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Steven Curtis Chapman

Deeper Roots: Where the Bluegrass Grows – 2019 (New Day Entertainment)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Steven Curtis Chapman

Steven Curtis Chapman's "Deeper Roots: Where the Bluegrass Grows" is a unique collection of songs. It's part a tribute to Chapman's bluegrass roots, that's true, but it also includes a few re-imaginings of Chapman hits, as well as the singing of some old gospel songs.

Chapman co-wrote the new song "Till the Blue" with Lori McKenna and Barry Dean. Chapman also receives vocal assistance on it from one of country music's most recognizable voices, Rascal Flatts' Gary LeVox. It's a loving, encouraging song of support. Chapman's hit, "Dive," works extremely well it its speedy bluegrass rendering. The acoustic version on "Cinderella" is also nice.

Chapman gets gospel-y with "Victory in Jesus, "Great is Thy Faithfulness," "How Great Thou Art" and "I'll Fly Away" (among others). Chapman is best known for his contemporary Christian songs, but you get the sense he truly loves singing these old songs in a bluegrass style.

Chapman has been making albums since the late '80s, which is already a long career. That's why it's healthy to change things up a bit. Rearranging songs, the way they're reconfigured here, gives them new life and freshness. Chapman sounds perfectly comfortable in his bluegrass stage clothes - this isn't too much of an artistic stretch.