Russ Taff – The Way Home – 1989

Is there a better and more passionate male vocalist in the history of Christian music? After several years in Southern Gospel ensembles and a career building tenure with the Imperials, Russ Taff took his throaty and earthy blue-eyed soul voice of gold into a solo realm and, for several years, created some of the finest albums in CCM. Three of those albums make the list here. After two successful pop albums and a thematic and musical shift with a self-titled release, Taff released his fourth solo album to an overwhelming contingent of positive responses. Not as dark or rock driven as the previous release, The Way Home is more Americana and Springsteen influenced. Not “country,” but decidedly less “alternative” and more earthy. yet the Country market embraced the album charting three singles from the album. Christian radio was not as embracing though a few songs did make a dent including the wonderful ballad, “Farther On.” The ballads on the album are incredibly strong with several written by Michael Anderson (who himself will appear later on this list). In fact, an Anderson penned tune remains my personal favorite on the album. “I Need You,” which appeared on Anderson’s A&M debut release is wonderfully redone here. On several occasions Taff points toward a later release entitles “Under Their Influence” in which he covers several classic country and southern gospel classics. The songs included here reflect Taff’s heritage and respect for the legacy of amazing music left behind by some incredible artists. The album closes with “Table in the Wilderness” that is simply a 4 minute masterpiece. It always felt to me that the song would have worked on a latter Alarm album with it’s anthem like qualities. A huge song with a great hook and Taff’s impressive vocals really carry it through. This would be the last album that would make a major impact in the CCM market for Taff though he has continued to record and release album up to the present. He has also continued an on again off again relationship with the Gaither Vocal Band.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – Winds Of Change – 4:17
2 – It Was Love – 4:26
3 – Farther On – 3:49
4 – The River Unbroken – 4:24
5 – He Came Through – 3:10
6 – I Cry – 4:07
7 – I Need You – 4:36
8 – Go On – 4:22
9 – Ain’t No Grave – 1:19
10 – Guiding Light – 4:13
11 – Take My Hand – 4:35
12 – Table In The Wilderness – 4:15

Arranged By [Strings] – Don Hart
Art Direction – Buddy Jackson
Bass – Jackie Streets
Coordinator [Cover] – Laurie Fink
Drums – Lynn Williams
Engineer – Tim Crich
Engineer [Additional] – Dan Garcia, David Schober, Lynn Fuston
Engineer [Assistant] – Chris Rich, Clarke Schleicher, Elaine Anderson, Gil Morales, Mac Smith, Shawn McLean
Guitar – James Hollihan Jr., Russ Taff
Keyboards – James Hollihan Jr., Larry Hall
Management – Zach Glickman
Mastered By – Dan Hersch
Melodica – James Hollihan Jr.
Mixed By – Peter Coleman
Photography By [Black And White] – Bonnie Schiffman
Photography By [Front Cover] – Loren Balman
Producer – James Hollihan Jr., Russ Taff

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – The Bennett House
Recorded At – Downstage Studio
Recorded At – Gold Mine Studio
Recorded At – Digital Recorders
Recorded At – Hollywood Sound Recorders
Recorded At – Wayne Cook Studios
Mixed At – Mama Jo’s
Mastered At – DigiPrep