Michael and Regina Winans
Always Remember

Michael and Regina Winans aren't exactly strangers to Gospel. Michael is a member of the The Winans, and Regina has made her mark over the years as a songwriter for various backing vocal contributions to her famous in-law family.

Always Remember CDNow with Always Together, the husband and wife team draw on their musical gifts to debut with an introspective, family-themed Gospel project that rests heavily on balladry and urban pop.

Thirteen tracks strong, the emphasis of this project is very definitely on the duet, with Michael and Regina trading seasoned vocals throughout. But don't think that they don't tap into the vast Winans network of family and friends!

While always appearing in the background, you can still find Carvin Winans, Kayla Parker and Debbie Winans lending vocal support, and of course Winans Phase 2's Michael Winans Jr. (their son) and daughter LaShay Winans make their presence felt as well.

Put a star beside "Heavenbound", a bouncy, harmony-laden number with that trademark Winans vibe that looks towards the time when the crowns are given out up yonder. The infectious hook of "I've Got You" also puts it into that category, with Kayla Parker's backing vocals and arrangements combined with Gospel guitarist Tim Bowman's finesse pushing the God-centred lyrics into the land of favorites.

Bowman appears on several other cuts on this MCG Records project, as does renowned jazz guitar Michael and Regina Winansmaster Earl Klugh. Also, look for D'Aundre Thomas on bass, Marcus Abernathy on piano, Earl J. Wright on organ —all players with considerable contributions to Winans' albums over the years. Charles Veal Jr. and the South Central Chamber Orchestra bring in their orchestral Gospel expertise with sweet string arrangements from Benjamin F. Wright.

There's lots here to sit back and chill to, too many examples to mention. But it would be remiss not to bring light to the sanctified life that the couple brings to John Lennon's "Grow Old With Me (God Bless Our Love)" and the marital and family devotional celebration of "Love Will Be".

The Winans legacy continues to impact Gospel, and Always Remember makes the mark as yet another must-add disk to complete your collection.

Producers: Michael and Regina Winans, Dana Davis
album release date: September 12, 2000
MCG Records

reviewed by Stan North

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