The Fairfield Four, "Standing In The Safety Zone". Awesome. CD only.
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There are of course many more, I could think of, but to name just three I am currently revisiting. Donnie McClurkin "Live from London". Rodnie Bryant and the Christian Mass Choir, "He's a Keepa". And Bishop Ronald E Brown, "Live Having a Good Old Fashioned Church". All great to listen too. Nothing like Gospel music to lift the heart. Glen...Amen
The Fairfield Four CD is wonderful! Deep feeling and rhythm and each voice is distinct--I especially like the bass singer's parts. ARC Choir is great as well--like a gospel choir is singing in my living room! I also picked up The Angels CD from Mapleshade and heartily recommend it for its full live sound. I was disappointed in the Blind Boys of Alabama CD I got. It's called "Spirit of The Century" and is an attempt to blend blues and gospel that does not succeed to my ears. Any recommendations of other Blind Boys cds that are more traditional would be appreciated. Ironically, I got a Mavis Staples CD which is a melding of the modern and traditional called "We'll Never Turn Back" which I really like. It's produced by Ry Cooder, whose musical choices I've always respected. He gets it right on this one--highly recommended. Thanks guys.
I knew you would like the Fairfield Four. The Mavis Staples CD is indeed very fine. If you want to a hear great acapella recording check out The Flirtations Caught Live on the Road. Not a gospel recording but a real in the room presentation. Sadly, most of the members have died. One of my favorite recordings, along with The Fairfield Four and Dave Alvin's King of California that I keep going back to for music and sound.
I thought I had mentioned this recording before, but it seems it doesn't appear in the forums:
Handel's Messiah - A Soulful Celebration
If you like pop/gospel/soul and audio, run right out and add this to your collection.
Tracks 3 and 8 (with Stevie Wonder) are old favorites for me - wonderful interpretations and also great demo tracks with a clear and spacious recording.
some of my favorites and well recorded also:
Chanticleer - where the sun will never go down & How sweet the sound.
Original cast recording - The Gospel at Colonus
Fred McDowell - Amazing Grace with Como,MS choir
Amazing Grace - Robery Shaw festival Singers on TELARC
FairField Four - standing in the safety zone
The Gaithers - Atlanta Homecoming & Kennedy Center Homecoming & Freedom Band
For more urban taste:
Soundtrack - say amen somebody
Aretha Franklin - one Lord one faith one baptism
& Amazing Grace
Try the NASHBORO label for the old black southern group stuff. Sound quality will vary.
This church incorporates the steel guitar into their worship service, and they've morphed into some of the greatest steel guitar players anywhere.
They have a CD titled Sacred Steel-Live (www.arhoolie.com) that is just great. I play it in the car on the way to church on Sunday. Check out "Don't Let the Devil Drive".