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Be Ye Glad:  The Songs of Michael Kelly Blanchard
Format: Audio CDChange
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Michael Kelly Blanchard's songs have deeply intriguing words and messages. "Thy True Love" is a passionate offering of God's love for those of us who sometimes feel so far away in our "snowbound winter hearts." This is easily my favorite track. I sometimes felt that family issues - handicapped children, marital strife, and child abuse - were presented in a somewhat simplistic manner, and that musical phrasing was sometimes a bit weak. His voice, however is pleasant to listen to and I think his style is especially strong in upbeat songs like "Top of the Morning" or "Lord of the Living."
I enjoy this CD. It's depth is its strength and its music is pleasant.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2002
Format: Audio CD
The song "Be Ye Glad" is a song that everyone in this country should listen to. It tells us that even in this world we can be glad we have a God that has taken away our pain and suffering. After 9-11-01, when this country was shook with tragedy this song came to mind. A few lines go..... "When the heart & the soul of a nation lay wounded & cold as a corpse......Be ye glad oh, be ye glad evry debt that you ever had, has been paid up in full by the grace of the Lord, be ye glad". We all need to know that wonderful truth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
This album was instrumental in my recovery from abuse as a child. The first time I heard his song "The Trouble With Me" I was in a car and bawled all the way home. This is wonderful, spiritual and extremely comforting. I really feel God's presence when I listen to him sing...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2010
Format: Audio CD
The essence of greatness in literature and song. Master of the fret-board, and of the pen; this troubador is the quintessential musician. More than that, his depth of insight takes the listener to a world of light and wonder.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2013
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I love Michael Kelly Blanchard's music and I've loved this album for a long time. He is a storyteller. Sometimes the stories are sad, sometimes hopeful. Always they make you think.
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on May 19, 2014
Format: Audio CD
I've kinda got a thing for noticing artists that are both excellent musicians as well as excellent songwriters. Those two talents don't necessarily go together, and I think many, many artists are one OR the other... maybe good lyricists who themselves don't sing and whose work is known through performers---and those performers are great musicians but don't claim to be songwriters. Michael Kelly Blanchard is one of the BOTH guys... as another poster said, "master of the fret-board and the pen." I'd be interested to know what a different commenter meant by 'sometimes weak musical phrasing' --but I'm not a trained musician and maybe she is. One example I think I can give of "musical phrasing" is the way he picks his way through a string of syllables sung as the guitar was strumming along right before that point. It's suddenly one-for-one: one-syllable words with a single different note on the guitar, and they're Not the same notes as the vocal -- so interesting to me. That would be hard for me to play, like rubbing my tummy and patting my head at the same time: "... that it sings out to the one who made them."

^That particular song is my favorite one "Every Little One." It has fabulous phrases like "a leaf-wave in the breeze" and "every little SEED down on its knees, while it's there..." <-- haha, cuz it's a seed and it's not going to be one for very long, is it? And it's "down on its knees" cuz it's so deep in the ground (not to mention praising God)? This song has the female singer who does great harmony at just the right volume with him. He put a mandolin in this one... soo cool and curiously perfect, and the way it climbs up a chord progression at the end just makes me smile.

Lastly, on this "Every Litte One" Blanchard borrows from one of my favorite parts of Scripture (the Revelation angels calling out to one another), and I realize he can't take credit for that, but that he uses the same conjugation of God's Presence made me just love him. The song breaks from a rollicking guitar accompaniment into a bold, multi-voiced and every-living-thing all Together, all caps: HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH! God WAS, God IS, God WILL always, always BE!" I don't really know what musical phrasing is, but there's another interesting example where a father cries and the few notes following those words actually do sound like "whimpering".

Most people seem to like Blanchard's ballads best, and he is indeed a good storyteller. I like his praise and worship songs. The title song "Be Ye Glad" is awesome, and another one, possibly almost as joyous as "Every Little One" is "Top o' the Morning." Now, there too, I like how the music supports the lyrics. At one point the words are "all around the town you can hear the church bells ring... a thousand different thank-you's" -- and instead of furnishing a couple church bells, or even three or four, he lavishes us with a dozen different tones one after another (just as it could be in a real town) ringing word by word all the way to the end of the verse -- Bong! Bong! Bong! Bong! The fiddle in that song is just so wonderful. I don't know if he played it himself (the liner notes have him thanking all the musicians who helped on the album), but you have to think he wanted and designed and chose to have the accompaniment occur just this way. The first seconds of "Top o' the Morning" (called a riff?) are simply joyous with that fiddle, and the fiddle elaborates on a later phrase "the bathrooms and the kitchen are taken by surprise" by sounding just as if it were running into there by surprise with ambushing people.

Finally, I'll say something similar to what another poster said about Blanchard's words ministering to me. I'm only just now starting to find my way out of the woods, and I wish I had the same strong faith as he seems to. He wrote, "There's no dark desperate hall of your soul that cannot be lit by the Lord" in a song that talks about "eternal water that flows through this wasteland You've won." I can't say I understand what "backing my post to the wall" means, but what parts I do understand of this CD have made me listen to it over and over, home, car and office, and I'd recommend it to anyone.
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