Believers & Friends
Brenda Waters is a music missionary, arranger, songwriter,
accomplished vocalist and workshop clinician. You’ve probably heard
her back in the day on classic albums from The Southeast
Inspirational Youth Choir, the B C & S trio, Leonard
Burke and the Voices of Praise, and more recently, on Donald
Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers’ projects.Producers: Kevin Bond, Donald Lawrence, Cedric Thompson
album release date: January 11, 2000
Working this experience to its maximum potential on her feature
project from Crystal Rose titled Believers & Friends,
Waters delivers some downright solid songs that delight the ear with
Gospel as you love to hear it. Call it a case of reaching back for
the best of classic Gospel sounds and musical approaches, fast-forwarding
it to today’s production standards and occasionally enveloping it
with phat beats.
“Victory” is the opening cut. Waters takes her low range vocals
into crazy regions in a acappella church-time groove
with Rev. Michael Mack and backed by the “do it”
repetitions of Cheri Wilson and True Praise Workshop
Choir (who work wonders throughout the project).
And if you think you’ve heard about all that can be done
with the classic “Oh, Mary”, then you better check that
thought right now. Courtesy the combined work of Kevin
Bond and Donald Lawrence, the contemporay bounce
flow of the cut and the keyboard effects define the melody
of Water’s song/story of Lazarus.
Equally at home with a ballad as with a groove, Waters is
an engaging vocalist with a sincerity of tone apparent in
every note. That can be heard on “Absent From The Body
(More Of The Story)” and “I Am The One”.
Guest vocalist Hedreich Nichols spins a georgeous
vocal on her self-penned “Vessel”. Airy, light and
absolutely worshipful, she handles the solo number
superbly. Kevin Bond’s instrumentation takes on a strong
harpsichord flavor, fitting perfectly and ensuring
it highlight status in an album full of highlights.
In other cases, the liner notes are sparse when it comes
to acknowledging some the various prominent voices that
come in at various parts of songs. When you hear the
introductory trio on “Stand”, you truly want to know
who is singing. It’s a tight introduction to a marvelous
vocal tapestry of a song, featuring various solo and other vocal
combinations. We’re left knowing that these ‘believers and
friends’ of Brenda Waters are sure enough anointed.
end, that’s all that matters.
This is a beautiful album, and comes highly
recommended. So, come on in, this Water’s
Crystal Rose Records
reviewed by Stan North —
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