The Williams Brothers & Their Superstar Friends
SoulLink Live

Ask anyone even vaguely knowledgeable about today's thriving quartet scene for a list of top artists, and you'll find them quickly tripping their tongue over names such as Lee Williams & The Spiritual QCs, The Christianaires, The Canton Spirituals, Slim and The Supreme Angels and, of course, The Williams Brothers.

CDAll of these groups come together on SoulLink Live, a project hosted by The Williams Brothers under the moniker The Williams Brothers & Their Superstar friends. Also included is an appearance by country wonderkids, Hip Joe Boot.

The album, recorded at the Earthlink Theatre in Atlanta in December 2003, features hits from each of the featured quartet mainstays —but unlike a standard compilation or 'best of' project, the whole is energized by the fact that the songs were all recorded live on the same night. That adds a subtle continuity to the set that is crucial to making this album a keeper.

Slim and The Supreme Angels satisfy with their popular "Over Yonder" harmonic groove and also "Have You Heard The News" from their 2003 release. The Christianaires deliver their hits "Stand Up" and "You've Been So Good".

Lee Williams & The Spiritual QCs make good with "Bless Me Jesus" and "Coming Again", as Williams demonstrates why his one-of-a-kind gruff singing style is so well-received. The Canton Spirituals dig into "Mississippi Poor Boy".

The middle of the album has Hip Boot Joe offering up a rousing medley of "Straiten' It Out" and "Waitin' On Jesus" (complete with a brief rap segment). The Williams Brothers sing "I Feel Good" and "If You Move, I'll Fall".

The highlight of SoulLink Live lies in two cuts that bookend the album. "Love Train" opens the project as an unmitigated, joyous and raucous romp that brings in all of the groups on the album on stage at the same time. Then, on the twelth and final track, Lee Williams and Harvey Watkins join to duet on Louis Armstrong's familiar "What A Wonderful World", daring to add an extra dimension to the song. Truly, only these two get away with this, and succeed in the way they do.

SoulLink Live is billed as only the first of many such projects to come from Blackberry Records. Oh glory!!

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Producers: The Heavyweights
album release date: June, 2004
Genesis Entertainment

— reviewed by Stan North

  All content in GospelFlava copyright 2004. 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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