The Percy Bady Experience

Percy Bady
The Percy Bady Experience

Moving from behind scenes to front and center can be daunting for the most gifted of artists. Suddenly the spotlight shifts and it becomes all too easy to freeze before the undivided attention.

CDPercy Bady deftly sidesteps that pitfall as he transitions from in-demand producer, arranger, songwriter and musician to solo artist in his GospoCentric debut, The Percy Bady Experience.

For someone who has for so long been such a crucial element of so many artist’s success stories, it is entirely fitting that several of those top notch voices step in to support on Bady’s debut, beginning with the severe medley titled “The Songs That Brought Us Through”, featuring five smash songs that Bady has penned over the years.

Bady begins the set himself, ably singing “There Is Hope” before Darius Brooks takes the mic on “I Believe”. Former Thompson Community Singers vocalist Yvette Williams aka Ms. Tonex then enters on “Can’t Look Back Now” before BeBe Winans and Shandra Dixon take duet duties on the famed “Love Said Not So”. Leanne Faine finishes it with “The Holy Ghost”.

With that brief taste of what Bady has brought to Gospel, the album unfolds with equally worthy new cuts, some of them no doubt bound for their place in a contemporary Gospel songbook.

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Consider “It Was Love”. A phat, summery, buttery ballad, the song has Bady hooking up with sibling and fellow GospoCentric artist Ray Bady (see album review), expounding on the essence and beauty of God’s love via traded leads, phat track and a honey-harmonied chorus. The awesome-voiced DJ Rogers appears mid-track for a verse before Eric and Anson Dawkins wrap up the piece, making it a true collaborative gem, and superb bit of rhythm ‘n praise.

In contrast are “Father To Son” and “Gone But Not Forgotten”, two emotionally-charged and tender ballads that Bady uses to tap into sentiments experienced by nearly everyone, injecting scriptural insight into lyrics. Piano and strings accentuate the emotion on the former.

The down tempo and inspirational “Keep On Dreaming” brings in youthful Jasmin (who is fast becoming a staple on Gospel projects!), along with Eric Dawkins and GospoCentric’s and Chicago’s own New Direction. The follow up cut is a similar in theme and musical feel, titled “I¹ll Keep Holding On” and featuring Darius Brooks and Paul Garcia joining Bady on vocals.

Switching gears a little in the context of this album (but not in the context of his career, for Bady has penned and produced several hits in the traditional vein), is “You Oughta Been There”. With newcomers The Soul Seekers serving as quartet anchor, Bady soars his vocals overtop, amidst an outpouring of old school church drive splashed with a dash of brassy funk. The cut gets production help from the famed Warryn Campbell (who also sings with The Soul Seekers along with brother-in-law Teddy Campbell and Jube Smith and Nisan Stewart).

The soulful vocal trio of Marvin Sapp, Pastor Darryl Hines and Apostle Donald Alford pour their vocal gifts all over “Um Good”, weaving their church pipes over Hammond B3, solo cello and strings.

Some of the sweetest jams are saved to fill the latter half of the project. PAJAM adds production prowess to “Free”, a song where Bady stays in the background, letting Percy BadyDorinda Clark-Cole and Tedd Winn handle lead vocals. With acoustic percussion and mass choir vocals in the background, Winn and Clark-Cole duet about our triumph and liberation in Jesus Christ, even through trials.

“Hold Up The Light (Old School Mix)” with Papa San and Big Jim Wright joining Bady doubly blesses. The cut has a warm groove and then the gem is remixed (“Urban Remix”) by PAJAM and gets stripped down and given a heavy urban hammer.

The Percy Bady Experience ends with three accompaniment tracks taken from the album (“Gone But Not Forgotten”, “I’ll Keep Holding On” and “Um, Good”), ensuring that his experience can be yours too.

Producers: Percy Bady, Paul Garcia, PAJAM, Warryn Campbell
album release date: July 22, 2003
GospoCentric Records

— review by Stan North

  All content in GospelFlava © copyright 2003. No information to be reprinted or re-broadcast from this site without the expressed written consent of GospelFlava.com. All rights reserved.

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