“Freedom is a bit of a return home for me,” says Phelps. “I love that the first song starts with the lyric, ‘I'm back again....’ As the song ‘I'm Coming Home’ unfolded I knew that it had to be the first song on the project. I began my recording career with a project that included songs like ‘End of the Beginning,’ ‘Let the Glory Come Down’ and ‘No More Night’ – a gospel release with an eclectic mix of modern pop and soulful ballads. I will always be an eclectic artist, and, I've been honored to record rock ballads, traditional pop songs, classical arias and gospel standards.”
Fans will enjoy more of those gospel standards on the new recording, which includes Phelps’ haunting rendition of the classic hit “Ain’t No Grave,” an acoustic-driven version of “When the Saints Go Marching In” and a signature recording of “We Shall Behold Him.”
In addition to gospel favorites, Phelps contributed nine new songs that he wrote or co-wrote to the release. He addressed topics such as humility, brokenness, awe, faith, doubt, hope and freedom as featured in the title cut, which required some soul-searching.
“The central theme of Freedom emanates from the title song, ‘Ghost Town (Freedom),’” Phelps explains. “I began writing the era-based lyric in the verses and was amazed how the metaphor of Christ painted itself. However, I got to the chorus and was stuck. After playing it for Bill (Gaither), he agreed that it needed something different than what I had. I went back to the drawing board.
“I asked myself, ‘What is all this about? It's not really about a ‘Ghost Town’ or a metaphor or even the specific deeds of Jesus. It's about why He did what He did: freedom!’ So much of our spiritual lives (and the songs on this project) are spent searching for or trying to cling to freedom.”
The recording features Phelps’ anticipated powerhouse vocals along with musicianship from a who’s who of Nashville talents including Gordon Mote, Chris Rodriguez, Danny O’Lannerghty, Greg Ritchie, Sam Levine, David Davidson and Jack Jezzro among others. The orchestrations were penned by Phelps, Mote, Steve Mauldin and Kristin Wilkinson. The rest of the Gaither Vocal Band—Bill Gaither, Wes Hampton, Adam Crabb and Todd Suttles—were on hand to perform some of the project’s background vocals.
“I truly feel like these songs are a part of me,” Phelps explains. “They are snapshots of where I am on my journey, and my hope is that they are told in a way that others can relate to and be encouraged by. I am far from perfect and depend on grace every moment of every day. I hope that Freedom paints a real portrait of living faith as I learn and grow on my journey.”
Freedom will be distributed through Capitol Christian Distribution and will be available throughout general market stores and the Christian marketplace in addition to online retailers including iTunes, Amazon and gaither.com.
Visit davidphelps.com, facebook.com/davidphelps or @DPhelpsMusic on Twitter.
Song List for Freedom:
I'm Coming Home
Who Do You Say That I Am
Ghost Town (Freedom)
Little White Church
Ain't No Grave
We Shall Behold Him
What I Need Is You
Parable of the River
Your Time Will Come (with the Gaither Vocal Band)
When the Saints Go Marching In
ABOUT DAVID PHELPS
David Phelps is blessed with a vocal instrument unlike any other. The multi-platinum artist first entered the national spotlight when he joined the Gaither Vocal Band and has since performed at Carnegie Hall, the White House and many other halls and churches around the world. Phelps has won two GRAMMY® Awards and four GMA DOVE Awards. His latest work, Freedom, showcases his talents as a singer, songwriter, arranger and producer. Phelps lives outside of Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Lori, and their four children: Callie, Maggie Beth, David Grant and Coby.