Southern Gospel trio 11th Hour returns with Anthem of the Ages, a full-length project for Sonlite Records on October 29. Produced by GRAMMY-nominated Jeff Collins, the album opens with a title track that's all about the power of Gospel music, describing "a melody that's ringing down holy avenues [and] fills the halls of Heaven with glorious words of truth."
Over the last ten years of traveling on the road, 11th Hour has seen God do some incredible things. With musical influences such as Karen Peck and New River, The Martins, Gold City, and The Kingsmen, 11th Hour has stayed fresh and relevant while maintaining a versatile sound, able to lead congregations in moving times of worship. After reaching high acclaim, in 2012, 11th Hour signed a recording contract with Crossroads Music. They've had five #1 songs on the Singing News chart and been nominated for numerous awards in Southern Gospel music such as Singing News Trio of the Year and AGM Album of the Year, while Amber Eppinette was nominated for Soprano of the Year.
We are honored to be able to catch up with Amber Eppinette Saunders for this exclusive interview.
Q: Thanks for doing this interview with us. Congratulations on your new album "Anthem of the Ages," when you approach the making of this album, did you have a vision of the type of songs you were looking for?
Usually when picking and choosing songs for an album, we will purposefully pick a theme and go with it. This time, "Anthem of the Ages" was a long time coming. These songs were penned right before and even during the pandemic. As some of the writers, we didn't understand why God was sending such a message through songs but later we understood why. We love it when God does that. I say all of that to say this, the Lord HIMSELF hand picked and chose each one of these songs for this album and for such a time as this.
Q: Did the pandemic affect you in the writing and the recording of this new record?
Yes, absolutely. We streamed 4 songs before the project was even talked about because honestly, we didn't know when we'd be able to get back out and sing again to even sell CDs. We are thankful to be out and about again.
Q: I love the title cut "Anthem of the Ages," tell us more about this song and why you are excited about it.
We have never cut a song with Jim Brady as a co-writer. I (Amber) have always been a fan of him and Melissa's writing so this song brings a new kind of joy to me. This song is EXACTLY what the first word says, ANTHEM, and it's to all who believe.
Q: What were some of the highlights in the making of this album?
We always love going into the studio and hearing/seeing the process. From the musicians to the producer and from the producer to the engineer. It really is magic seeing it all come together.
Q: I believe four of the songs were co-written with Kenna Turner West. We have recently conducted an interview with her. What was it like writing with her?
Kenna is one of my (Amber) best friends. She was even a beautiful bridesmaid in my wedding. I love hanging out with her but I'm always overjoyed when we can hangout and write a song or two. ;) We have written over 20 songs together.
Q: You have also cut a piano and vocals version of Dottie Rambo's "I Just Came to Talk to Jesus." Why did you decide to cover this classic?
We decided to put this song on the album because it was Victoria's first song to debut with the group. The feeling we had in that room was such a confirmation of her position.
Q: How do you wish these songs would encourage your fans especially those who are suffering in this pandemic?
We pray these songs will SAVE, REFUEL, and REVIVE our nation!!
Pre-order, add or save Anthem of the Ages HERE.