Preview No Glory by the Eagle Rock Gospel Singers.
No Glory by the Eagle Rock Gospel Singers
A pleasure after picking up the rental car, on a trip to the USA, is to scan the radio stations available. Quite often it comes to rest on a contemporary Christian channel and more often than not it seems plain to me that the Devil got all the best tunes. So approaching the second album release of self-penned songs from LA based Eagle Rock Gospel Singers was not without some trepidation.
However, despite being true to their faith, they see themselves making Gospel not Christian music and they show a considerable amount of craft in making tracks that stand comparison to 1960’s African-American Gospel treasures.
“Dry” starts proceeding and pedal steel accompanies the hymn as they unfold their take on the Scriptures. Halfway through a sumptuous choir joins behind the plaintive male vocal and you know we’re onto something good. “Church Fire” is an acapella hymn with Wadsworth soloing against Kim Garcia and Andrea Chita’s voices and is a real testament as to their harmony talent. From the first notes you hear then you know “Lay Down Low’ is not from the studio but is recorded live (from a church in Lincoln Heights, CA). The atmosphere created is evocative as if you are witnessing this from a pew. It so works.
Production values soar on this record. Matt Wignall has been their producer throughout their career and not only exquisitely showcases the vocals but also has some sympathetic yet dynamic arrangements that elevate throughout.
They can genre hop and “Take Me To The Water” sees a thundering bass line from Kevin Collins leading you onto a blues riff with organ providing shade in the background whilst vocalist Kim Garcia guides us to the river and liberation. “Like A Child” is such a perfect example of more blues but with a raw electric guitar from Jeremy Horton often peaking through like shards of refracted light.
Interviews state that their inspirations are Mahalia Jackson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and The Staples. “Momma Told Me” is the latter to the tambourine that keeps the rhythm, the guitar that picks, the horns that celebrate, and the ladies who command the stage. You need some confidence and talent to walk on this sacred ground and they have it.
Maybe I’ll be a lot less hasty before I touch that dial on my next trip.