Songs Mama Used To Sing II

Blackberry Records follows up their successful Songs Mama Used To Sing project from 1994 with this second volume of well-known traditional tunes.

Anchored by the never-tiring Williams Brothers, both in solo and group variation, the album provides exactly what most will expect.Songs Mama Used to Sing Solid, true songs, reworked and re-arranged in the glorious Williams fashion, are packed into the 11 tracks on the disk. And Doug and Melvin Williams' Turn-Table Productions continues to provide some of the best traditional studio production value this side of heaven.

Perhaps the surprise of the album is the two solo numbers contributed by Charles Woolfork. Known for his intensely urban sound, he offers anything but that that here. In fact, you have to double-check those credits on “God Be With You” to see if that’s truly Woolfork ‘getting his traditional on’. Talk about versatile.

Other ear-grabbing sounds come from Kenton Rogers’ “Hold On To God’s Unchanging Hand”, which is a beat-accompanied, but otherwise acappella trip down memory lane, with backup from Doug and Melvin Williams along with Jerry Smith Mamaand the Children of Israel. And of course, the three Williams Brothers cuts are true to their usual excellence.

With nearly the entire Blackberry roster on this one (also including Murphy Pace & The Voices of Power, The Bolton Brothers, The Original Drifters featuring Bill Pinkney), the powerhouse tradition of the Gospel genre is well represented.

By the way, that’s Henry Green’s mother on the front of the CD.

Producers: Melvin and Doug Williams, and others
album release date: August 3, 1999
Blackberry Records

— reviewed by Stan North —

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