Very impressive this stuff, very impressive.

  3. pj wrote:

    Question for #1 … why on earth would you want to watch this particular video ‘with no audio’?? Really …

  4. gina wrote:

    I think Bud is right. The strange looking part is the way he grabs at her arm toward the beginning, just to signal to the sound people to turn up her volume.

  5. Bud wrote:

    #3 - That goes without saying.

  6. Tad Kirkland wrote:

    David and Lana have been singing this at Gaither’s Family Fest since his first tenure with the GVB.
    My favorite lines: “As if till now, I never knew. All that I’ve done before won’t matter anymore” Great stuff. Sometimes great lyrics get lost in the great singing.
    David’s new doo is very current and works well for him. The old doo was great too!
    But you are right, what is there left for him to do vocally?

  7. irishlad wrote:

    He’s been trying to crossover in to the secular field (unsuccessfully), this is his elusive goal.

  8. DMP wrote:

    I saw this live many years ago. It is a show stopper for sure.

  9. Auke Bijlsma wrote:

    I must say I prefer Larnelle Harris’s version better….David had some great moment in this one, love the opening…as he sings the word ‘finished’. And his second feature..the word ‘late’. The absolute gem-tone in this clip is around the 4:58-4:59 mark on the word ‘matter’ David changes gears in such a great way..love it.
    What is there to do for David? Plenty i’d say…let him make the choice..i’d love him to go more singer/songwriter..more subdued..early Jackson Browne or James Taylor-esh kinda stuff..and be part of the GVB for a while.

  10. Rix wrote:

    What is this, love duet music from a failed Broadway show, with altered lyrics? I hope SG detests it. I detest it.

  11. Ode wrote:

    “Then again, what is there left for him to do?”
    make money and name for himslef in the so coveted by him non-SG market.
    The huge problem here - you can take the boy out of the SG, you can’t take (bad habits/curse/attitudes of) Sg outta the boy ..

  12. Ode wrote:

    : ) such a talent has artistic license to sing in pajamas and bedhair. Yes,his haircut appears to be self –made yet that’s not as offensive as her plastic clip, usually acceptable to wear in public only in a pool or hot tub. Their whole ill-fitting wardrobe has to go, with the exception of her high heels/his shirt.

    I’m in no position to criticize,my hair is tied in a knot with a pencil + i’m sporting big ugly walking shoes, but it’s my hospital volunteering night. Ms Lana is on stage, presumably sober.


    No, they dont. Judging by Gaither’s revenues, most SG embraces this stuff with affection and open wallets. And why “failed show”? Sufficiently bedazzling Broadway production featuring exceptional Mr. Phelps would be nothing but success. If you imply that to resemble a Broadway show, musically, is wrong, look at the history……

    “Every new spin of the upward spiral of musical art came about thru the scorn its predecessors“ I am quoting, mercilessly editing out the demagoguery, from Bavli Talmud, 3 AD. The rule worked since the world’s creation. As lil as 50 years from now, we’ll be tenderly recalling this old-fashioned, godly video of Phelps and Lana scolding our grandkids for “worldly music that pass for Christian songs today”

    DH gave this notion an interesting, detailed twist in the next thread.

  13. irishlad wrote:

    Very nice to see you back Ode,are you up for navigating me through a couple more chapters of 50 shades of….ahem i mean Genesis ;-)

  14. Janet B wrote:

    What is there left for David to do? Plenty. Whatever God has in store for him. (Don’t you think the same question was asked about Bill Gaither in the 80’s? Hmmm…)

    Personal preferences being what they are, I can understand most of the differing opinions on this particular performance. (I’m still fond of the Larnelle/Sandi version, but this was right up there!) But - “detest” it? Really? That I just don’t get. If that doesn’t move you, then…

  15. DMP wrote:

    Honestly, I never even liked this song before hearing these two perform it. It’s all a matter of personal preference, but Phelps brought something special to this song for me. I’ve listened to it more in the last 6 months than I did in the decades before.

  16. irishlad wrote:

    14 i like the sandi back up singer/soon to be husband combo best :)

  17. longing wrote:

    Some things should just not be messed with. The original with Larnelle and Sandi will not be touched by these two. Excellent in their own right, but on this song, it was simply (for me) performed yet not felt.

    Simple comparison between the original and this: wrought iron and barbed wire or caviar and cathead biscuits.

  18. Randy Lewis wrote:

    I would agree. Phelps will always be the benchmark by which us Sangers strive to archive. That goes without saying. However, the hair has got to go. Just not a very good look for him. Just my humble opinion. Keep up the writing….

  19. Randy Lewis wrote:

    Longing…. What in the world is a fathead biscuit???? LOL

  20. Randy Lewis wrote:

    Not fathead. Cathead. LOL. Sorry.

  21. Adam wrote:

    I would say that that ’something left for him to do’ is to successfully cross over into the secular arena he’s been attempting to cross over into. It’s going to take a better effort than covering Foreigner songs or doing Clay Aiken material. But I honestly would like for a much larger audience to hear his voice so I wish him well. Actually don’t mind the new ‘do either.

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