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Ronnie Milsap goes the gospel route

Friday, January 9, 2009 – Ronnie Milsap will go the gospel route when his next release hits the streets in March.

The 2-CD "'Then Sings My Soul: 24 Favorite Hymns & Gospel Songs" will be out March 10 on EMI CMG. The set includes I'll Fly Away, Amazing Grace and Up To Zion along with Stand By Me and People Get Ready.

"This recording of inspirational songs is going to set a brand new mark for me, especially. My fans, they have indicated they've wanted this for so long," Milsap said. "And I was shy to do this for a long time because I didn't necessarily want to show the inside of my soul. It was easy to hide behind 'Daydreams About Night Things' or 'There's No Getting Over Me' or 'Stranger In My House.' It was easier to hide behind those big hits. Nobody ever asked me to dig deep inside of your spirit and expose that. That's why it took me a while to be able to do that." Born in the Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina, Milsap lived in extreme poverty. His family brought him to church revival after church revival in the hopes that a divine intervention would cure their child of his blindness. A young Milsap left those revivals defeated because his family presumed his own lack of faith prevented the miracle cure from happening. At six, he moved to Raleigh to attend a state school for the blind and it was there he discovered his musical talents, which he then applied in church. An encounter with Ray Charles inspired Milsap to focus on music as a career.

"Music has a way of making you feel something in your heart, in your soul. If it did 500 years ago, and it still does today, that's why Mozart and Beethoven are still popular," Milsap said. "The old hymns still hold up, and they still make people feel something. They inspire everybody. They've been a part of my life throughout the years and I hope sharing them will inspire even more people."

Songs on the release are:
Disc one
1. I'll Fly Away
2. How Great Thou Art
3. Soon and Very Soon
4. Farther Along
5. Amazing Grace
6. Stand By Me
7. Up To Zion
8. World of Wonder
9. In The Garden
10. Just A Closer Walk
11. Peace in the Valley
12. Have Thine Own Way

Disc two
1. Swing Down
2. Precious Memories
3. Rock of Ages
4. People Get Ready
5. Softly and Tenderly
6. What a Friend
7. What a Difference
8. When Jesus Was All I Had
9. It Is No Secret
10. The Old Rugged Cross
11. Holy Holy Holy
12. The Lord's Prayer

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CD reviews for Ronnie Milsap

Summer Number Seventeen CD review - Summer Number Seventeen
Quick, what guy compiled 40 number one country singles, recorded with everybody from Ray Charles to Elvis, but has yet to be enshrined in the Country Music Hall of Fame? Yes, it's Ronnie Milsap, now in his 70s, just like Merle Haggard (who was inducted 20 years ago). Clearly, the ornery outlaws get more attention than the nice guy romantics. And it doesn't help that Milsap has always been interested in many different flavors of music, from '70s Philadelphia Soul to '50s doo-wop. »»»
Then Sings My Soul: 24 Favorite Hymns & Gospel Songs CD review - Then Sings My Soul: 24 Favorite Hymns & Gospel Songs
Ronnie Milsap's first gospel release and first album in 3 years is a double-disc set packing in 24 tracks with a far-reaching selection of songs. There are gospel standards (such as Peace In The Valley and Soon And Very Soon), classic hymns (like How Great Thou Art and Softly And Tenderly), a couple of re-worked secular songs (Ben E. King's Stand By Me and Milsap's own 1978 number 1 What A Difference You've Made In My Life) and a few new songs (World Of Wonder). »»»
My Life CD review - My Life
It is a sad fact of human nature that we do not realize what we have until it's gone. Ronnie Milsap, thankfully, is still very much with us, but it may not be until after his passing and the inevitable biopic (a la Ray Charles and Johnny Cash) that we realize what an extraordinary story this singularly talented man has lived. Born blind and into abject Appalachian poverty, he was abandoned by his mother, classically trained on the piano, started out as a soul musician, moved to Nashville and »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Kristofferson gives insight, but no easy answers – When they say music gets better with age, they're not always just talking about songs alone; sometimes they're also referring to the listener. When Kris Kristofferson sings, "Well, I woke up Sunday morning/With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt," to smartly open "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," he... »»»
Concert Review: No sugarcoating, Welch dishes out an experience – Gillian Welch (accompanied, as always, by master guitarist David Rawlings), celebrated her "The Harrow & The Harvest" album with a powerful night of music. She apologized many times for the utter unhappiness expressed through this album's songs, admitting it's "not the most chipper album" at one point.... »»»
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