Karen Peck and New River have released their first new album in over two years. The album is entitled, “Journey of Joy”. I spoke with Southern Gospel music’s favorite soprano, Karen Peck – she has been nominated for Favorite Soprano eighteen years in a row! – on the day that Journey of Joy was released.
The first thing that I noticed about Karen Peck was her hearts desire to reach people with the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. From her heart , the Word comes forth, both in her music and in her speech. Her gentle, humble spirit comes through in all that she speaks and sings.
I asked Karen Peck about the first single released to Southern Gospel radio from the Journey of Joy album. The song is entitled Last Night. “Last Night” was written by a very wonderful friend of mine, she’s also a great songwriter. Her name is Marsha Henry. She wrote the song that Jeff and Sheri (Easter) sing “Roses Will Bloom Again” and co wrote the song we sang years ago, “God Likes To Work When Nothing Else Does”. She’s also written a lot of other great Gospel songs.
“She has been very sick and the doctors haven’t been able to diagnose her, so for a year she hasn’t been able to work and she’s just been really down and out. She wrote this song, ‘Last Night’ and called me and said ‘Karen I’ve written a song I think you might like.’
Karen said that the first time that she heard the demo that she began to weep. She recalled how when they were in the studio recording the song that the Spirit of God fell on the studio and they “had church”. “The only thing I can compare it to is when we recorded the song, “Four Days Late” in the year 2000. Four Days was so powerful in the studio and we had a similar situation with “Last Night”, recalls Karen Peck.
“Last Night” as well as most of the songs on “Journey of Joy” have a rather progressive sound. The songs are definitely Southern Gospel but also show growth from her last album, “Good To Be Free”. Karen commented, “We want to always grow in the Lord and as we grow in the Lord then every area of our lives seems to grow and get better. Our constant prayer is ‘Lord let these songs minister to someone’s heart'”.
“Journey of Joy” contains songs that are bound to bless the listener. I enjoyed the song, “Then He Moved” which features the voice of Devin McGalmery. This young man shows a voice that will make those interested in Southern Gospel music take notice. His vocals on “Hold On” remind me of Jason Crabb.
Other songs on this Southern Gospel album that stand out are “When The Stone Rolled Away”. This may be the strongest song on the CD and showcases the harmonies that this trio is capable of. “Whispered Prayers” is a moving song with a unique ending that features a call to salvation by the Reverend Billy Graham.
I asked Karen Peck what has been on her heart lately, what has God been doing in her walk. ” I want to please God”, Karen smiles. ” I want to have faith in knowing. It’s easy for me to believe for others. I can believe that God is going to come through for others. I can believe and won’t doubt at all. I have friends that are going through situations and I pray for them and I believe with all of my heart that God is going to bring them through. But then when situations happen in my life then I start questioning, ‘Well God – Lord help me’ its so much different when the shoe is on the other foot.
“So what I’m praying now is – I’ve probably lived half of my life on this earth. I just pray that the next half of my life will count, will really count for Him. I want to please God with my faith. I want to have faith, believing that no matter what I face in my life, that He is there for me and He will take care of me, and not ‘maybe’ but that He will”.
Its this desire to please God that shines in this Southern Gospel album, “Journey of Joy” by Karen Peck and New River.