Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Album Review by Dusty Wells


The Isaacs - The Living Years

Producer: Ben Isaacs
Label: Gaither Music Group
Website: http://www.theisaacs.com
Finally, after hearing so much about it, seeing the group themselves do a few of these new songs live in different concerts the past few months, the long awaited much anticipated NEW release from one of “nearly everyone’s” favorite family groups, THE ISAAC’s has arrived! THE LIVING YEARS released through Gaither Music and produced by Ben Isaac’s along with the legendary and amazing Bill Gaither, this collection of songs will undoubtedly be considered one of the BEST of 2013 and most likely carry on as one of their finest releases in their illustrious music career. Ben, Sonya, Becky and Lily shine in every way on this recording. From the choosing of the songs, to the arranging of the songs, then to the absolutely stunning cover and finally to the sequence of the songs that are on the project, every base has been covered and it is delectable treat for the listener. Of course The Isaacs are known for their amazing harmonies, songs & performances that cover several genres of music including Bluegrass, Southern Gospel, Country, Folk, Inspirational and then some. This is a project that I will for certain, give to many of my friends who love all styles of music. It is a must have!

Yes, I am a fan and I have loved the Isaac’s since the very first time I encountered them in concert a dozen or so years ago and so this project just takes my “fan nature” a step or two higher. This project not only offers a variety of their styles, but each one of the vocals that Sonya, Becky, Ben and Lily sing are so clear and pristine, and they truly live each lyric out with their vocals.

Starting off the project is a remake of a hit pop radio song called “The Living Years” by Mike and the Mechanics from the early 80’s, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to think of it until I listened to it several times through. Perfect song with great lyrics that we can identify with and beautiful harmonies for them to showcase one another on, just a fresh wonderful start to the project. Captures you right away with intrigue. Then leading into something they are so known and loved for, their acapella music…”Walk Together Children” shines. There are several other great acapella songs on the project that showcase their rich harmonies and superb arrangements, including the classic hymn “I Must Tell Jesus”.

The Isaac’s have always been Rambo fans, and they have always treated the music, life and legacy of Buck, Dottie and Reba with the finest of respect, admiration and love. Of course Reba, Buck and Dottie always said The Isaac’s were some of the best and absolutely love them. I cannot ever hear Dottie’s classic “Mama’s Teaching Angels How To Sing”, and be reminded of their unforgettable and heart moving performance of the song at Dottie’s funeral. They are fans of one another and I love that. So when I heard this new version of “If That Isn’t Love”, I sat and cried. One of my all-time favorite re-makes of a Dottie song. I cannot say enough about that beautiful version of this song.

I loved hearing Lily take the lead on two songs, the first being a song that was one of the first Contemporary Christian songs that I ever heard when I first got saved in the early 70’s. “For Those Tears I Died” still has a relevant message and offers hope for all of us, and Lily so sweetly and assuredly sings it with such great passion. She also honors her heritage with a beautiful song, “Shalom My Home”.

“Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive” added such a fun flavor to the CD, and made me want to pull out some other 1940’s Andrews Sisters style music out. I think this will be a concert favorite and crowd pleaser…just a really fun song that Ben takes the lead on.

I would put their version of “Grandpa, Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days” right up there with The Judd’s original recording. This song just makes one feel good about going home to their home-place, the simple life, sharing the love of family and friends. Love their harmonies on this song and their delivery of a classic song that so many know and love.

Those long time blue grass Isaac fans will love all of the project, but most certainly love “Daniel Prayed”. It will get you toes tapping and some good hand clapping taking place.

Another tear-jerker to me, is the new song “I Wanna Be There”, which I don’t have the credits in front of me, but I think Jimmy Yeary (Sonya’s talented husband) and Sonya herself wrote. What a powerful song that will so gently remind all of us that one day we will all be healed completely and be with Him forevermore. Amazing song that will live on for many years. Again, their vocals just dance with emotion on every song they sing.

Closing out the project is “The Lord’s Prayer”, and honestly there is not much I can say about it except to say WOW!!! Done once again in that amazing acapella style that they are so known and loved for, I truly had to stand up while it played. Just so mighty and yet so reverent.

So now, I have played the project over and over and over again, several times. I am going to shut my office door and listen to “If That Isn’t Love” one more time, and thank God for loving me back to life again, and for entrusting Sonya, Becky, Lily and Ben with the powerful gift of music that will touch all of us on this journey.

Absolutely an incredible project that I will give 4 and ½ stars too!!!

Song List:

The Living Years
Walk Together Children
If That Isn’t Love
Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive
For Those Tears I Died
I Must Tell Jesus
Grandpa Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Old Days
Daniel Prayed
I Wanna Be There
I Am A Child of God
Leave It On The Altar
I Know Who Holds Tomorrow
Shalom My Home
The Lord’s Prayer

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dove Award Nominations and New Projects at top of the Charts!

To our fans.....We are honored that you have put our new projects at the top of the charts.     Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for supporting The Isaacs.
Lily, Ben, Sonya & Becky

Way to go Ben on seven Dove nominations!!!!  We are so proud of you!!!!

Press Release - 8-22-2013

The Award-winning Isaacs’ All-New Recording The Living Years Debuts at Top of Sales Charts

Family Group Garners Three 2013 Gospel Music Association (GMA) Nominations Including a Nod for Song of the Year
Group Receives Back to Back Nominations in 2013

Multi-award-winning family group The Isaacs are celebrating the street week of their all-new recording, The Living Years, (Gaither Music Group) which landed at the #1 spot on the bluegrass chart, #1 on the southern gospel album chart and #9 on the contemporary Christian album sales report for this past week. In addition the group’s newly released Up Close and Personal DVD took the #1 position on the Christian Music Video chart and the #3 position on the Billboard Music Video chart, surrounded by Carrie Underwood, One Direction and The Eagles.

“We are so thrilled to have these spots on the charts for our new releases," stated Lily Isaacs. “It's a joy to see projects we poured ourselves into being received so warmly by the public, and what an honor to hold such prestigious chart positions alongside some of the music industry’s most respected artists!”

Produced by Ben Isaacs and Bill Gaither, the new release, recorded acoustically, captures the intricate family harmonies that have made this group a household name among Gospel music lovers and showcases the type of arrangements and musicality that have made them known for their “pedal-steel blend.”

The Isaacs garnered three Gospel Music Association (GMA) DOVE nominations for the 2013 awards show as announced at the press conference yesterday at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena in Nashville, TN.

The group’s title cut from their last recording, Why Can’t We, written by Rebecca Isaacs Bowman, Sonya Isaacs Yeary and Jimmy Yeary, was nominated for Song of the Year as well as Southern Gospel Performance of the Year. In addition, group member Ben Isaacs, who received seven nominations in all, garnered a nod for Producer of the Year.

“It’s an honor to be nominated along with such great guys whom I have looked up to and respected,” stated Ben. “I’ve been very blessed to work with some very talented artists who make my job a joy, and I am thankful for the opportunity day in and day out to serve them and to be recognized in this way.”

Ben co-produced the song "Glorious Freedom" and the album Pure and Simple, by the Gaither Vocal Band (Gaither Music Group), alongside Bill Gaither, Michael English and David Phelps. The song was nominated in the Southern Gospel Performance of the Year category, and the album is up for Southern Gospel Album of the Year. He also co-produced Country Album of the Year nominee Mercy, by Aaron & Amanda Crabb, (co-produced with Aaron Crabb) as well as Back Home Again, by the Oak Ridge Boys, also nominated for Country Album of the Year.

In addition to his official nominations, Ben was also co-arranger of Bluegrass Song of the Year nominee "Standing in the Need Prayer," by the Oak Ridge Boys.

The Isaacs’ creativity is further captured on their new release which features a new rendition of “The Living Years,” the pop hit from the 80s originally recorded by Mike + the Mechanics as well as a cover of The Judds’ “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Ole Days).” It features the group’s unique version of the Dottie Rambo-penned classic “If That Isn’t Love,” an acapella rendition of “Walk Together Children” that features a signature “boom boom” bass part by Bill Gaither and the classic all-American tune “Ac-Cent-Tchu-ate the Positive.”

The Up Close and Personal DVD contains an intimate time of conversation and performances around the piano with Bill [Gaither], numerous appearances from various Homecoming stages ranging from Alaska to Jerusalem and a moving tribute to Lily’s mother, a Holocaust survivor.

The Living Years CD and the Up Close and Personal DVD are exclusively distributed by Capitol Christian Distribution and are now available throughout general market stores and the Christian marketplace in addition to online retailers including iTunes, Amazon and http://www.gaither.com.

The releases are being featured on tv networks including RFD, PBS, DISH TV, DIRECTV, AT&T U-verse, TBN, Family Net, FFE, RURAL TV, TNN, Airtime, CTN, The Walk TV (formerly Legacy), TCT and TLN and also in Canada on Vision TV, CTS, Grace TV and the Miracle Channel. The DVD is also featured on Gaither TV (available on Roku, Google and the Internet).

Today’s GMA DOVE nominations came on the heels of more good news for the Tennessee-based group following this week’s announcement that group member Sonya Isaacs Yeary has been nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year at the 24th Annual International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards, while Ben is currently nominated for Producer of the Year at this year’s National Quartet Convention (NQC) Awards to be held in Louisville, KY.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sonya Isaacs Yeary - IBMA nomination

Our very own Sonya Isaacs Yeary nominated for 2013 IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year!!

  • Dale Ann Bradley
  • Sonya Isaacs
  • Claire Lynch
  • Amanda Smith
  • Rhonda Vincent
To see the full list of this year's nominees please visit:

Friday, August 9, 2013

Press Release - New Isaacs music

The Award-winning Isaacs Make the Most of The Living Years with All-NEW CD
Family Group Emphasizes Acclaimed Harmonies with Acoustic Approach to Their Latest Recording
Fans Able to Get Up Close and Personal with New Isaacs’ DVD
August 9th, 2013—NASHVILLE , Tenn.—Award-winning family group The Isaacs will release an all-new CD recording, The Living Years, on August 13th. Produced by Ben Isaacs (Oak Ridge Boys, Gaither Vocal Band) and Bill Gaither, the new release, recorded acoustically, captures the intricate family harmonies that have made this group a household name among Gospel music lovers and showcases the type of arrangements and musicality that have made them known for their “pedal-steel blend.”
This release is really about the vocals and represents what we are doing the most LIVE in concert these days,” describes Ben, “whether at a bluegrass festival, a gospel concert or a church, we are emphasizing our harmonies and using less instruments on stage. You still get the stand-up bass, mandolin, banjo, guitar and percussion and the bluegrass numbers; but our overall approach in a LIVE setting is one that focuses on our harmony, which is where it all started for us.”
Those seamless harmonies are featured on the recording’s opener—a cover of “The Living Years,” a pop hit from the 80s originally recorded by Mike + the Mechanics.  Bill [Gaither] suggested this song to us, and we are so glad he did,” recalls Ben. “What a great song. Our version is a bit looser and acoustic in style which I think brings the lyrics more front and center.” Lyrics remain “front and center” on the group’s covers of the Gospel classics “For Those Tears I Died,” “I Am a Child of God” and “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow” and on their impeccable, acapella rendition of “I Must Tell Jesus.” “Walk Together Children” is another acapella selection that features a signature “boom boom” bass part by Bill Gaither.  This song sounds like a song from the 30s or 40s,” Ben explains. “This is one of those kinds of songs that Bill really loves. It has a barber shop feel.” “Bill is brilliant with harmony,” adds Lily, “the three parts come more naturally for us, but Bill is a master and a perfectionist with that fourth part—with those arrangements with chords that ‘rub’ together more unexpectedly.”
Not so unexpectedly, the group chose to record a Dottie Rambo-penned classic. “Becky brought ‘If That Isn’t Love’ to the bus one day before a show,” Ben recalls. “We went over it and Bill said, ‘We’re gonna sing this tonight!’ He often plays piano in concert with us for this song when we are with him. He is the ‘king of feel’ on the piano.”  Bill, Gloria and Buddy Greene wrote a new song for the release entitled “Leave It All on the Altar.” “You know it’s like a house. You make it look real modern, and that is going to date it eventually,” describes Ben. “You build a classic home and you won’t know when it was built. Bill is like that with songs, and this is an example of a new song that sounds timeless. This cut is more swamp-y…blues-y. It’s the most fun I had playing in the studio during the recording.”
Another “fun” tune featured on The Living Years is the classic “Ac-Cent-Tchu-ate the Positive.” “Becky brought this to the table,” recalls Lily. “She heard Bing Crosby and the Andrew Sisters’ version from the 40s, and we really learned it from the YouTube clip! This tune is familiar to a lot of people, and we love to watch audiences warmly singing along.”
Crowds can also join in on the group’s rendition of “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days),” originally recorded by The Judds. Recorded at Ricky Skaggs’ studio, Sonya used one of Ricky’s octave mandolins on this recording, and she eventually purchased it from him and now performs the song with it in concert.  This song takes me to my dad’s parents’ home in Kentucky,” says Ben with a smile. “They were the epitome of what this song is about--being together, plowing fields, taking care of their cabin with 17 kids and no running water—this lyric takes me to that spot; and it features my favorite line on the entire album: “Did daddys really never go away?”
The newly written “I Wanna Be There” was an idea from Sonya and Becky that they brought to life with Sonya’s husband, Jimmy Yeary. An emotional tearjerker getting early rave reviews, the song features Gordon Mote on the piano which marks the only time piano is used on The Living Years.
Also releasing on Tuesday is Up Close and Personal, an all-new DVD from The Isaacs that contains an intimate time of conversation and performances around the piano with Bill, numerous appearances from various Homecoming stages ranging from Alaska to Jerusalem and a moving tribute to Lily’s mother.
The Living Years CD and DVD will be exclusively distributed by Capitol Christian Distribution and made available throughout general market stores and the Christian marketplace in addition to online retailers including iTunes and Amazon.
The release will be featured on tv networks including RFD, PBS, DISH TV, DIRECTV, AT&T U-verse, TBN, Family Net, FFE, RURAL TV, TNN, Airtime, CTN, The Walk TV (formerly Legacy), TCT and TLN and also in Canada on Vision TV, CTS, Grace TV and the Miracle Channel. In addition, the DVD will be featured on Gaither TV (available on RokuGoogle and the Internet).
For further information regarding The Isaacs, You can follow them at www.facebook.com/The Isaacs and on Twitter at@IsaacsMusic.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Watch our new video 'The Isaacs Up Close & Personal' on TV

We are so excited about the release of our new DVD, The Isaacs Up Close & Personal, scheduled to hit the streets on August 13th we wanted to let you know that you can preview an hour of it beginning today on the channels listed below.

The family gathers around the piano with Bill Gaither for some old tunes, done Isaacs style and you'll see clips of the Isaacs from recent Gaither videos and get a glimpse into our hearts as we share personally our love for the music and for our Lord Jesus.  We hope you'll watch and come back and visit our STORE for some new Isaacs music.  Enjoy!

Lily, Ben, Sonya & Becky

(Sorted by Channel)         **ALL TIMES ARE EASTERN**
Sat10-AugAngel OneIsaacs: Up Close And Personal6:30 PM
Sun11-AugAngel OneIsaacs: Up Close And Personal1:00 PM
Tues13-AugAngel OneIsaacs: Up Close And Personal7:00 PM
Wed14-AugAngel OneIsaacs: Up Close And Personal10:30 PM
Tues3-SepAngel OneIsaacs: Up Close And Personal7:00 PM
Wed4-SepAngel OneIsaacs: Up Close And Personal10:30 PM
Sat10-AugCTNIsaacs: Up Close And Personal4:00 PM
Sat10-AugCTSIsaacs: Up Close And Personal3:30 PM, 5:00 PM
Fri9-AugDirectTV - Channel 227Isaacs: Up Close And Personal1:00 PM
Fri9-AugDirectTV - Channel 227Isaacs: Up Close And Personal1:30 PM
Fri23-AugDirectTV - Channel 227Isaacs: Up Close And Personal5:00 PM
Fri23-AugDirectTV - Channel 227Isaacs: Up Close And Personal5:30 PM
Wed7-AugFamily Friendly EntertainmentIsaacs: Up Close And Personal2:00 AM
Sat10-AugFamilyNetIsaacs: Up Close And Personal6:00 PM
Sat10-AugGrace TVIsaacs: Up Close And Personal12:00:00 PM, 1:00AM
Thurs8-AugRFD TVIsaacs: Up Close And Personal7:00 PM
Sat10-AugRFD TVIsaacs: Up Close And Personal6:00 PM
Sat10-AugTBNIsaacs: Up Close And Personal7:00 PM
Sun11-AugTCTIsaacs: Up Close And Personal2:30 AM, 11:00 PM
Sat10-AugThe Miracle ChannelIsaacs: Up Close And Personal10:00 PM
Sat10-AugThe Walk TVIsaacs: Up Close And PersonalSee your local listings
Sat10-AugTLNIsaacs: Up Close And PersonalSee your local listings
Sat10-AugTNNIsaacs: Up Close And Personal9:00 PM
Sun11-AugTNNIsaacs: Up Close And Personal10:00 AM
Wed14-AugTNNIsaacs: Up Close And Personal8:00 PM
Fri9-AugVision TelevisionIsaacs: Up Close And Personal9:00 PM