Grammy-nominated Southern Gospel group The Isaacs has just finished re-recording some of their classic hits and most-requested songs for their upcoming album, Favorites: Revisited by Request, releasing on June 1. The new recording features the intricate family harmonies that have made them a household name among Southern Gospel, Bluegrass, and Country music fans.
"When you sing a song for years and years it naturally changes," says group member Sonya Isaacs Yeary, about how the idea behind the new recording came to be. "You'll emphasize a word differently, or a harmony part might change a little bit. An inflection or a way that you say it or sing it might change. You just get comfortable with a song, and the more you sing it together the better it gets. The more we sing these songs the more we enjoy singing them."
Included among those songs on Favorites: Revisited by Request are "It Is Well (Elisha's Song)," "I've Come to Take You Home," "He Understands My Tears," "Stand Still" and more, including "Is Not This the Land of Beulah," which Ben Isaacs describes as a song he relates to in a new way today.
"That song, to me, is timeless; but I think as I'm maturing and getting older I'm understanding more about the Land of Beulah and heaven and where I want to be in my relationship with God," he says. "When you're younger you don't always focus on the future. You focus on the 'right now.' I see that song in a new way now."
The new album also includes a new twist on the barn-burner "He Ain't Never Done Me Nothing but Good," which Becky Isaacs Bowman smilingly says will follow the group to the grave. "We can't go a night without singing it," she says.
"We added a couple of musicians to this recording of it," adds Sonya. "Gordon Mote played piano. Aubrey Haynie played fiddle. Russell Carson played banjo...they smoked their solos on this track!"
"In the studio, the only thing we did with these songs is that we made them just a touch more current," says Ben. "They are still the same melodies. They are the same songs, but we just made them a little more musically what we are today. We tried to keep them as original and traditional-feeling as we could."
The collection also includes The Isaacs favorites "The Star-Spangled Banner" as well as "I Have a Father Who Can," which showcases the groups unique acapella arrangements. In addition, the album also includes "From the Depths of My Heart," written by Sonya and Ben.
"This year is the 25th anniversary of this song," reminisces Lily Isaacs. "It was a number one song in gospel music for several months when we first recorded it. We thought, 'How cool would that be to re-record something after 25 years?' A lot of the fans that we've met in the last 10 or 15 years may have never heard it."
"Looking at this selection of songs, it's exciting to think that 25 years later, the lyrics that we penned then and the lyrics that we chose to sing 25 years ago still stand the test of time," adds Bowman. "I can't say there's one song on this record I'm ashamed of or embarrassed of or that I theologically disagree with today, and that's important. These songs we sang and believed in 25 or 30 years ago when we were establishing our careers still stand the test of time."
For more information about The Isaacs, check back at BREATHEcast or visit their official website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Favorites: Revisited by Request is available for pre-sale now at the group's website, as well as at Amazon and Gaither.com.