On this, the one-month anniversary of “Camping’s flop,” I felt it would be appropriate to reflect on the Second Coming and have some gospel music fun at the same time. I first got hooked on the song “Coming of the King” when I listened to Beyond the Ashes’ cover of it on their latest project. Then I went and found the original Brian Free & Assurance version of it and got even more hooked, if it was possible at that point. Written by the dynamic duo of Wayne Haun and Joel Lindsey, it somehow manages to feel both old and new. I present both versions for your enjoyment. Which do you like better?
I think they’re both great fun to listen to and watch, although BFA’s live band ups the watching experience a couple extra notches! One thing I really like about Beyond the Ashes’ cover is that they have a big sound for a trio. When I discussed quartets versus trios a while back, I was talking about how often a trio will adapt a quartet song to the fact that they can’t create as big a sound as a quartet. But these guys can blow the roof off with just their three voices. They go straight for the jugular of a song. At the same time, they throw in a lot of soulful little improvs and slides and things. The lead singer reminds me a lot of Marshall Hall. I think the “soul sound” sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t, but it works here.
Having said all that, Brian Free and the guys clearly have the better version. They are simply unbeatable. Even aside from the great bass work and the extra full sound, Bill Shivers’ D5 (?) on that bridge makes this version definitive all by itself. Seriously, dude… awesome! On a side note, I can’t resist pointing out the moment around 2:43 when the guys are huddling and Brian stands on his tiptoes. Love it.