The Williams Brothers
As top-notch as The Williams Brothers are when it comes to studio finesse, you have truly
never experienced the storied trio until you've heard them live in concert. Consider that
the essence of this review.Producer: Melvin Williams, Doug Williams
album release date: February, 2000
Recorded live in Jackson, Mississippi in the summer of 1999,
this new double-CD
from Blackberry Records, titled The Concert,
captures the essence of the famed group.
With guest spots from Bishop Carlton Pearson and Juanita Bynum,
Gospel is introduced to the millenium with a raw finesse that sends tingles up the spine. Much of
the material on the project is taken from the best that the Williams Brothers have
delivered over the years, both from their myriad of albums, and also from the various solo
efforts from brothers Doug and Melvin.
Essential cuts include their massive hits, "Living Testimony", "Never Seen
Your Face" and "I'm Too
Close". There's also a trip down memory lane with a 15 minute medley
of their long-past favorites (which includes "The Goat,
"Sweep Around", "So Good" and three others).
Also included is their interpretation of Fred
Hammond's "No Weapon".
While you know
that the threesome could easily carry the album on their own, they have evidently
put as much effort into the supporting album cast as they have in their own
Ralph Lofton (organ), Terry Gatlin (bass) and Derrick Horne
(rhodes, horns, synth) make their
presence known, as does the marvelous performance from Jackson's own EnPraise Singers
choir. Minus a couple of uncharacteristicly awkward song transitions,
production is on par with the usual beauty that the Williams Brothers' own
TurnTable Productions brings out.
Perhaps the gem of the project is the Gospel remake of the Diane Warren song that
Celine Dion made popular, "Because You
Loved Me". It's arguably better than the original pop smash, not
simply because of the brilliant vocal harmonies that emerge when the Williams
Brothers pair up with guest soloist Juanita Bynum,
but also because of the inherent beauty of turning the song 180
degrees into God-praising work of art. Check out the bonus track, which is a thoroughly
urban remix of the cut (produced by Derrick Horne), and watch it
smash into urban radio rotations.
Call it a one-two CD punch that no enthusiast of traditional Gospel can resist.
With all the fire, the harmony, the masterful tunesmith workings and the heaven-bent
the trio is renowned for, The Concert is a 20-track summation of all that is
The Williams Brothers.
reviewed by Stan North —
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