Eric Cobbins & The Ministry
Kansas City may not be considered a Gospel hotbed, but Eric Cobbins & The Ministry seem on the way to making that so, as they light a bed of coals under their simmering debut of grooves and ballads.Producers: Eric Cobbins, Asaph Ward
album release date: June, 2000
The overall vibe on Thank You flows cool and smooth, supported by psalmists who could easily carry the project on their own, if they had to. Patrick Tribett on bass and Asaph Ward’s keyboards, strings and horn arrangements particularly impress.
Ward made a deep impact with his work on Kim Burrell’s esteemed Everlasting Life project, both as a songwriter and as producer and arranger. The impact might be just as strong on Thank You, as again he comes through with the clean and the tight.
One of the treats on this disc is the work of Adrienne Johnson, who lends her pipes to a couple of cuts (“Joy”, “Calvary”). Easily the highlight of the project is the soaring “Calvary”, with it’s combination of powerful lyrics (“He died for you, He died for me”) and a never-quit ride of verse and chorus over strings and rhythm. Cleveland Drone joins Johnson mid-track adding a nice vocal contrast to the cut.
Drone also impacts with his freely tossed ad libs on the progressively urban “Thank You”, and Kevin Cullin lends a cool soul touch on his lead to infectious melodies of “I Will”.
A review of this project wouldn’t be complete without at least a mention of the unusually-titled “Commercial Praise”, with its gentle recollection of cola slogans. The chorus says, “Gotta have You, You’re the Real Thing, You always had it, You always will”, and then proceeds to “You’re the Choice of a new generation, and You’ve got a passion for life”.
Eric Cobbins has an obvious ear for talent, having assembled these vocally anointed and instrumentally God-gifted ministers who make up The Ministry.
reviewed by Stan North —
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