Mindy Hartman

Mindy Hartman: Speak to Me Now: A Journey

$12.28 $14.98
Artist: Mindy Hartman

Artist: Mindy Hartman
Title: Speak to Me Now: A Journey
Product Type: COMPACT DISCS

Reviews Artist: Mindy Hartman Album Title: Speak To Me Now: A Journey Mindy Hartman's spirit is full of passion for serving the Lord and His people. She founded Out of Sight Ministries in her home state of Pennsylvania during a time when she herself sought reconciliation with God. Almost ten years later, Hartman has uplifted and inspired countless people through her singing, narration, and educational teachings. The warmth and humility she brings to her debut album Speak to Me Now: A Journey is wonderful. Her upbeat personality perseveres through each song and one would never know that this talented young lady has been without sight since birth. Hartman has spent much of her life singing in church choirs throughout the Keystone State and elsewhere. She brings together a collection of her favorite hymns in Speak to Me Now: A Journey. Accomplished pianist Duncan Holmes of Texas accompanies Hartman throughout the majority of the album. He tastefully opts for a harpsichord keyboard patch on the very classical Sarah Doudney hymn 'The Master Has Come and He Calls Us.' On the old Irish tune 'Be Thou My Vision,' Holmes begins with the piano patch and as Hartman's dynamics grow, adds trumpet accents to the third verse. By the fourth verse he pulls out the stops, so to speak, by adding organ to the mix which makes for a moving coda as Hartman sings the last part of the refrain up an octave. Overall, Hartman's vocal range is more mezzo soprano and she occasionally goes off pitch in Luther Bridges' hymn 'He Keeps Me Singing.' The same pitfall occurs in the traditional 'O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go.' Thankfully, Holmes does a nice job with the piano accompaniment to fill out the song. His running eighth notes in the third verse under the melody are rather Schubert-like. Hartman, however, has no trouble holding her own. She expertly performs John Henry Sammis's hymn 'Trust and Obey' as a two part accapella duet with herself. Hartman blends well and cuts off her phrases together ninety-nine percent of the time. She also harmonizes well as the lead vocalist in a quartet in John Rippon's 'How Firm A Foundation.' This all-female arrangement with Holmes' piano accompaniment is very well done. Rounding out Speak to Me Now: A Journey is Helen Lemmel's popular hymn 'Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.' Everyone from Amy Grant to Michael W. Smith to Alan Jackson has covered this tune. Hartman does not disappoint in this well-loved classic as Holmes adds underlying strings in the chorus and ends in a luscious clean sweep. The original songs on Speak to Me Now: A Journey penned by Holmes, carry the same encouraging Christian messages as the time-honored hymns. In 'Lord God, Why Did You Choose Me?,' Holmes plays a swanky, gospel-bluesy riff on the piano as Hartman enters singing many mortal questions. Holmes answers singing the plausible reply God would give His people. Admittedly, the dialogue is a bit schmaltzy. Holmes' flair for the dramatic continues in 'Introspection.' This disjunctive piece has the icy drippings of Jimmy Web's 'MacArthur Park,' flowing down with heavy string patches and Hartman's blunt, direct statement at the close, 'Lord, it's worth it.' A good balance is found in 'Lord Of,' which has a more contemporary feel. The accompaniment is full and Hartman sweetly sings the soft lilting melody. The reverent 'Amen' in the coda following an abrupt key change is also a nice touch. Speak to Me Now: A Journey is a well-produced album. It is obvious that a lot of time and love was put into it's creation. The mix is top-notch with the vocals always having precedence. Hartman's performance is grand with excellent diction and a voice that is confident yet personal. She is an inspiring child of God and her music is one of the many ways she showcases this to the world. Reviewers Name: Kelly O'Neil, Review You Rating: 4 stars (out of 5) The very best of gospel and sacred music is borne not merely of creative inspiration, but of personal experience in one's relationship to God. The realization of His existence, salvation and purpose for humanity, and individuals, serves as a point of origin for getting to know, love and serve Him. And so it is with Chambersburg, PA native Mindy Hartman. Having become a follower of Christ upon her conversion at the age of fourteen, she became involved in music ministry in her local church. During this time, she studied and trained under professional voice teachers to develop her gift and enable her to pursue her passion through music. In addition, Hartman participated in the glee club at her high school and also discovered an interest in reciting poetry and prose, even going on to compete in a national tournament in her senior year. In the fall of 1994, she joined Living Miracles, a young people's choir directed by Doris Ortman, and continued with the choir until it disbanded ten years later. Aside from singing, Hartman began to further explore opportunities to use her reading and recitation skills and thus became involved in narration and the recording of audio books. While this considerable background of learning, growth and experience are foundational, it only tells part of the story of how Speak to Me Now: A Journey, her debut recording, came to be. A fascinating and relevant point of consideration is that Hartman is blind from birth, and her blindness influences her perspective as a person, as a Christian, and as a singer. Further, it was tragedy that God used to guide and encourage her to use her talents and gifts to honor Him and bless others. Hartman's seventeen year old brother Aaron died in an automobile accident just months before the September 11, 2001 attacks. The fruits of her experiences, both good and bad, positively inform and influence the fifteen tracks that make up her faith-affirming debut. Primarily a collaborative effort between Hartman and keyboardist Duncan Holmes, Speak to Me Now: A Journey is characterized by genuine expressions of quiet devotion and reflection. The selections on the album are an effective combination of Holmes' compositions and traditional hymns, each chosen with apparent consideration for the general theme. Perhaps to complement the devotional and personal nature of the songs, Hartman's voice was recorded dry, with no apparent enhancements. For listeners, this may be slightly off-putting, but once the first few songs settle in, any distraction this may present, fades away. The Holmes original, 'In My Mother's Womb' seems to be influenced by a combination of English folk and Hebrew music, with what sounds like harpsichord and piano accompaniment. Her alto is pleasing on the ears, and the harmonies on the chorus offer nice emphasis, though she tends to cut her syllables short, giving the song a narrative quality. The title track, a simple and soothing prayer of yearning and commitment, while sincere in it's message expressed unto God, falls short in terms of musical originality. 'Speak to Me Now' has a predictable flow in term of chord changes, and may have benefited from different musical choices. Still, from a lyrical and vocal standpoint, it's serviceable and does display Hartman's warm and pure alto rather nicely. 'The Master Has Come,' with it's Welsh melody and challenging cadence, proves to be difficult for Hartman to squeeze in all of the words while having time to breathe. In all fairness, this is one of those hymns that is generally not easy to sing, but it might have been advantageous for Holmes to slow the tempo down a bit. The great Irish hymn, 'Be Thou My Vision,' similar in structure and it's sheer lyrical fullness, is more successful. Generally, Hartman handles the vocal phrasing quite well, but still, it's quite a pace to keep up with. Triumphant-sounding synthesizer chords and organ add to what begins with simply piano and vocals. Hartman, with a delivery combining singing and speaking, comes across with self-effacing honesty as she shares the struggles of walking the road of faith on

Tracks:
1.1 In My Mother's Womb
1.2 Speak to Me Now
1.3 The Master Has Come and He Calls Us
1.4 How Firm a Foundation
1.5 Be Thou My Vision
1.6 Introspection
1.7 My Faith Has Found a Resting Place
1.8 Trust and Obey
1.9 Lord God, Why Did You Choose Me
1.10 He Keeps Me Singing
1.11 O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go
1.12 Lord of
1.13 Beautiful Beckoning Hands
1.14 My All in All
1.15 Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

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