Hittin the No
Hittin' the Note magazine review by John Lynskey
Not Your Everyday Clay is Sheila Kelly Johnson's second release, serving as a strong follow-up to 2005's Through This Wall. Based in Macon, GA, Sheila represents the best of contemporary Christian music, with a stylistic nod toward Amy Grant and a vocal delivery reminiscent of Shania Twain. Backed throughout by some outstanding musicians, including Randall Bramblett on keyboards and guitarists Mike Hines and Jack Pearson, Sheila shines on the 11 original numbers found on the album.
"Thank You God" opens Not Your Everyday Clay, and it exemplifies what Sheila's music is all about. A poignant message of hope and salvation, she sings with joy over the gentle, lilting notes of Mike Hines. The title track is a true redemption song, accentuated by Jonathan Barnes' moving guitar work. "His Love has Lifted Me" has a Southern gospel tinge to it, as Sheila's powerful delivery is fueled by Randall Bramblett's jumping piano.
The strong message found in "No Sympathy for the Devil" is driven home by Sheila's determined vocals and the thumping beat of drummer Gerry Hansen. Jack Pearson's dobro adds a lovely depth to "He Lifts Us Through it All," "Brand New Day" pops with energy thanks to the guitar interplay of Mike Hines and Zack Johnson, and the easy-flowing "Old Shoes" co-written by Sheila and Jack Pearson, is the perfect number to close out the album.
Not Your Everyday Clay proves that praise music can rock, and that Sheila Kelly Johnson has been given a musical gift from God.