My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Tag Archives: Tony Seibert

Album Review: John Conlee – ‘Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus’

John Conlee’s only studio album of wholly new material since 1989 was a religious album released in 2004. It is impeccably sung and produced throughout.

Much of the material is familiar, but a few new songs were included. ‘They Also Serve’, written by Tony Seibert and drawing of the words of the poet John Milton, is a tribute to the sacrifices of military wives and families,

That unsung corps of warriors who stay behind and wait

Prayin’ by the phone to learn their loved one’s fate
But they’re still in the war, let there be no mistake
They also serve, those who stand and wait

‘What Else Does He Have To Do’ is an emotional piano-led ballad about Jesus.

‘Pass It On’, written by Harley Allen, is a strong song about the influence we all have on those around us:

Grandfather smoked and had a taste for booze
Next thing you know granddaddy’s son did too
And when that boy had children of his own
Addiction was the only seed he’d sow

Pass it on
Pass it down
We all leave more than a headstone in the ground
Pass it on
At the end will you leave them all your love or all your sin
You can make it right or wrong
Pass it on

He had a special name for every man
For any one that wasn’t just like him
His children used the words they heard from Dad
“If they’re not just like we are we don’t like that”

The third verse brings in Jesus and the transmission of Christian witness.

The Sonny Throckmorton song ‘Safely In The Arms Of Jesus’ is a nice cheerful number set to an upbeat hymnlike tune. Dickey Lee’s ‘Peace Within’ has a lovely soothing melody.

The hymns chosen are all treated with understated reverence. A medley of ‘Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus’ and ‘Softly And Tenderly’ opens proceedings, and another of
‘Amazing Grace’ is set to the strains of an organ backing, and ‘Peace In The Valley’ is piano-led. A tasteful string arrangement backs ‘The Old Rugged Cross’. Conlee’s takes on ‘I Know Who Holds Tomorrow’, ‘His Eye Is On The Sparrow’, ’Take My Hand, Precious Lord’ and ’Farther Along’ are lovely too.

The pace picks up for the urgent ‘This Old House’ and for a closing medley of ‘I Saw The Light’ and ‘I’ll Fly Awy’.

This album really feels like a labor of love.

Grade: A