On November 16th, 1994 Reverend Dan Smith died. He was 84 years old. To most of the world, including the world of CCM, the passing went by without much of an acknowledgement. But for 80 of his 84 years, Smith was a blues crooning, harmonica blasting, Gospel/folk, street preaching treasure. I challenge people to try to listen to this amazing album with being moved emotionally or spiritually. His life was filled with difficulties, trials and pain. Born in Alabama under Jim Crow laws he faced racism, depression and financial hardship. He struggled to educate himself while living the life of southern sharecroppers. He eventually landed a decent paying job the 1940’s, but was blinded in an industrial accident. All the while he played, sand and preached anywhere and everywhere. He even joined Pete Seeger in the fight to clean up the Hudson River. But despite all that, it is hard not to feel, sense, experience the sheer joy he expresses in every note. His love for his Savior is so obvious it drips from every note. His harmonica playing was very influential in the 60’s folk and blues world. The album being discussed here was recorded intermittently at his home as he was in poor health. The album was produced by Buddy Miller and features Miller’s wife and CCM icon, Julie Miller along with Victoria Williams and Bryan Duncan. Almost 30 years after it’s unheralded release and over 25 years since Smith’s death this masterpiece reminds us not only of a great musician, preacher, singer, but hopefully reminds of a long and treasured tradition of this truly American musical expression. If you do not own this amazing album…just find it!
Contributor David Lowman – https://legacyccmsgreatestalbums.wordpress.com/
1 – God’s Radar – 3:23
2 – Just Keep Goin’ On – 2:48
3 – Introduction – 0:59
4 – I’ve Never Been To Seminary, But I’ve Been To Calvary – 4:38
5 – I Walk By Faith – 3:24
6 – To Another Room – 4:51
7 – Dan Speaks – 0:15
8 – It Takes God To Build A Home – 3:37
9 – When Your Time Comes To Die – 2:52
10 – Jesus Knows My Name – 4:06
11 – This Is The Lord’s House – 3:14
12 – Down Through The Years (Testimony) – 8:47
Acoustic Bass – Denny Croy
Acoustic Guitar – George Ward
Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Electric Bass – Buddy Miller
Backing Vocals – Dexter Dickerson, Julie Miller, King Cotton, Mark Heard, Victoria Williams, Willie Greene Jr.
Dobro, Mandolin, Fiddle, Banjo – Dennis Caplinger
Drums – Scott Babcock
Mastered By – Doug Doyle
Organ [Hammond], Piano – John Andrew Schreiner
Percussion – Steve Hindalong
Producer – John Flynn
Producer, Mixed By – Buddy Miller
Resonator Guitar – Michael Hackanson-Stacy
Vocals [Duet] – Bryan Duncan
Vocals, Harmonica – Rev. Dan J. Smith
Written-By – Rev. Dan J. Smith
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Made By – JVC