God’s Children review…March 18, 2018….

GOD’S CHILDREN

MUSIC IS THE ANSWER

THE COMPLETE COLLECTION

MUSIC IS THE ANSWER (FEAT. THE EAST L. A. BAND)–MAKES NO DIFFERENCE–GO AWAY–JUST WISH–DREAM–BROWN BABY–HEY DOES SOMEBODY CARE–LONELY LULLABY–MUSIC IS THE ANSWER (FEAT. STUDIO MUSICIANS)–MUSIC IS THE ANSWER (INST.)–PUT YOUR HEAD ON MY SHOULDER–THAT’S THE WAY GOD PLANNED IT–IF YOU EVER GO AWAY–IF YOU EVER GO AWAY (INST.)

The original concept for the East L. A.-based band, God’s Children, was to present music to their fans to help them cope with troubled times.  The year was 1969–MLK and RFK had been assassinated, Vietnam was still happening, racial unrest was rampant, as was the growing drug culture.  Turning to music was a viable option, with Woodstock in August of that year, and Janis and Jimi were still around.  For three young Latinos–“Little” Willie Garcia, Li’l Ray Jimenez, and Lydia Amescua–the time was now, and they had a message to spread.

That message can be found in the fourteen gems that comprise “Music Is The Answer–The Complete Collection,” from Minky Records.  The players also took some cues from that late-Sixties era, As Santana and several others had begun doing, God’s Children incorporated costumes and choreography into their live shows, and, as you listen, especially us old-school ballers, you may be reminded of groups such as Three Dog Night, The Partridge Family, or the Fifth Dimension.

The set begins with a cut that defines a “world of trouble,” during Vietnam-era 1969, “Music Is The Answer.,” featuring the East L. A. Band.  Pure Sixties’ pop augmented by strong organ work emboldens “Makes No Difference,” while piano pervades the melody in an ode to an unrequited love, where “I just Wish you and I could finally get together.”  The band does a fine read of “Put Your Head On My Shoulder,” staying close to the original arrangement, with excellent harmonies.  They touch on a spiritual theme with a song that champions humility in “That’s The Way God Planned It,” before closing with Lydia’s plea to a lover,  “If You Ever Go Away, I’ll say goodbye,” reprised in the set-closer as a brilliant instrumental.

We had two favorites, as well.   “Music Is The Answer” surfaces again mid-album, done with studio musicians, with more emphasis on the wah-wah guitar and piano, and is followed by these same musicians, breaking this song into its base elements in an instrumental form.

God’s Children successfully blended Latino rock, funk, doo-wop and gospel throughout their career.  Following the mantra that “music is the flower of unity,” we urge you to enjoy “Music Is The Answer—The Complete Collection.”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

 

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