congregation of some 8,000-10,000 at the time). But, God has apparently called Rich to minister on a much smaller \"stage\". Rich is about reconciliation in the Body of Christ (Concerts of Praise and his Streams CD project). Rich is about discipling fellow lead worshippers (FUEL! and worship consultation). Rich is about simple, yet costly demonstrations of love (his home church group built and gave a brand new home to a family in need). Rich is about relationships as evidenced by everything in which I have known him to be involved. Really, Rich is about His Father\'s business.
I thought you should know who Rich is (if you do not already know him) before you buy his new CD, Sacred. Because knowing who and Whose he is will only cause you to appreciate his music even more.
I have to admit, I was initially disappointed Rich had produced a CD of old hymns (yes, I am a \"new song\", \"praise chorus\" kind of guy). And, Rich warned me to withhold judgment on his eclectic take on these familiar songs until after the 3rd listen. I was smitten only four songs into the 1st listen.
In terms of shear musical excellence, Sacred, like Rich\'s previous CDs, is masterfully done. From Rich\'s own flawless vocals and piano work to each of the other instrumentalists and vocalists, the musicianship is second to none. The final product could not have possibly been any finer had the CD been produced at a Nashville studio using studio musicians.
Rich\'s uncanny ability to seemingly effortlessly sing styles as diverse as reggae, blues, Motown gospel and Veggie Tales is simply astonishing...and, as a result, “How Firm”, “Solid Rock”, “No Not One” and “Count Your Blessings” are delightful. Then, the acoustic, more classic renditions of “Be Thou My Vision”, “It is Well” and “Be Still My Soul” will send chills down your spine and bring tears to your eyes. Rich’s vision to hear songs completely recast while not losing their basic familiarity is, without a doubt, a God-given gift. In short, Rich\'s reworking of these familiar old songs made me fall in love with them anew and allowed me to re-hear their messages. After five listens in 24 hours, “It Is Well” is my favorite… who would have thought the song I have sung 500 times would reduce me to almost uncontrollable weeping?
Please buy Rich\'s CD, Sacred. He is a dear brother in Christ, a friend and mentor to me and, undoubtedly, to thousands. The music is of the highest quality. You are certain to be blessed.
Thank you, God, for Rich Smith, for the gifts you’ve given him…and for the miracle that music produces in our hearts.
Because of Jesus,
P.S. Rich did not ask for this testimonial. It is my very great privilege to give back only a fraction of what he has freely given to me.