Larry Sparks Ministry in Song Rebel Records
For almost 60 years, Larry Sparks has been “keepin’ it real” when it comes to bluegrass music. And for him, that means spreading the word of his faith.
Bluegrass music holds hands with Christianity like few other genres, and Larry Sparks has always been one of bluegrass gospel’s strongest proponents. His latest release for Rebel Records is Ministry in Song, and the title pretty much says it all.
Four of the songs come from prolific contemporary songwriter Daniel Crabtree including the album’s appealing lead number, “Don’t Take Your Eyes Off of Jesus.” Sparks contributes “King Jesus” and “Lord, Show Me The Way,” a pair of riveting songs he recorded when his hair contained significantly less silver than it does today. Sparks has previously turned to the Hank Williams songbook for material, and here revisits “House of Gold” and “I Saw the Light.”
Vocally, Sparks—as does Del McCoury—defies the passage of time, his voice as appealing, textured, and true as ever, if marginally diminished in raw power. Lonesome Rambler Evan Wilson handles mandolin and tenor vocal throughout the recording, and Sparks’ guitar work has never wavered over the years. The legend that is Ron Stewart offers fiddle across the album, as well as banjo on a pair of numbers, while Jacob Wright is the 5-stringer of record with Larry D. Sparks holding down the bass. There is no shortage of impressive instrumentation contained within these twelve numbers of faith and inspiration.
Ministry in Song is another strong bluegrass gospel offering from Bluegrass Hall of Fame member Larry Sparks.