Personnel: Paul Moak (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, tenor guitar, baritone guitar, banjo, mandolin, piano, Hammond b-3 organ, Wurlitzer organ, background vocals); Joe Kane (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, banjo); Jerry McPherson (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Kenny Davis (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Dustin Burnett.
Recording information: The Smoakstack.
Photographer: Joshua Black Wilkins.
The typical bent of contemporary Christian bands is to stick to a well-worn template of artless, arena-styled rock that has been buffed to a blinding sheen. So, kudos to the Rhett Walker Band for doing what they can to break that trend. There's still plenty of volume and bombast to the songs on the band's debut release Come to the River, but it's tempered with a whole lot of twang and attitude. Unfortunately for the quartet, that renders their sound to something akin to a Christian Nickelback. That might actually be considered a compliment in some circles, but for CCM listeners hoping for something a little different, it's quite a letdown. There are sparkles of greatness here when the band ratchets the volume and incident down on the particularly woozy and countrified "Brother," and the sedate album-closer "Singing Stone" puts the spotlight on Walker's restrained vocals and acoustic guitar. If the album achieves anything, it is to provide a perfect spotlight for Walker's incredible vocal range. The Nashville-native is capable of rafter-rattling howls and quiet whispers, each of with are affecting in their own right. And when matched up with his spiritually searching lyrics, his voice can cut straight through the thick layers of pounding rock music surrounding it. ~ Robert Ham