Gabriel Hardeman Delegation
To The Chief Musician
It’s been more than a while between Gospel albums from the Gabriel Hardeman Delegation.Producers: G. Hardeman, Sir'Tifyde, A. Speight, Y. Zwadiuk, A. Hardeman
album release date: June, 2001
The early 80’s which saw the group smash Gospel radio playlists with their single “Feels Like Fire” (on Birthright). Then Hardeman himself made forays into the field of R&B writing (Miki Howard, Stephanie Mills) in the late 80’s early 90’s. Recently, the choir has had significant backing vocal contributions on projects and events involving artists such as Patti Labelle, Phil Perry, Chantay Savage and Prince.
Now on Crystal Rose Records with their new project To The Chief Musician, the group won’t surprise many which is a good thing!
Helmed by the vastly experienced Hardeman, there’s quality infused throughout, with The Delegation significantly relying on their strength; the album consists of a pleasing set of vocals-based numbers with a no-doubt Gospel message.
Residing in choice cut territory are “Lord, I Love You”, a down-tempo praise led by former disco great, Annette Hardeman. Simple piano arrangements and subtle keyboard programming surround the soaring solo work that the song features. The well-known vocal touch of Myrna Summers adds to “Living Water”, another 6-minute cut much in the same style.
On “Hold Out, Deliverance Will Come”, Annette Hardeman steps in again on lead. Grooved with a today-touched rhythmic track, it’s a song with an encouraging message and appeal. The song’s remix comes back as a bonus track with a bit of a spicier ride, courtesy some subtle techno keyboards and production effects.
Track maestro Sir’tifyde brings his flava to “Call On Jesus”, a jammy cut steeped in an old school Gospel vibe, with B3 organ swirling behind leads traded off from among the Delegation.
And “Feels Like Fire” makes a welcome return after a two-decade hiatus, updated with new millennial touches, making it welcome and right at home in audio players across the land. The Delegation still gives it the oomph that made it resound back in the 80’s, and of course the Holy Spirit message can never go out of date.
There’s several more to choose from on this disc (“To Be Saved” needs your attention!), as these rejuvenated veterans of the scene make To The Chief Musician worthy of your investigation.
Crystal Rose Records
reviewed by Stan North —
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