Larry & Marissa
From Night 'Til Dawn

Gospel has always had its share of quality duos: BeBe and CeCe, Billy and Sarah Gaines, Brenda and Nicholas, Angelo and Veronica, newcomers Ted & Sheri.

Larry & Marissa CDLarry and Marissa (Felder) bring equal quality to the table on their debut from NY-based Galakteka Entertainment / Favour Entertainment. Titled From Night ‘Til Dawn, the long-time married duo deliver wall-to-wall soul balladry of the best calibre. The two keep it fresh, wisely mixing the project with a diversity of tempos and styles within their strengths.

The project kicks off with the cut, “Victory”, engineered to give that ‘live’ feel. Written by Marissa and emblazoned with a roaring arena crowd response, it’s funky, rhythmic number complete with trumpet, sax and guitar and a bold backing chorus that gives ‘saucy’ support.

Several other songs rest on simmering R&P tracks from John Smith, arguable New York’s best kept secret when it comes to production talent. Smith takes care of “Hooked (On His Love)”, “There Is A Time” and “You”, all of which are absolute triumphs.

Larry and Marissa know a hook when they hear one, and take full advantage, pouring their gorgeously blended
Larry & Marissa Explain
Larry and Marissa "We began singing together 18 years ago with a group called Hosanna, we've sung as a duet for the last 10 years. We've been married for 19 years. Once we formed our group Hosanna we began to get more in sync with each other. Ironically, we never thought about singing together until our group dissolved."

We were greatly influenced by BeBe and CeCe years ago, but over the last 5 years, amidst the many comparisons, we determined to hone our own sound that God has given us. We hope this project is proof of that.

Our songs are a testimony of the trials and stages that God has brought us through. Songs that were written by either of us such as "Victory" and "Hooked on His Love" are our TRUE LIFE experiences set to music.

Musically, we tried to tap elements of Funk, R&B, Pop and House, which is what we enjoy listening to.

Over the years we've developed a global vision from ministering in countries such as Australia, Mexico, England and Trinidad, as well as multi-cultural conferences here in the United States.
vocals into the deliciously irresistible melodic elements that are built into these songs.

On “It’s Good To Know”, producer, songwriter and sax specialist Mel Holder imparts a warm, soulful finish over the song, in addition to his saxophone stylings that at segments becomes so interwoven with Larry and Marissa’s vocals that the instrument easily becomes a third voice.

Special attention must be given to one of the more unusual songs on this album: “I Need The Love (of Jesus)”. Melody-based and featuring some sweet guitar work from veteran specialist Jeff Mirinoff, the vibe becomes intensely bluegrass as the song progresses.

It works because Larry and Marissa know how to soak soul into that sound, playing their voices off each other and also together in harmony with another one of those killer hooks, this time in the chorus.

As Larry explaims, “When we were members of Hosanna, our guitar player, Uriah Haniff, wrote the song, which we ministered back then. Although our dominant musical influences are Pop, R&B and Funk, we've always been versatile in our ministry which has Larry & Marissaafforded us opportunities to minister beyond our cultural background. Our audiences have been very multi-cultural and we have seen the need to bring different flavors to our set. We are ministers of God through music, and not just one style of music.”

As the 12 song set concludes with a rousing house/dance mix of the praise and worship classic “I Love You (Lord Today)”, it sinks in that you’ve just heard perhaps one of the best ballad projects to come along in years.

Treat yourself right and get it.

Producers: J. Smith, M. Holder, T. Milner, D. Robinson, B. Christie, M. Partis
album release date: June, 2001
Galaktecka / Favour

— reviewed by Stan North

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