Count It All Joy
Petties’ disposition is settled and mature way beyond his age. having begun choir directing at the age of eight, and preaching from the time age of 13. He’s always been an young man with grown folks’ responsibility. That WOW Gospel single of his marked the first placement of a song on the WOW projects that did not come from a major-label release.
Count It All Joy, in which he presents his choir Strength In Praise (SIP), blends perfectly the contemporary gospel flava with the steadiness of traditional gospel sounds. Featuring high energy shout songs like “Mighty God” and “Yes Lord”, the project aptly showcases Petties’ songwriting skills. He penned all but one on this release, and looked to the production finesse of Smokie Norful and Myron Butler to guide his sound.
From the get-go, the opening title cut grabs attention, with its phat, near-funk groove and nicely rendered choir vocals. The lyrics are a much-needed reminder that whatever trials come our way, God is there to not only carry us through, but that we are to rejoice throughout, knowing that God is working all things for good, and for His ultimate glory.
“Glory Hallelujah” begins in old school style before moving to new school rhythm and innovation, with the praise cementing itself courtesy of SIP’s delivery and Petties’ vocal exhortation.
The ballad “A Place” equally effective as the show-stopping stomps shows the smoother side of SIP, with some nicely rhythmic vocals and splashes of acoustic guitar accompanying.
Nikki Ross Turley on “Surely He Knows” and Norful’s guest shot on “It Is Well” round out a superb debut for Darrel Petties and SIP.
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— reviewed by Stan North and Melanie Clark —
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