Saved By Grace
The Nashville Recordings
Bless Up Records (release date: July 7, 2023)

By Robert M. Marovich

Accepting an invitation from Dean Miller, who discovered the Christian group on social media, Saved By Grace trekked from their Erie, Pennsylvania, home to Omni Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. There, Miller helped the ensemble produce its five-song EP The Nashville Recordings.

Maybe it’s the Music City atmosphere, but the EP reveals an easy-rocking country-flavored group that works in earthy melodies and hooky refrains.

Rebirth, or literally “saved by grace,” is the primary theme of The Nashville Recordings. The message is most explicit on tracks like “Let Jesus In,” a bracing guitar-dominated testimony of salvation. The hardest-rocking selection, “Look Forward,” focuses on forgiveness. Despite being the final track, “Closer to Jesus” is a narrative prequel to its predecessors: “I go to church now and then, mostly I was partyin’.” In lead singer Pastor Daniel Olson’s musky tone is the charred vestiges of a former life and the assurance of the new.

The EP’s chief moment is “American Revival.” It’s a sing-along dose of eschatology complemented by snarling guitars and pounding drums. It shifts the salvation journey from personal commitment to national directive, “so when Jesus comes, it’s no surprise.”

Like a cross between a worship team and a mellower Marshall Tucker Band, the earnest Saved By Grace delivers radio-sized songs with uncomplicated lyrics sung with conversational ease.

Three of Five Stars

Pick: “American Revival”

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Written by : Bob Marovich

Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Founder of Journal of Gospel Music blog (formally The Black Gospel Blog) and producer of the Gospel Memories Radio Show.