by Carolina Millie
I received Love Remains as a gift from my youngest daughter. Little did she know that it would become one of my all time favorites! This faith-based project from Hillary Scott and the Scott family is music with an impact.
Better known as the front woman of the country trio, Lady Antebellum, Scott has been working on this collaborative undertaking since 2011, with the passing of her grandfather, W.M. Scott Jr. The family leaned on faith and music through the difficult time. And out of darkness came the light of Love Remains.
“The process of making this album has been not only creatively inspiring but I’ve also really been able to grow as a person,” shared Hillary Scott.
Love Remains is a labor of love that is carefully planned and designed to achieve a particular aim – Jesus.
The list of names associated with this treasure is legendary. Producer Ricky Skaggs, known professionally as a country, gospel and bluegrass singer, musician, producer, and composer, also provides vocals and instrumentals.” He primarily plays mandolin; however, Skaggs talent extends to the fiddle, guitar, mandocaster and banjo. His touch is evident throughout.
Scotts admits Skaggs became ‘not only the producer, but the pastor of this record.’ ”Every morning at the studio, he had an encouraging word, or he would open with a word of prayer,” she recalls. “It was much more than just a working relationship.”
In addition to Hillary, most country fans will recognize the lead vocals of her famous mother, Linda Davis, in a song called, “The River.” Davis is an established singer in her own right and still tours regularly — and along with Reba McEntire recorded the No. 1 mega duet, “Does He Love You.”
“The River” is authentic gospel at its best featuring duo vocals of Sharon and Cheryl White (wife and sister-in-law of Skaggs) from one of most successful bluegrass-gospel families of all time — The Whites.
Hillary’s dad, famed songwriter, Lang Scott and her 16-year-old sister Rylee Scott are also featured throughout the compilation as well as her drummer husband Chris Tyrell.
The single, “Thy Will,” is captive. A piano-driven ballad, it is a self-penned expression of thoughts after her second pregnancy ended in miscarriage in 2015. Hillary calls it an “open letter to God.”
“I questioned why but never lost my faith. Those four words rang constantly, ‘thy will be done,” Hillary explained in a recent interview with Billboard.
And while the powerful smoothness in her tone in the first song brings you all in — the remainder of the album keeps you there.
The title cut of “Love Remains,” originally recorded in 1995 by Collin Raye, is a beautiful reminder of God’s love as delivered with the help of younger sister Rylee Scott, complimented with harmony from Mom Linda and lead on the last verse from her dad, Lang Scott. This project is a true family effort.
“We March On” was co-written by her mother and father (Lang Scott, Linda Davis) along with Don Poythress and Kenna Turner West. “Sheltered In The Arms Of God” highlights the rich smooth tones of Linda Davis and her flawless inflections. Steven Curtis Chapman and Skaggs join forces to compliment Hillary Scott on “The Faithful Love of Jesus.” The world’s favorite “Untitled Hymn (Come To Jesus)” is another powerful gospel song should melt the hardest of hearts. “Your Unfailing Love” is a bluegrass blended old fashion love song to God.
So how do you close a masterpiece produced by Ricky Skaggs? With the bluegrass flavored “Ain’t No Grave,” featuring the Scott Family along with Skaggs’ family — wife Sharon and her sister Cheryl White.
This creation combines country, bluegrass and old time gospel music into the raw Faith of Jesus music that can be listened to over and over.
Honestly, it’s hard to pick a favorite here, but I just love the opening cuts (No. 1&2) “Beautiful Messes” and “Still” (that emulates one of my favorite bible messages, Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God.”) Then comes everyone’s favorite the John 3:16 influenced song “Safe Haven.” The messages alone— will win you over.
The variety of style further develops the tone and authenticates this as a well-rounded masterpiece. From “Thy Will” to the beautiful composition of “Come Thou Fount,” the anointed voice of Hillary Scott will pave the way for a family reunion with breathtaking vocals that will take you to a powerful place.