Is there anything more beautiful than an iconic country voice singing an iconic hymn? Listening to Reba McEntire singing “Amazing Grace”, we would say “no.” McEntire included the hymn on her 2017 faith-based Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope. That album won her a Dove Award last year and includes traditional gospel music and new music Reba wrote.
A Pure Country Voice
Reba McEntire has one of those pure country voices that simply resonates. Her early career capitalized on that voice. With hits like “I Can’t Even Get The Blues” and “Fancy”, McEntire utilized her classic country sound. She continued with that sound as her career progressed, never giving in to the influence of pop in country music.
Her music has become more faith-based in the last several years, culminating in her latest gospel album. What is lovely about the album are the traditional hymns. Hearing McEntire put her voice to those songs is truly beautiful. We think that the most beautiful of the group is her version of “Amazing Grace.” Reportedly, John Newton, a former slave ship captain, wrote the hymn. However, the accuracy of this authorship is disputed.
“Amazing Grace” Reba McEntire Style
Reba McEntire is certainly not the first artist to record the beloved hymn. According to Biography, “The soaring spiritual describing profound religious elation is estimated to be performed 10 million times annually and has appeared on over 11,000 albums.” Artists including Aretha Frankin, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, and Ray Charles recorded it. So it’s meaningful that Reba‘s version still stands out.
Part of what makes McEntire‘s version so stunning is its simplicity. It’s a stripped-down, acoustic recording. You hear her voice and a guitar. And its also wholly Reba’s voice. McEntire did not shy away from adding her country flourishes to her notes. As such, her recording simultaneously feels sophisticated and down-home. One can imagine her pitch-perfect notes resonating in a small, wooden-framed church nestled among prairie or trees.
A Hymn of Vinyl Perfection
The other unique feature of this particular recording is that it is on vinyl. For many music aficionados (this one included), hearing songs on vinyl is a much more pure sound. The lovely slight scratches and low production quality give the music a more authentic feel than a highly produced recording. You can hear this version in the video below. And then comment and let us know if you think her “Amazing Grace” is truly amazing.