Keith Butler & the Delegation For Christ Chorale
He's Been Good To Me!

It’s always good to grab another dose of good, track-slammin’ choir power. This debut project from Keith Butler and the Delegation For Christ Chorale on Divine Line Records is certainly all of that, and then some.

The short opening cut, “Come Worship Jesus” sets the tone for the rest of the album, with a killer walking bass line settling the powerful mass choir vocals into a steady invitational groove. That’s a groove that continues with severely He's Been Good To Me! CDuptempo selections such as the title track, “He’s Worthy” and also “Battlefield”, a track that is also interesting for the short segment near the end of it where the choir parts stagger against each other.

Recorded at Ebenezer Baptist Church in their home base of Chicago, Butler and Delegation make this a memorable celebration by bringing both Mark Hubbard and Daniel Weatherspoon on board. Weatherspoon, a veritable fixture on albums from other Chicago Gospel artists, handles keyboard, strings and horn overdub duties, ensuring a consistently tight sound backbone from tracks one through nine.

Mark Hubbard, a Tyscot artist and director of the United Voices For Christ, takes hold of production on the project, displaying an excellence that should widen the eyes of all those in earshot of his work.

With the groove factor heavy, the more mellow tracks can lost in the mix if you’re not careful. So note (carefully!), the 9-minute-plus ballad, “His Love” (penned by Min. Patrick Bolton) which leads the way on the mellow tip, and which provides a nice contrast on the project. Although uncredited in the liner notes, the soloists chosen from the ranks of Delegation on this and other cuts (“Lord, I’m Ready” is another one), more than hold their own in front of the mass voices of the chorale.

At just under 45 minutes of total music, this isn’t a long project, but the mass bounce is certainly there, with as much energy crammed in as can be found on many an album with nearly twice the minutes.

Producer: Mark Hubbard, Malcolm Williams, Keith Butler
album release date: August, 1999
Divine Line Records

— reviewed by Stan North

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