May 20, 2000 |
Tomorrow is one of the biggest dates of the year for lovers of gospel and its soulful importunings. It's when local composer Carol Antrom will introduce a new crop of songs and reprise some old ones. Few gospel concerts inspire such expectations, both spiritual and musical. Record executives and prayer warriors alike flock to the event from all over the country because Antrom's songs exhibit a striking artistic bent and get picked up by prominent artists. Many of the faithful see her melodies as "anointed," endowed with the power to change a listener's life.
January 20, 1997 |
When they hit the stage in their raspberry-red jackets and black pants, the Mighty Clouds of Joy looked more like an R&B band than a gospel group. But that turned out to be both charming and riveting. The Clouds reach back to the glory days of gospel quartets epitomized by the Philadelphia-based Dixie Hummingbirds. The Clouds also know their way around synthesizers and a funky backbeat, since they were among the first gospel quartets to cross over. Their show Saturday night at the South Jersey Performing Arts Center, at the Waterfront Entertainment Centre in Camden, had the old-time verities mingled with the newfangled flash.
October 9, 2012 |
God's work, it seems, is never done. That's why, rather than resting on the seventh day, he called upon Live Nation to put together a gospel music tour, "The King's Men," and unite the top-selling salesman of the Word. On Sunday, four formidable headliners - Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp, Donnie McClurkin, and Israel Houghton - laid bare their souls and their most impassioned voices at the Liacouras Center. And it was good - the three-hour-plus showing of holy music's Traveling Wilburys, to devotees of God and to his performers.
May 30, 1991 |
In Michael Matthew's drug parable Wicked Ways, the main character tries to show his teenage son the difference between the good life and a decent life. And in between there's a whole lot of pain. Wicked Ways, which opened at the Shubert on Tuesday night, chronicles a father's efforts to steer his children from the streets, where peer pressure, drugs and violence lurk. The gospel musical, which Matthews calls a precursor to his anti-drug hit Mama Don't, is as true to the streets as it is to the gospel.
May 16, 1989 |
Never underestimate the power of the human voice. The members of Take 6, the hot a cappella gospel group, didn't have to spell out that message to deliver it Sunday night at the Uptown Theater, during the closing event of the Africamericas Festival. All they had to do was sing. Their first few blasts of harmony were greeted with screams of delight. Their impassioned solo testimonials seemed powered by an unstoppable, otherworldly steamroller. The standing-room-only crowd returned this energy with shouts of "amen" and prayer-meeting hand claps.
July 30, 2002 |
Mavis Staples began her tribute to Mahalia Jackson at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater on Sunday with a calm, slightly bittersweet version of "I'll Fly Away. " It was an act of reclamation: The gospel classic has been heard frequently since it was included in the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?, often as an up-tempo jubilee. By using her weary voice to express grind-it-out determination, Staples brought the song back to earth. It was an "I'll Fly Away" for the long haul, not instant salvation, and it set the tone for an intense hour of spirituals sung by one of the art's living masters.
December 14, 2011 |
DINA MARIE TURCHI'S parents didn't always want to know what she was up to. Like jumping out of airplanes. Her mother, Marie, doesn't even know where her daughter did her skydiving. All she knows is that when Dina invited her mother and her little niece Briana to watch her parachute from the sky, her mother said, "No way. " In addition to not wanting to see her child risk her life for thrills, she didn't want Briana, then about 3, to witness the feat because "she might want to do it. " Dina Marie Turchi packed a lot of living into a tragically short life.
March 24, 2000 |
Delegation, a group that performs traditional gospel music with blues, pop and folk influences, will give a benefit concert at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Church of the Loving Shepherd, 1066 S. New St., just south of West Chester. The group began in 1972 as a junior high school gospel choir in Philadelphia. It is led by the Rev. Gabriel Hardeman, a musician-composer who has written for and played with Teddy Pendergrass, Edwin Hawkins and Grover Washington Jr., among others. A donation of $10 is suggested, and the proceeds will go toward the purchase of a pipe organ for the church.
September 23, 1988 |
A gospel musical is a hybrid - part theater, part show business and part religion. For it to succeed, it must at an early point become possessed by a spirit that lifts performers and audiences out of that uncertain mix and, indeed, out of themselves. The spirit never takes hold of God's Trombones, which opened a two-week engagement at the Shubert Theater on Wednesday evening. The various elements of black culture never come together in a satisfying artistic whole. There are two main difficulties.
April 27, 1993 |
With his tousled hair and slightly worse-for-wear trench-coat, Wilton Barnhardt looks like an average harried commuter. The impression is entirely misleading. Barnhardt is the author of the new novel "Gospel" (St. Martin's/$24.95), a continent-hopping vistation of sacred places. Barnhardt spent eight months travelling in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa to research his book. "Gospel" tells the story of the hunt for the lost scriptural writings of St. Matthias by a hell-raising professor, Patrick O'Hanrahan, and his impressionable assistant, Lucy Danton.