LO'S PICK OF THE DAY - "Set Free" by Scott Smith from the 1984 release "Face To Face."
Originally featured on Inside MusiCast as my Pick of The Day
Today Mr. Howard Smith celebrates his birthday. What a perfect day for me to pick a song from one of my most treasured LP's. How the album "Face To Face" by producer Scott V. Smith came into my life in 1984 is a fabulous story in and of itself. Another day. . . .
"Set Free" written by Howard Smith and Scott V. Smith is a beautiful ballad. IMC friend and former guest; James Harrah on guitars sets the tone from the beginning with his acoustic. Howard's vocals are like rich velvet. I've always loved the way Howard sings. Fans of Andrae Crouch & The Disciples will remember him from those days.
Howard sings with such passion. There's such an urgency in his vocals when he sings the lyrics "Slavery!" and "Fantasy!" "They say He Holds the Keys." The man is singing from his gut. You FEEL him. Honestly, you feel him throughout the entire song. So beautiful.
Also on this track is Michael Ruff on keyboards, Willie Ornelas on drums and Leon Gaer on bass. All legendary in their own right. Love these guys!!
I've always felt the style of this song had been ahead of it's time for 1984. Well, for the genre of Contemporary Christian Music that is. At the time of it's release, there were not too many CCM songs with that West Coast style. When I discovered this album, I was HUNGRY for Christian music that had more of a jazz or West Coast rhythm to it. And there really wasn't any music to be found. This was a nugget, for sure.
Nothing is overdone on this track. It's a perfect balance of instruments and vocals. Everyone playing adds their sweet spices making this song a tasty and satisfying tune where the listener is coming back for more allowing Howard the opportunity to tell his story of how wonderful it was to be set free.
Truly a timeless classic.
Happy Birthday Howard!