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Justin Trevino

Before You Say Amen – 2006 (Heart of Texas)

Reviewed by Dawn Pomento

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CDs by Justin Trevino

Gospel music is an acquired taste, one usually acquired in childhood while attending a Protestant church and singing in the choir. In fact, church choir is often the first training young singers receive. As a result, many singers harbor a soft spot for gospel music and -Elvis is probably the most famous example of this phenomena--dream of recording an all-gospel album. The liner notes in Justin Trevino's new CD claim that this is the album he's always wanted to make. Apparently he wasn't able to convince his former label to let him record it, but a gospel recording isn't that much of a commercial risk in Texas, land of mega-churches and even ubiquitous gospel brunches for hipsters.

Austin-based Trevino is known for roots country music, and he brings that flavor to the selection of old favorites ("The Old Rugged Cross" and "How Great Thou Art") as well as new selections, like the well-crafted title track. Trevino gathered together talented musicians to provide the kind of fiddle, piano, steel guitar combination that will surely please roots country fans. Beyond the music, Trevino infuses each song with palpable faith. Whether listeners can connect with that faith depends on how they spent Sunday mornings as a child.