The Sojourners review…October 14, 2013…

THE SOJOURNERS

SING AND NEVER GET TIRED

LITTLE PIG RECORDS   LPR 007

DON’T KNOCK–CHRISTIAN’S AUTOMOBILE–FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH–EZEKIEL–MILKY WHITE WAY–DRESSED FOR HEAVEN–WHY AM I TREATED SO BAD–HIDING PLACE–THIS TRAIN–WELCOME TABLE–I SHALL BE RELEASED–I AIN’T GOT NO HOME

There’s no doubt that these are some trying times, indeed.  For some folks, us included, good music offers not only a respite from the daily dose of bad news that permeates the media, but also offers a message that there’s hope for the future.  That’s the good news about the latest set from The Sojourners, “Sing And Never Get Tired.”  It’s a sweet tonic for what als us all.  These three incredible talents–Marcus Mosely, Will Sanders, and newcomer Khari McClelland–not only blend their voices in the spirit of traditional gospel, but, on this one, they show a gritty, bluesier edge than on their prior releases.  Produced by guitarist Paul Pigat, he encourages the trio to make the connection between the spiritual songs and the songs of social action that sprang up during the VietNam protests of the Sixties.

The set opens with a song made popular by Roebuck “Pops” Staples, “Don’t Knock–just walk on in Heaven’s door!”  Monkeyjunk frontman Steve Marriner adds harp on “Christian’s Automobile,” where “prayer is your drivrer’s license, and faith is your steering wheel.”  The harp and the harmonies give this one a deep delta blues feel.  Traditiona gospel is well-represented, too, thru cuts such as “Ezekiel” and “Milky White Way,” the latter featuring brilliant old-school gospel piano from Michael Van Eyes.  The fellows give an excellent read to another Staples Singers gem, “Why Am I Treated So Bad,” also freaturing a sweet spoken-word passage.  And, “This Train is bound for glory” follows an uptempo, spiritually-uplifting beat, again with harp from Mr. Marriner.

We had two favorites, too.  Perhaps the bluesiest cut on the set is the trio’s take on one of the seminal protest songs of the VietNam era, Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It Worth.”  And, the set closes with a breathtaking a cappella rendition of a Depression-era Woody Guthrie song, “I Ain’t Got No Home,” with only the men’s voices backed by hand claps.

With “Sing And Never Get Tired,” The Sojourners have created a gospel album done up in a very blues-oriented style.  It offers a ray of hope to listeners to remind them that the power of music can get you thru even the toughest of times.   Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow

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