When Friday Music released Richie Furay's In My Father's House (The Deluxe Edition) in 2004, it created a lot of excitement at retail and radio as fans were able to purchase his first ever live solo material and a rare studio album all in one package. The great voice and music of Richie Furay returned in 2005 with his most recent gospel sessions entitled I Am Sure.
I Am Sure continues the beautiful hope of salvation and God's message as Richie's previous recording, but this time look who is along for the session: The Byrds' Chris Hillman, Poco, The Dirt Band and many others. Scott Sellen is back as well from the In My Father's House sessions. Truly a stunning array of talent and musicianship is awaiting the listener.
"With My Whole Heart" is the album's opener, inspired by Psalm 138, Richie Furay and Co. truly captivate the listener with this rocking spiritual. With the Hammond B3, amazing slide guitar riffs and Furay's velvet toned voice, "With My Whole Heart" is a truly a wonderful moment on this album.
It is no secret that Furay helped shape and architect the West Coast Rock and Country Rock sound through his years in The Buffalo Springfield and Poco. This time around, you can really hear his influence on these genres of music with the stirring "Jesus, Eternal King", "Precious Blood", and "Deep Within My Heart." Although these songs are gospel oriented, they are for all of his fans. His message is clear, and the musicianship is second to none. No wonder he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame a few years ago with his fellow Springfield crew Neil Young, Stephen Stills and Jimmy Messina.
We think this new chapter in the musical career of Richie Furay is worth shouting about. It is his first new album in almost a decade and he'll be touring nationally this year for the first time in many years. I Am Sure is one of those albums you won't forget and like a long lost friend Richie Furay is back with a hopeful message and tidings of peace, joy and memorable music for all of us. Rejoice!
閑話休題、フィーチャー・ナンバーを観ると、タイトルにもキリスト教への傾倒が窺えるトラディショナル・スタイルのカントリー・ポップの「Jesus, Eternal King」、「City of God」、「So Far To Go」、ロック／ポップ・テイストの「Shout To The Ruler」、「Wonderfully Praised」、タイトル・ナンバーの「I Am Sure」、バラード／ポップ・スタイルの「Overflow」、「Precious Blood」、「Come And Praise Him」、「Deep Within My Heart」、ブルース・ポップの「Most High」、これもタイトルにキリスト教への傾倒が窺えるポップ・テイストの「Father of Glory」など、内容と共にタイトルにもキリスト教からのインスパイアが窺える。サウンドやメロディは７０年代のウエスト・コースト・スタイルそのままで、特にタイトル・ナンバーの「I Am Sure」などは先日惜しくも物故したグレン・フライのスタイルを想起させるものがあり、イーグルス初期に影響を与えた音楽性が良く伝わってくる。
For me `I Am Sure' goes a long way to restoring my faith in Contemporary Christian Music; or at least restore significant hope. With undoubted exceptions CCM has, I believe, been weighed down by all manner of things, of which I find three main areas: 1) commercialization, 2) artificiality and a lack of roots, and 3) all kinds of phobias about music itself.
None of these problems apply to our man Richie Furay, who delivers some pure gold here. This music rings true as authentic, is spiritually focused and genuine, and is without the labouring self-consciousness I have often heard in CCM.
1) Richie may have had issues with commercial success in his years in the music industry, but seems now content to just play and sing with that wonderful voice for no other reasons than the pure pleasure of doing what one is called and gifted to do. "Success" would appear to be a slippery slope for those running hard after it, and even though Richie richly deserves commercial success I don't think he's worrying about it anymore.
2) This is the real deal. This is not someone trying to sound Country-Rock, or jumping on a bandwagon of convenience. Richie Furay is someone who helped DEFINE Country-Rock! He has a perspective and a musical history in this music like few others, and when he's playing and singing this music he's doing it from the roots upward.
3) I really appreciate the musical elements unashamedly on display on this recording. Richie is a Pastor, yet thankfully is not afraid to let the instruments and the players shine. We can hear great guitar sounds throughout, and Rusty Young's tasty slide licks all over the place. They were undoubtedly having a great time doing this record, and it has a genuine warmth. The whole thing is fused together with an infectious joyful vibe. There's no self-conscious, apologetic, half-hearted music to be found here!
Nor is this music a cheap religious/political tract; there are no agendas, and it's baggage-free. This album really IS what it appears to be: the natural overflow of a spiritual man endowed with genuine musical gifts.
Thanks Richie for the memorable songs, and for doing it from the heart; unashamed of your musical gift. I hope the CCM community will take a good look at everything on display here and do some heartsearching - maybe even learn some lessons.
Some truly beautiful tracks like the melodic "Overflow"- have all the hallmarks of a great Furay song alongside the more uptempo title track- "I Am Sure".
I am sure that God has truly blessed this man's wonderful talent and beautiful country voice.Great to see ya back Richie.
"I will sing unto the LORD,because he hath dealt bountifully with me." - Psalm 13:6
As significant as all that may be, since the early 80's he has devoted himself to being the Pastor of a Calvary Chapel church in Boulder, Colorado. Fortunately, for fans of his music, and music lovers in general, he still finds the time to record music.
Almost thirty years ago you could hear Richie Furay singing praises to God on some of the early Maranatha music recordings. In his latest recording, I Am Sure, he still sings like someone who is passionate about his relationship with Jesus Christ. These uplifting, Scripture-inspired songs of praise and worship are done in Richie's signature style.
The songs are guitar-driven and somewhat reminiscent of the light country rock and folk that Furay helped pioneer with Poco. There is the trademark Lap Steel guitar sound of former Poco-mate Rusty Young. Instruments like dobro, banjo, mandolin, and fiddle are more prominent on the more acoustic, Americana-sounding songs like the delightful "So Far To Go" and "City of God." "Father Of Glory" is more of a rock song that has some great guitar work.
Lyrically, many of the songs are Psalm-like declaring the character and glory of God, confessing need and inviting the listener to enter into praise. "Overflow" is a beautiful song of thanksgiving: "You are so strong, though I am weak / You know my heart, every beat / So when I say, I love You so / With thanksgiving let my life Overflow." "Precious Blood" could be sung in a congregational setting. "Father we gather before you today / Humbly we come to worship and pray / Your word is piercing, convicting the soul / Your Precious Blood makes us whole." Each song is filled with Scriptural truth that can be a source for meditation and reflection.
All the songs are written my Richie Furay and writing-partner and Calvary Chapel worship leader Scott Sellen. Richie has assembled an outstanding supporting cast, which includes contributions from former band-mates Jim Messina, Chris Hillman, Paul Cotton and Tom Stipe.
I Am Sure is a fine example of songwriting that incorporates Scriptural truths with expressions of praise and worship. It has an organic, almost classic-rock feel that is a great alternative to the many similar-sounding praise and worship recordings that are so popular today. It would be wonderful if more Christian artists followed the originality found here.
In My Father's House, Richie's previous recording, which is similar in sound and style, is also available from FridayMusic.