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The Sons Of The Soul Revivers: Live! Rancho Nicasio

James Nadal By

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Founded in 1970, by Walter Morgan Jr., The Sons Of The Soul Revivers carry on the traditional gospel legacy started by their father Walter Sr., with the original Soul Revivers, in the 1960's.Walter Jr. is joined by his brothers James and Dwyane, supported by their regular backing band, taking the music to that sacred space where religion encounters rhythm. Produced under the auspice of Little Village Foundation, founded by keyboardist Jim Pugh as a commitment to discovering and recording original American artists, the sessions are from a live performance at the Rancho Nicasio roadhouse, in Marin County, California. Being from nearby Vallejo, in the Bay Area, this was a hometown gig for the group, their exuberance, coupled with spirited audience appreciation, resulted in the uplifting recording Live Rancho Nicasio.

All three Morgans are exemplary vocalists, and, as producer Pugh points out, they possess identical inflections and vibrato in their voices. These qualities, as well as a lifetime singing together in church, produces significant ringing chords, where overtones reinforce each other to form a complex, yet natural, harmony. Though all three are equal, Dwayne handles most of the lead vocals, James, and Walter (who also plays guitar) doing the responding chorus and backing, with bassist DaQuante Johnson, rounding out the four part harmony.

Powerful electric guitar chords begins "Come Over Here," as Dwayne opens the service with a hearty dose of rocking southern gospel. Walter sings lead on the soul spiced "Satisfied," then they slowly ease into the peaceful "Pilgrim And A Stranger" all joining together as one voice, Dwayne showing polished capability to take his voice up into the high registers with controlled finesse. "Give Him His Due," is performed as a preaching ballad, before returning to the hand-clapping revival "Eyes Have Not Seen" and "Shook." A definite funky syncopation on "As For Me And My House," recalls the great Johnnie Taylor style of church inspired soul, that influenced an entire generation of singers. Where the brothers really get to testify is on their version of "The Man In The Middle," performed in perfect unison, with the rhythm section tight as a drum. Wrapping up the repertoire offering stimulating praise for the power of redemption on "I'm A New Creature," the brothers go out with the same excitement and energy as they began.

While the lines between sacred and secular are firmly established for the steadfast true believers, the method of delivering the message is a bit more flexible. The Sons Of The Soul Revivers have intentionally taken their music into a progressive direction, crossing over to a wider audience, proving that the best singers, come out of the church.

Track Listing: Come Over Here; Satisfied; It’s A Needed Time; Pilgrim And A Stranger; Joy; Give Him His Due; As For Me And My House; Eyes Have Not Seen; Shook; The Man In The Middle; I’m A New Creature.

Personnel: Dwayne Morgan: vocals; James Morgan: vocals; Walter Morgan Jr.: vocals, guitar; DaQuante Johnson: vocals, bass; Oliver Calloway: drums; Jim Pugh: organ; Thomas Smith: guitar.

Title: Live! Rancho Nicasio | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: The Little Village Foundation

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