Gold City – Authentic (2016)
With new tenor Thomas Nalley and bass Chris West, Authentic is the recording debut of the most complete lineup Gold City has had on stage since Steve Ladd and Jonathan Wilburn shared the stage with Danny Riley. The project includes ten songs previously recorded by the group with a mix of five newly cut and five original music tracks. The songs date from two first recorded in 1982 to four songs from the 2005 Heaven project.
Danny Riley is featured on two of the re-cuts from the Heaven CD, “I’m Never Alone” and “Heaven”. If I’m not mistaken, his vocals from the original recordings are used for his solo parts. I’ve liked “I’m Never Alone” dating back to Danny’s time with Majesty and I’m looking forward to hearing it staged again. “Heaven” is always a fun song in concert and I enjoyed hearing Thomas come in on the tag and Chris burying his step out line. Danny is also featured on one of the new tracks, “Holy Anointing”. I first heard the new track last year at the first Heritage of Gold concert and instantly loved the new sound.
Chip Pullen is featured on three songs, including one with a new track that the group has been opening concerts with for several months, “Gettin’ Ready To Leave”. This is a song from 1982, not the convention song that Gold City also recorded in the 80s, “Getting Ready To Leave This World.” Chip brings back one of my favorite Gold City songs, “Windows Of Home”. He does an awesome job on this Kyla Rowland song. The new track is similar to the original cut from 1990, with the most noticeable change being the lack of harmonica. Chip sings another of the songs from the Heaven CD, “My Hiding Place”. Upon looking at the project’s song list, I considered this the most surprising inclusion. After listening to the CD, this is the song that most sticks in my head. I found myself humming this song all day and going back to listen to it again several times. Chip and Chris West split the step out lines on the fourth of the songs from Heaven, “Way Down Deep In My Soul”.
Thomas Nalley’s big feature is “God Of All Gods”, a song from Jay Parrack’s first recording with the group in 1994. Using the original track, the six minute song starts soft with just piano and strings, before building up to a huge sound by the end. I’d never heard Thomas tackle a song like this before but he sounds incredible. His voice sounds more at home here than an inexperienced Jay Parrack’s voice did on the original recording. Thomas is also featured on the final verse of another song the group has already been staging with a new music track, “How Deep Is The Water”.
Speaking of “How Deep Is The Water”, I’ve wanted Danny to bring this song back for years, but now that we have this cut, I’m glad that he waited until now. Chris and Thomas both sound great on this classic Gold City song. While “How Deep” is the closest song to a solo feature for Chris on the CD, his voice rattles the subs throughout the recording, exactly how a Gold City bass should. From his step outs on “Holy Anointing”, “Heaven”, and “Way Down Deep” to his note on the final chorus of “We’re Gonna Rise” (with an outstanding new track), this CD shows that Chris was the only choice to step in for Tim Riley.
As mentioned earlier, this line up is the best Gold City has had in many years. With this project, they bring back some old favorites that will be welcome additions to their set list and the four songs re-cut from the Heaven CD seem to give a glimpse of what direction the group will continue to go in under Danny’s direction. This project has me more excited for Gold City than I have been in years.
Review copy provided by Gold City