Michael W Smith revives tradition with first hymns collection

Veteran artist Michael W Smith will be harkening back to the days of good ol' simple worship with his first album of traditional church hymns.

He's been serving the global church for decades with contemporary Christian music but for Smith, hymns like The Old Rugged Cross and Great Is Thy Faithfulness are indisputable classics.

The hymns in the collection span 300 years, reaching all the way back to 1708 with old favourite, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, penned by Isaac Watts.

And while CCM might make up the staple of his musical output so far, Smith says recording an album of hymns is something he "always wanted" to do.

"I first heard many of these hymns when I attended First Baptist Church in Kenova, West Virginia with my mum, dad, and sister Kimberly," he says.

"The message of the songs combined with the timeless music helped build the foundation of my Christian beliefs."

He's creating the album, simply titled Hymns, in partnership with Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and it will be on sale on March 24 exclusively at the stores as well as online at crackerbarrel.com and select digital retailers.

Other favourites on the 15-track collection include Were You There, How Great Thou Art, and My Jesus, I Love Thee - a song recently popularised by Darlene Zschech.

"We are honoured that Michael W Smith has chosen to release his first-ever traditional hymns album with Cracker Barrel," said Cracker Barrel Marketing Manager Julie Craig. "Hymns is filled with beautiful and beloved songs that we know our guests will enjoy and treasure for years."

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