Fanny Crosby Meets Ricky Skaggs

Fanny Crosby Meets Ricky Skaggs October 25, 2015

I’ve been rotating Blessed Assurance: The New Hymns of Fanny Crosby in the car for a few days, hopefully preparing for a review (one of these days!) But, in case it takes me a little while to get around to that review, here’s the crown jewel of the project: Ricky Skaggs’s haunting folk waltz treatment of a lyric called “All is Well.” Note the subtle metaphor in verse one to Crosby’s blindness: “Though the clouds may veil the sky, my steps are led by your sweet light.” Also, the repeated references to HEARING God’s voice.

To be honest, the rest of the album is just okay by comparison with this, although I did like Ernie Haase & Signature Sound’s “I Have Found a Priceless Treasure.” Part of my problem with some of the other tunes is that they’re very tied to a particular worship sound that’s not going to be current forever. But what Skaggs has done with “All is Well” is timeless. It won’t age. This right here is one of the best new (new/old?) songs of the year, if not the past decade. I’d like to think Fanny would appreciate it:

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  • Tad Kirkland

    I was very excited about this album coming out, but when I heard it, I felt like I was predominately listening to a current P&W recording. This is probably what they were attempting. But it made it hum ho for me because it sounded like everything else except for maybe the few you mentioned and the Blind Boys. I want to delve deeper into the lyrics when I can get past the music but I shouldn’t have to.

  • Tad Kirkland

    When I see cowriters or new choruses added to old hymns, I sense greed in publishing.

  • Well, except in this case the hymns are unpublished, so it’s still exciting that these new lyrics are getting out there. I don’t necessarily impute greedy motives to anyone, I just think people are too wedded to the notion that everything’s got to be updated and “current” in order for people to “relate.” Hymns for TODAY. Exciting, right? Well, except today’s worship music is kind of limp and flaccid, so no, actually, not that exciting.

  • Glen Gobel

    Sounds like a funeral dirge. Minor key arrangements should be left to ethnic tunes. As my grand kids would say, “BORING.” Agree with all of the above.

  • Your comment is confusing. How can you “agree with all of the above” when the rest of us like this tune and are less excited about the rest of the album, which has peppy worship arrangements you should be a fan of?

  • The song posted on is good. Fanny Crosby has some good stuff, and I just blogged on her work myself.