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|The Westbrook Singers - The Promise|
|News Releases - Music & Entertainment|
|Written by Bob Marovich|
|Friday, 20 September 2013 15:18|
By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog
The Promise is another outstanding contribution by East Moline, Illinois’s Westbrook Singers.
The mixed gospel group, whose 2008 Live was equally impressive, blends traditional and contemporary gospel with a dash of classic church to offer what sounds like part Richard Smallwood Singers, part Winans, and part Earth, Wind & Fire. It is a musical mélange that bespeaks of the group’s deep roots in the COGIC church.
Perhaps the album’s most striking ingredient is the singers’ sumptuous harmonies. They are tight, sometimes daredevil, rising and veering like a rollercoaster ride, but always compelling. Accompanied by a jazzy acoustic piano, the group’s arrangement of the hymn “It Is Well” is the album's best example of their harmonies. The group also makes use of clever harmonic shifts on “I’ll Take Jesus,” along with some bluesy singing on the vamp.
There are several energetic mid-tempo songs on The Promise, notably “More than Life,” “Solid Rock,” and the title track. The group also revisits the Hawkins’ “What Is This” and provides a senior choir-esque version of the spiritual, “My Lord What A Morning,” complete with delicate piano accompaniment. Snippets of classicism can also be found in the upbeat evocation of the hereafter in “Face to Face.”
The production quality helps a great deal. All the songs were written, arranged, and produced by LySanias "DJ" Broyles Jr., the Westbrook Singers’ music director.
Known as the Quad Cities’ First Family of Gospel, the Westbrook Singers would be even better known if they lived in Atlanta, Chicago, Memphis, Nashville, or some other major music city.
The Westbrook Singers
The Promise (2013)Available from www.westbrooksingers.com
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