The Isaacs - Increase My Faith
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Increase My Faith (Horizon, 1998)

The Isaacs

Reviewed by George Hauenstein

The Isaacs are quickly becoming the first family of bluegrass music. This Tennessee-based band features father, Joe Isaacs on banjo, mother Lily on vocals, son Ben on bass, daughters Becky (Isaacs) Bowman on guitar/vocals and Sonya (Isaacs) Surrett on mandolin/vocals and son-in-laws, John Bowman and Tim Surrett on a variety of instruments. David Johnson and former Union Station mandolin man, Adam Steffey, sit in on a few cuts.

The material is all gospel, ranging from the traditional, bluegrass sounding, "Ye Men of Galillee," "They Don't Know What God Knows" and "Goodbye," written by bluegrass legends Jimmy Martin and Paul Williams, to the more contemporary Christian sounding, "She Cries" and "I Need Jesus," a lovely a cappella number featuring Becky Bowman.

As with most family bands, the vocals blend very well and the instrumentation is very tight. Daughters Becky and Sonya have very pleasing voices and deserve to be heard by a larger audience.

Gospel music is an important part of bluegrass. The Isaacs are among the best. This album is a good introduction to their style.

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