Pastor Brandon B. Porter
and the GCT Voices
Count Me Lord

World Class Gospel offers up Count Me Lord from Pastor Brandon B. Porter and the GCT Voices. Recorded live at the Greater Community Temple COGIC in Memphis, and produced by the trio of Edwin Hawkins, Moses Tyson Jr. and David Blakely, the project contains the sort of rousing traditional material that can’t help but be classified as ‘foot-stomping, hand-waving church’.

Sure, these phrases are overused in Gospel reviews, but here’s a case where they’re accurate. That’s because Count on Me is notable not just for good, solid Gospel and some great new tunes, but also for bringing some worthy chestnuts back into our conciousness.

"Stand Up For Right" brings back Rena Hayes on lead to tackle this song that O’landa Draper’s Associates introduced to us on their All The Count Me Lord CDBases project. Hayes reprises her solo role here (she sang on the original too), delivering her alto sound to the powerful melody of the battle song, with the GCT Voices bringing strong support.

"Hallelujah" is a remake of Mattie Moss Clark’s never-fail, guitar-fueled rouser, with opening intro that slowly expands from choir unison chant into close-part harmony before drums kick in and Ruby Terry takes over with her patented enthusiastic lead.

"Create in Me" from Lawrence Matthews also reappears, with Jonathan Richmond interpreting the prayer lyrics, and "Old Rugged Cross" gets a special rearrangement from organ specialist Tyson.

For the new cuts, worthy of special mention are the three that feature Chrystal Rucker: “Never let Go His Hand" from Zacchaeus Hayslett, "It’s Yours" from Derrick Hall and the duet with Valerie Peeples on the wonderful worship cut "Bless The Name of Jesus" penned by Pastor Porter. Each one showcases the gilded and expressive vocal cords of this COGIC treasure (soon to make her solo debut in 2001 on Bishop G. Patterson’s Podium Records).

Marked by some tight band stylings and rounded out by strong songs such as "Count Me Lord" and "Believe", here’s another 2001 project that refuses to disappoint.

Producers: Edwin Hawkins, Moses Tyson Jr., David Blakely
album release date: March 2001
World Class Gospel

— reviewed by Stan North

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