gospel Archive

Album Review: Elder Jack Ward – Already Made

Growing up as a suburban white kid, my preconceptions regarding gospel music were fairly well-formed. I wasn’t especially receptive to the messages conveyed in the music, and – on the rare occasions when I encountered it – I found the music stiff and lacking in passion. Of course I wasn’t hearing music coming out of

Same Roots, Separate Sounds

New exhibit highlights Gospel’s role in our region’s music In 2020, the Tryon (North Carolina) Fine Arts Center launched its Illuminations Through Music and Heritage exhibit, shining a light on the region’s diverse musicians. The program is funded in part through the Communities Connecting Heritage grant administered by World Learning and the U.S. Department of

Album Review: Elizabeth King — Living in the Last Days

It’s important that I admit this right up front: I’m not inclined toward the spiritual messages contained in gospel music. I’m not hostile toward them in any way; the whole thing is simply not for me. I mention this on background before discussing Elizabeth King’s new album, Living in the Last Days. For me to

Album Review: Merry Christmas from Jackie Wilson

If you sent or received anything via the US Postal Service in the final months of 2020, you likely know that due to some serious shenanigans on the part of the DC regime that eventually rioted and then left town with its tail between its legs, mail was delayed. Sometimes extraordinarily so. I mention this

Hundred-word Reviews for November 2020, Part Three

And here’s the last of this current run of hundred-word reviews covering new releases. Soul, powerpop and blues; something for most tastes. All worth your time. Sonny Green – Found! One Soul Singer Don’t let the cheesy, lurid, chartreuse album art dissuade you from the contents: this is the real deal. Sonny Green is one

Album Review: Dedicated Men of Zion — Can’t Turn Me Around

Right out of the gate, the strolling and assertive introduction to “Father, Guide Me, Teach Me” signals that Can’t Turn Me Around is not your typical gospel album. Music lovers raised on a diet of ‘70s arena rock may find that thoughts of Foghat and Bad Co. spring to mind. It’s not until the close

Album Review: DJ Besbleve — You Good?

“You good?” is a common way to address a friend; it’s a tidy way of asking if everything is okay in their world. But – as Asheville-based DJ Besbleve (born Herman Bright) points out, there’s another way to view the query, one that demands a bit of introspection. In that context, the question might be

Welcome to Cadillac Baby’s Show Lounge: The Bea & Baby Boxed Set

From the perspective of crate-diggers – amateur and professional music archivists alike – one of the great benefits of the digital age has been the rescuing of obscure recordings. Against the backdrop of the recently revealed 2008 Universal fire in which countless audio masters were lost, it’s some comfort to discover that the catalog of

Album Review: Phil Alvin – Un “Sung Stories”

With the departure of Dave Alvin in 1986, it looked the Blasters were finished. So it was no surprise that guitarist Phil Alvin took the opportunity to record and release his first solo album, Un “Sung Stories”. But Alvin’s solo debut found him traveling far from the straight-ahead rockabilly sounds of the Blasters. On three

The Lee Boys: Keeping the Love Light Aflame (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… “We are really blessed and fortunate to have a vast array of styles within our music,” Lee says. He suggests that if one listens to the group’s music today, “you got some Led Zeppelin in there, some funk, some modern stuff, and then you got that real gospel drive. That all