- Artist: Beryl Quinton
- Format: CD
- Release Date:12/7/2004
Unique and exciting is this collection of songs following a Christian lifetime from the cradle to the grave. From a singular harp accompaniment to a children's choir ranging in age from 8 to 13, all add to the variety of sentiments and moods represented in a Christian lifetime. From a patriotic 'second-line' to a romantic 'Marriage Medley,' through a multitude of church events, including baptisms, marriage, funerals, and a glimpse of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, you will surely enjoy this intimate encounter with Jesus. Be comforted by His presence and be joyful that He is near to us always. God bless! REVIEWS: Once described as a CD that defies categorization, with the closest descriptive being 'Roman Catholic meets Southern Baptist,' here is another compelling review, by a website called 'EarBuzz': 'Beryl and Juan Quinton's 2004 CD, 'Amazing Graces,' is a collaborative record that chronicles a journey of traditional Christian pieces along with contemporary flavors and instrumentation. The opening track, 'Amazing Graces', utilizes a 'House of the Rising Sun' progression with tasty guitar lines and personable and intimate vocal performances by Beryl and Juan. Well done. Track 2, 'Come to Me, Jesus,' continues in musical choices that work. The song has a late 60's early 70's recording timbre that reminds us of Lulu, and the overall effect is nice. Track 8, 'Pass it On,' is an uptempo encouraging tune to followers to pass on God's love. Track 13, 'By My Side,' is another of several duets on the album by the husband/wife team of the Quintons. Their love and dedication is evident in their delivery and efforts to create music they love and want to share. It should also be noted that the CD includes a 'Marriage Medley', that is clearly designed to be considered as a musical portion of a wedding ceremony. 'By My Side,' the first of three songs in the medley is combined with 'Bridal Prayer' and 'Endless Love.' Track 21, 'Let Him Lead You,' again looks back to live recordings of the 60's and 70's with the room reverbed drums and clean Doors guitar sounds. Nice. Whether the Quinton's used these timbres intentionally or not, there are certainly some gems of interpretation on the record that we found very worthwhile and compelling.' BIOS: BERYL: One of the original female soul singers in New Orleans as a young adult, Beryl (a native of New Orleans) was born to parents of modest means, but rich in moral values and faith. Music was already a household item when she was born, with her Dad writing songs, and Mom loving her piano and hymns. From the time she was a baby only 2 years old, Beryl gave impromptu 'command' performances at neighbors' houses, the compelling factor being her sharp memory and the ability to learn long and complicated songs. With grown children, a 12-year-old granddaughter named Harmony, a 3-year-old grandson named Logan, a successful 'first' career behind her, and having performed all types of music (country, rock, jazz standards, and Dixieland jazz), Beryl is taking advantage of the opportunity for a 'second' career embracing her lifetime love of music. While working and raising her children, Beryl first 'practiced' praise and worship music for 25+ years with a contemporary guitar group at church, appropriately enough named the 'Contemporaries.' In recent years, she began an additional personal music ministry, playing and singing for local weddings, funerals, baptisms, masses, and special church events. Having her husband Juan participate in the creation of 'Amazing Graces' is seen by Beryl as a special blessing, with his beautiful voice and unique percussion. JUAN: Juan has a primary career in law enforcement with the New Orleans Police Department, and is still commuting daily from Baton Rouge. His musical heritage carries on to the fourth generation of his family a name which originated with his great-grandfather Juan Bautista Quinton, a composer and organist who studied at the Conservatory of Paris before moving to Puerto Rico. Juan's grandfather Jose Ignatio Quinton later became one of the island's most celebrated composers, known especially for his Danzas and a Requiem Mass. Juan's father Bobby Quinton was a pianist known for his 'Bach to Boogie' at locations such as Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, La Lune, and Bobby Quinton's Lounge on Tulane Avenue. THE DUO: It was at St. Dominic over 25 years ago that Juan + Beryl met, having both joined the 'Contemporaries' of St. Dominic Church in New Orleans, a guitar group in which they participated for 25+ years (until Katrina). 'Endless Love,' one of the tracks on 'Amazing Graces,' was the first duet they sang together at a friend's wedding. In the production of 'Amazing Graces,' the musical depiction of a Christian lifetime, their home was utilized as a 'recording studio,' and Beryl premixed the tracks before bringing them to Marc Hewitt at Sound Services Studio in New Orleans for final mixing and mastering. Beryl also prepared her own CD artwork (cover, traycard and discface), a creative challenge and economical consideration. Beryl's son Lance is her consultant for graphic arts; and her son Vince, for professional sound issues. Sadly, when Hurricane Katrina and it's aftermath destroyed a large portion of the Crescent City, Beryl was a resident of of the most devastated areas -- Lakeview. Her home was submerged in 15 feet of water for more than two weeks, and the reality of what she and her husband Juan were facing together was seen firsthand when they docked a boat on their front porch on September 18 and broke down the front door. All of their business and personal assets, equipment and belongings were destroyed by the salt water flooding, and they relocated to Baton Rouge, LA where they decided to stay. Returning to their home in Lakeview was simply unaffordable. They have joined a group music ministry at St. Jude the Apostle church in Baton Rouge, the 11:30 a.m. choir; and, having found an esteemed local professor, Beryl is continuing pipe organ instructions (lessons begun in New Orleans). Looking back, she and Juan are so grateful for their survival and the strength and resilience to renew their lives. Beryl has likened the devastation of Hurricane Katrina to a 'practice death,' a reminder to focus our eyes on an indestructable heavenly home where loved ones await. She and Juan lost everything material, and family and friends are scattered to the winds for now, but they have each other and face new challenges together... one day at a time. They feel God's blessings always with them, and they embrace once again the opportunity of sharing with others their abundant love of Jesus Christ through their music. Praise God!!!
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