Lee Williams and the Spiritual QCs
Good Time

Top chart spots in Gospel in this millenium are rarely filled by quartets. Yet, late 2000 finds Lee Williams and the Spiritual QCs with precisely that honor.

Good Time CDCertainly it’s no fluke, as the sounds of this hard-driving ensemble have proved to be heavy crowd draws wherever their extensive concert touring takes them. And that’s just what this live album (from Memphis) is. A concert.

The QCs deliver their trademarked typical sound throughout the disc. You’ve got that flawless and relentlessly tight vocal groove of repeated broken phrases —the theme of the song — over which the dapper Lee Williams moves and whirls his gripping and gruffsome lead. It’s scriptural teaching from him one song, it’s sincere testimony from him the next. His songwriting and arranging skills are evident throughout. All this underpinned by one of the hardest working and sensitive quartet bands on the circuit, and the occasional insertion of blazing Gospel horns.

Hits abound here. “You Didn’t Have To”, “Can’t Run”, “Personally” and “Let’s Get Down (On Our Knees and Pray)” are each mid-tempo gems that follow a similar musical construct. No problem, it works so well you’re glad to get multiple doses.

On the remake of the QCs previous hit, “You’ve Been Good”, the tempo takes a break, with piano tinkering from Jerry Peters, organ musing from Patrick Hobson and meandering guitar from Al Hollis and Mark Q. Blair introducing Williams’ lyrics of thanks. At 8 minutes plus, the track fades out, only to be reprised for an additional five plus minutes, as MCG label-mate and the album's producer, George Dean (lead singer of the Gospel Four) takes the mic from Williams and carries on with the theme of God’s overwhelming goodness. That makes fourteen minutes in total.

Lee Williams and the Spiritual QCs video Borrowing a page from the promotions manual usually used for mainstream contemporary artists, MCG Records has chosen to present this one hour plus concert video as a theatrical release. That's right, you can see this one in select theaters across the country (as well as on home video).

It's a good choice, as you get front row seats at the Temple of Deliverance COGIC in Memphis as Williams and crew offer up a slamming festival of driving praise. As you would expect, quartet visuals only add the oomph already present on the CD version.
And it’s still not enough to express the blessings He gives us.

Other offerings are the two cuts, “I’m Going To Make It” and “You’ve Changed This Life of Mine”, feature the vocals of Leonard Shumpert.

And on “Jesus Is Waiting”, the song takes a different tack from the rest of the project. The beat isn’t as driving, with the emphasis more on Williams’ vocal expression as he professes the encouraging truth that beyond the trials of this life, Jesus is waiting for us. The QCs keep the gentle vamp going strong to the end.

Whew! On par with The Williams Brothers and The Canton Spirituals and yet with their own distinction, this is simply one beautiful production of beautiful music, beautifully written —quartet-style.

Producers: G. Dean, L. Williams, J. Peters, G. Stevenson, J. Bullard
album release date: October 24, 2000
MCG Records

— reviewed by Stan North

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