Arise, We Must Be Growing, by Aileen and Elkin Thomas (Shantih Records, ST-1124, P.O. Box 150, Krum, TX 76249) by Lindsay Haisley
This is a unique album by two fine Texas musicians. Elkin Thomas is a successful Nashville musician who "retired" from mass-production music to a small farm near Dallas, where he and his wife, Aileen, raise chickens and goats and make some of the best homegrown music in the country. This album has both a gentleness and power which reflect the genuinely spiritual approach which these folks bring to their craft. Their vocal harmonies and instrumental work are simple, almost stark, reminiscent of traditional Appalachian music. Their arrangements are rich and full, with the able help of a number of fine sidemen, including Epic Records' recording artist, Charlie Daniels. Elkin is an excellent songwriter and sings with force and beauty of the times in which we live without preaching or moralizing.