Produced by: Tricia Walker for Big Front Porch Productions
Recorded and mixed by: Mike Iacopelli at Delta Music Institute Studio B at Delta State University, Cleveland, MS
Additional recording by: Wayne Neuendorf at Blue Mountain Retreat, Nashville, TN
Mastered by: Mike Iacopelli
Assistant Engineer: Lance Vaughn
Arrangers: Alvin Shelby
Vocals: Tricia Walker
Keyboards: Alvin Shelby
Bass: Richard Felton
Drums, percussion: Vince Barranco
Electric guitar: Duff Dorrough
Acoustic guitar: Tricia Walker
Chris Dixon, leader
La Toya Lee
Transformation Kids (St. Luke’s UMC)
“He’ll Understand And Say Well Done” performed by Will T. Turner at the funeral service of Marie Farr Walker in Jefferson County, Mississippi
Photography: Will Jacks
This has always been a favorite hymn of mine, reminding me that one day we will have answers to so many questions that concern us now.
Up Above My Head (I Hear Music In The Air)
I learned this song a few years ago from some precious four and five year olds at Holy Family Catholic Church in Natchez, Mississippi. I had gone there to sing some songs for them, but I came away with the precious gift of the children teaching me this song. If you want to see some serious guitar playing and praising on this song, check out Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s version.
Jesus Loves Me
At my local church, there is a program called Transformation Kids that works with a dozen or so kids from our town that are brought to church to be nurtured in the love of Christ. I wanted these kids to have an opportunity to be heard on this project, so after service one Sunday, I quickly taught them this old familiar song from my childhood, grabbed my laptop, and hit the record button.
I had the opportunity to work in New Zealand three different times during the 80s. While there working on a television show, I heard a young Maori singer perform this song. I had never heard it before and have rarely heard it since, but I immediately added it to my own repertoire and sing it whenever there is an opportunity.
Grace For The Moment
My friend, Buddy Greene, and I have performed many, many shows together throughout the years, but we have only collaborated on a song once. This song is the fruit of that labor. I had scribbled out the chorus and its melody, and Buddy took it from there. It has become one of my own favorites.
How Can I Keep From Singing
I first heard this song on a recording by Eva Cassidy, an amazing singer gone too soon. I found from some research that the song was first published in print around 1868 with the title, “Always Rejoicing.” For a singer, the song’s message is gloriously obvious.
Rough Side Of The Mountain
This song became a favorite of my mother’s after she heard a local Gospel group perform it. That group honored her by singing it at her funeral. I wanted the chance to include it on one of my recordings, and I’m grateful that my friend and arranger on this project, Alvin Shelby, agreed to sing it as a duet. Trust me…it’s in the pocket.
Another of my favorites…this beautiful old spiritual. I’ve heard so many great versions, and this great song is complimented by Alvin Shelby’s arrangement. It’s a wonderful reminder that the Lord does indeed ‘numbers our days.’
Softly And Tenderly
Possibly one of the most beautiful hymns of all. It resonates deeply within my heart and soul as it connects the spiritual and temporal ideas of home. A powerful and fundamental concept deeply rooted at the center of us all.
Right On Time
A great song in the African-American church tradition written by Dorothy Love Coates. I believe it is a blessing that we cannot know God’s timetable for our lives. There’s a good reason we cannot see the future. But don’t worry…God has His watch on.
He’ll Understand And Say Well Done
This beautiful song is from the Missionary Baptist church hymnal. My mother heard Will T. Turner, Jr. singing the hymn one day while they were working together. She asked if he would sing it at her funeral. After she passed, a friend reminded him of her request. After building her casket and helping carry it to the burying ground, he did as he had promised and sang the song a capella with a heart full of sorrow standing by her graveside. His is the voice you hear at the beginning of this track. It was the last song recorded during these sessions.
Keep Walkin’ On
My friend, Karen Staley, did a tour with Faith Hill as a back-up singer when Faith was opening for country star Alan Jackson. Alan used to close his show with a Gospel song, and the rising star from Star, MS wanted to do the same. Karen and I had written this song for Karen’s debut recording, so she pitched the song to Faith, and well….there you go. Faith recorded it as a duet with Shelby Lynne, performed it on the CMA Awards show, and I was able to renovate my kitchen after waiting for ten years. I’m grateful for all of that, but I’m also grateful for the encouragement in the song. One foot in front of the other…one step at a time