Encore Series #8: A Wonderful Shepherd

This post is part of the Encore Series, posts highlighting Southern Gospel songs of the past that should be brought back.

Poet Voices’ 2001 recording This Changes Everything represented a high-water mark for the group. As it turns out, they were two years away from retiring from the road. The record was the strongest they recorded in the years immediately preceding their retirement. With songs like “It’ll Be Joy,” “Grand and Glorious Savior,” and the #1 radio hit “The Key”—#1 ten years ago next month—it would be easy to overlook “A Wonderful Shepherd.” But don’t!

The lyrics draw clear inspiration from Psalm 23, pivoting to a chorus that focuses on the Good Shepherd’s modern-day guidance of His sheep. The melody is mellow and quietly pleasant. Quartets, which, by definition, attract freaks of nature, often find it a challenge to shift into this soft of a gear and this tight of a blend. To their credit, Poet Voices did a brilliant job achieving the tight blends for this pleasingly subdued track.

This sort of song is on home turf with the tight harmonies of family groups, and one in particular would be a great fit for the song. Sisters—the sibling trio of Kim Ruppe Lord, Heather Ruppe Day, and Valerie Ruppe Medkiff—has some of the tightest harmonies in our genre. A Sisters remake of this song would be sparkling perfection.

If you were to pick a group to bring this song back, who would it be, and why?