Jason Hendrickson
Let Your Mercies

After years of supporting Pastor Hezekiah Walker's Love Fellowship Choir, Jason Hendrickson steps out of the shadows with his debut release titled Let Your Mercies.

For years, Hendrickson served as drummer for the New York-based aggregation along with touring with other major artists including Fred Hammond, James Hall and Yolanda CD Adams. The drummer is now ready to submit his solo offering which is indeed a release worthy of several listens.

While some musicians flirt with being in front as the lead vocalist, Hendrickson does a nice job of holding down the lead responsibilities. Hendrickson pens eight of the twelve songs on this project, while handling the bulk of the production duties. The album has an urban vibe, which is a departure from the choral stylings of those that Hendrickson has accompanied.

No need to fear though! That New York flavor is still there and it really works over an urban backdrop.

"You're the One I Want" is a funky track declaring Christ as the object of affection. This groove is an appropriate lead-off cut for this project that offers plenty of variety while showcasing both Hendrickson's writing and vocal ability. The funk continues with "The Jump Off", a slick track that describes the 'jump off' as the party place that's free of trouble and worry. Gran joins Hendrickson with a smooth rhyme, which keeps the street vibe fresh on this song. "He'll Give You Peace" is a mid-tempo track that describes the amazing peace of God.

While the funk meter is high on the up-tempo tracks, the ballads are what win the day on this project. Not to mention that Hendrickson grabs some of his Brooklyn-based buddies who add just the right flava. An absolute gem is "Love Song (I Want It)", which features Latoya Duggan masterfully sharing lead vocals. Timiney Figueroa-Caton joins Tyaire on background vocals, a perfect fit for this track that speaks of God's desire to love us in spite of our resistance. The song is special and could easily become an underground favorite.

The incomparable Dr. Kevin Bond of James Hall & Worship and Praise covers the intro to the title track. It's a perfect lead-in to a sweet song that takes a page from Hezekiah Walker's songwriting style. The fairly simple composition isn't verbose, goes straight to the drive, and carries home the point that we need God's mercies to cover us. If you listen closely, you can even hear Walker's vocal influence on Hendrickson on this track. This track gets a worthy reprise at the end of the album.

Melvin Crispell produces, arranges, and handles the instrumentation for his interpretation of the hymn "Just As I Am", the only time where Hendrickson is not on vocals at any time. In fact, he hops on drums for this one, letting Tunesha Campbell handle the mic. This is another track full of the 'it' factor and is destined to get tons of spins in your CD player.

"Fresh Anointing" is an impassioned plea for God to rain down on His people. "U Still Love Me" honestly acknowledges the power of God's love, even in the midst of our wrongdoing. Leon Dixon's lone acoustic guitar accompaniment makes this song as catchy as they come and touches the soft spot of every believer.

Jason Hendrickson has made an impressive debut with Let Your Mercies. With a cast of Brooklyn's finest, Hendrickson's heart shines through and reminds us all that it's God's mercy that sustains us.

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Producers: Jason Hendrickson, Lawrence Hendrickson, Melvin Crispell, David Caton, Cliff Daniels
album release date: December 2004
Temple Music Group

— reviewed by Gerard Bonner

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