Rhythm Gospel & Blues
An Amazing Community
Can you believe that it is 20 years ago that we made this live album together? What started off as The Amazing Stories, continues today with Rhythm Gospel & Blues.
"Its a new dawn, its a new day, its a new life for me... (oh yeah)... and I'm feeling good." Nina Simone
If you have been following my journey these past 20 years you'll know that I have one foot in the Church and the other foot in the market place. I am comfortable in both worlds and often feel like a fireman… just passing a bucket of water along the line to the place that needs it the most.
I am always writing and making music but in recent times there has been renewal in my perspective and creativity, especially after reconnecting with Linda McCrary, Alfie Silas, Sandra Crouch and others at New Christ Memorial, the home Church of the legendary Gospel Singer Andre Crouch. In fact, I was so moved during my first Sunday service that I wrote 6 songs the following week and have continued writing, often two or more songs per week ever since. There is something new upon me and with this developing community of richly talented musicians and singers and I want to wrap up some of this 'present oil and honey' in a new record and share it with the world.
Drawing upon some of the early albums we made together (The Amazing Stories, Tree by the Water) we have gathered many of our friends into the Rhythm Gospel & Blues community, the likes of whom have worked or are working still with: Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, John Legend, Stevie Wonder, Janis Joplin, Chaka Khan, Barry White, Brandy, Madonna, Mary J Blige, Queen LaTifah, Ray Charles, Philip Bailey, Andre Crouch, Elton John, Leon Russell, Gladys Knight, Ron Kenoly, George Benson, Lionel Ritchie, Aaron Neville, Shelby Lynne, Keith Richards, Norah Jones, Matt Redman, Don Was, Steve Taylor, Robben Ford, Jewel, T Bone Burnett, Cat Stevens, Carole King, The Platters, The Drifters, Sam Sparro, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Juice Newton, Melissa Manchester, BeBe and CeCe Winans, The Lion King Soundtrack, The Color Purple Sound Track, Quincy Jones, Pat Boone, Candi Stratton, Diana Ross, Lisa Stansfield, Paul Simon, Vanessa Williams and Amy Grant.
"I freely admit to 'often pinching myself' when I look around at the people singing and playing alongside me on this project. It is an experience I want to share with many."
Generation upon Generation
It was no coincidence that the Motown, Stacks and Mussel Shoals labels cherry picked the best gospel singers and turned them into Rhythm and Blues stars. Because the likes of Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Sam Cooke, Donnie Hathaway and many others had already learned to carry that oil… that little something extra, in the worship band and or choir of their local Church. We want to better manage that stream and if possible, look after the next generation of worship-gospel singers, musician and artists by giving them a platform on which to express themselves, freely and honestly within their first love. And so while we may dream of a label that manages all of this, for now we will include a handful of younger musicians and singers on this record so that they too can share in this glorious experience.
Rhythm Gospel & Blues New Album