UK Gospel Artists
It's no coincidence that artists such as Donnie McClurkin, Hezekiah
Timothy Wright have chosen to record major projects in the United Kingdom in recent years. No doubt about it,
Gospel is thriving in the crown land.—
reviewed by Stan North —
To mark the arrival of UK-based artists at the special
showcase at the 2000 GMWA in New Orleans, we’re piecing together this segment
that shines the light on that growing spectrum of artists who call Great
Britain their home.
While not all the artists presented here will be making the trip, it does give
you a feel for the other side.
And if you’re worried about understanding the accent, then don’t be.
Unless you have a spoken word segment, you’d never know these artists
Simon Wallace & UK's Chosen
My Steps Are Ordered
Simon Wallace writes words and music for all ten tracks of this album that rests on a solid Gospel church choir sound with a touch of contemporary. With Wallace calling London’s Wood Street Tabernacle COGIC home, UK’s Chosen brings a honest, sometimes raw, mass flair to the project.
One of many featured soloists, Julianna Lewis leads the way with strong, soaring soprano vocals. Look for evidence of this on cuts such as “My Steps Are Ordered” where she ad lib, and the album closer, “Coming Back To Stay”, where she ushers in a gentle spirit of worship.
In short, here's an album with some nice Gospel choir flows, demonstrating that even with some cultural variations, having church is having church, no matter where you are.
The Jordan Family
Hailing from London, The Jordan Family delivers a tightness of blend that only
a family can. Thoroughly contemporary and with a high jam factor, the six members
inject soul into their Gospel with live-feel instrumentation, varied lead vocals and original songwriting.
Ranging from patriarch Clint Jordan down to 15-year-old Eugene, each
plays a role on the CD, with a pleasant mix of lead vocal switches. Eugene handles
lead with an ease far beyond his years on the remarkable cover of Jimmy
Cliff's classic "Many Rivers To Cross".
Eldest son Clinton takes his prominent lead vocal role with
considerable gusto, particular noted on "Do As You Say" and "Whisper".
In fact, from start to finish, the labor of love found on
Family Album is evident. It's worthy.
(see The Jordan Family website)
Raymond & Co.
I Wanna Be
Raymond Dyer is the force behind this six-member ensemble that
offers a distinctive
sound defined by inventive programming and beats with tight harmonies and
Standout tracks include "Song In The Midnight" in which Company's
vocalists weave in and out amidst some soft keyboard flows. Hiphop group Solid Rock guests on "Playing Games", with a short rap interlude near the end of
the exhortation-themed composition. Dyer shows his smooth vocal talent on "Turn Me Around" and "Hold On", where he
is joined by Company's Christopher Gordon.
Bottom line, Raymond & Co. will satisfy those looking for R&P vibes unlike anything found on North
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