Pastor James and Kathy Bowman
The sound is 'straight up' Gospel on this project from the emerging Diversity
Records label. Finding a solid
spot on traditional ground and supported by top-notch production from Aaron Lindsey (see interview), Pastor James and Kathy Bowman present
their musical ministry on Please Stay with the powerful backing of the Antioch FBH Sanctuary Choir on all
ten tracks.Producer: Aaron Lindsey
album release date: March, 2000
The live recording charges into prominence with the first track, which features Dorinda Clark-Cole on lead
vocals. It's the classic lines of "We Are Marching Up To Zion", and there's no
surprise that the track burns with a mid-tempo anointed fire. Clark-Cole takes
her famous 'Clark Sister sound' to the typical lead vocal heights that she is
renowned for. A highlight comes when the choir delivers an
"Oh, Oh, Oh" chorus groove on the bridge as they proclaim "fight on we can do it, greater is He that is in me, than
is in the world".
"Shine On Me" is a double-track that moves from the very traditional to the nearly
contemporary. The pastorly duo of
James Bowman and William Gillison combine in powerful duet on the opening cut,
with their complimentary vocals mixing amidst swirling organ. The song continues seamlessly
into the following track, which in short order becomes an uptempo groove as the Sanctuary Choir
suddenly enters in full throttle, with an inventive arrangement and a catchy rhythmic working of
the words, "let the light from the lighthouse shine on me".
Producer Aaron Lindsey arranges the title track "Please Stay", which is a
ballad featuring the
combined lead vocals of Pastor James and Kathy Bowman. With piano keyboards
and string tracks generating
the smooth vibe that is also reflected by the lyrics, "Jesus has come...please stay,
Jesus, stay", the song builds
to a powerful climax with choir power alternating with softer solo lines. The
10-minute cut "I Need A Visitation"
concludes the album. It begins with spoken testimony from Kathy Bowman, who soon breaks it down
into a soulfully reflective acknowledgement of her need for her Lord.
The solidity of this project can be credited in part to stellar song arrangements (most by Kathy Bowman),
and the musical direction of Melvin Bryant (who ensures consistently
tight band work). But it's more than just the technical excellence that
project. That distincition lies in the Bowmans'
sincerity of spirit and their true desire for God.
It's an expression that easily shines through on this CD.
reviewed by Stan North —
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