Peggy Lacey and Friends

Everyone knows that for every nationally acclaimed Gospel artist, you can count many more that have been given an equal anointing, yet have not been called to the same stage. Some reach the spotlight later, some never do. Their final desination is no reflection on their gift.

Peggy Lacey is one of those artists who have put in years of musical service, suddenly to find themselves gracing CD art on a famous record label. Debuting on Tyscot with Live, Lacey willLive CD surprise many who have never heard of her, and cause nods of agreement in those who have been plugging her ministry all along.

Call it 'smooth, melody-driven church music'. With ten tracks to put under the beam, you get plenty to choose from, all of them recorded live before a raucous congregation in Columbus, Ohio. Lacey has powerful pipes that she uses deftly, bringing a clarity of tone and just enough grit to portray the message. The six-voice backing ensemble provides ample supporting power, and the band does it right by being tight.

Professor Garey Lewis brings his arrangement and songwriting touch to nearly all the material, showing a penchant for effective chord arrangements and resounding melody. "Let God Arise" and "With One Mighty Voice" showcase this best.

Cuts to star include Lacey's remake of that old classic Hez tune from waaaaay back, "Oh Lord, We Praise You". Lewis retains the island element to the cut, Peggy Laceybut also incorporates the church rhythms on the verses. It's about time this one was brought back to the surface!

On the interpretation of the familiar praise tune "More Of Your Glory", the pace is fast, and the groove gets heavy, making for an intense cut. Also, take note that Pastor Ronnie "Diamond" Hoard joins in with Lacey on vocals on the churchy, album-closer "Let's Praise The Lord".

This is not her first solo offering, and you may have unknowningly heard her before, as she's been all over the country singing backup for artists such as Hezekiah Walker, Thomas Whitfield, The Clark Sisters, The Mississippi Mass Choir, Shirley Caesar and Edwin Hawkins.

But after hearing Live, you won't soon forget the name of Peggy Lacey.

Producer: Garey L. Lewis
album release date: March 7, 2000
Tyscot Records

reviewed by Stan North

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