NorthernBlues Gospel Allstar Chorus - Reviews

 
 

"The Allstar chorus doesn't knock you over with their singing - young Hiram Joseph has the one standout voice - but these Canadians, sometimes supported by a band, are entirely convincing in their devotion. Good originals, including Danny Brooks' redemeption blues "Righteous Highway," share the program with traditional gospel numbers and spirit-lifters out of the Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin songbooks."

-Frank-John Hadley
Downbeat
May, 2003 

 
   

"Saved! is a fine album that extends Northern Blues reputation as purveyors of quality blues albums to include Gospel too. Anyone who likes Gospel will lap this one up, and those who like their singing to be inspired and soulful will also find much to admire. Indeed, if nothing on this album moves your spirit, then I am afraid there is not much hope for you!"

-Gordon Baxter
Blues On Stage
January 2003 

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"Salvation has arrived!

And, it's here just in time for the holidays. NorthernBlues Music has assembled some of the finest gospel singers and musicians for the ultimate super-session.
SAVED!, performed by the NorthernBlues Gospel Allstars, is the product of legendary producer Frazier Mohawk (Former VP of A&R at Elektra). He spared no effort in getting some incredible talent together: John Finley, who is widely recognized in the gospel community; and Hiram Joseph, Danny Brooks, and Amoy Levy who are among the best gospel vocalists in Canada.

Tim Drummon, bass player for Bob Dylan, and co-writer of the title track Saved, performs on the song, which he penned with Zimmy in 1980. On the whole, the NorthernBlues Gospel Allstar choir consists of some of the best voices in North America. The leadoff track, an acapella version of "
Down By The Riverside", puts you front-row center at an old-fashioned revival meeting. Other highlights include "24/7/365", and "A Place Called Hope".

NorthernBlues Music is the label that brought us one of today's most acclaimed blues artists, W.C. Handy-winner Otis Taylor. Harry Manx, the globe-trotting, mohan veena-playing troubadour, and prodigy slideguitarist David Jacobs-Strain as well as adoloscent jump bluesman JW Jones BLues Band all call the label home.

From the company's home base in Toronto, which many consider the savior of the Blues, comes an all star collection that will ignite your soul."

-The Urban Spectrum, Colorado
December, 2002 

 
   

"Great gospel music usually comes from places like Harlem, Chicago, and Jackson, Mississippi. This batch comes from north of the border and it's the footpartin'est "amen corner" gospel disc to come along in a while. The music is designed to make you quit drinking, smoking, shooting dice, watchin' Anna Nicole Smith ... "

-Ted Holland
Blues Revue
February/March 2003 

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"Fred Litwin and his NorthernBlues Music have put together an awesome CD of fine Gospel from north of the border. We knew they had some great Blues artists up there, but their Gospel might even be better!"

-Michael Flynn
Visionation
December 18, 2002 

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"Eschewing the synthesizer/bass-heavy sound popular in gospel music today, the NorthernBlues Gospel Allstars blend black gospel with rock, folk, roots music, and country blues. The mix produces a sound unencumbered by musical boundaries. The songs have somewhat of a Memphis-esque tanginess and, as such, are refreshingly truer to the original sanctified sound than much of the gospel music recorded today."

-Bob Marovich
Biscuit Time on the Blues
Winter, 2002 

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"Even those of us who are not particularly religious (er...that would be me) will find Saved!, which features the NorthernBlues Gospel Allstars, to be a spirit lifting listening experience."

-Cyndi Ingle
701.com
October, 2002 

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"Track after track it proves the human voice is the greatest instrument. So you think authentic gospel music can only be performed in the southern U.S. and that it has nothing to do with the blues? Experience this reverent CD and you will be Saved!"

-Tim Holek
Blues On Stage
December, 2002 

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"This is a treasure even if your soul is more Blue and roadhouse than pearly and redeemed."

-Long Island Blues Society
October, 2002 

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"NorthernBlues Gospel Allstars stands up as a Juno winner for Best Gospel CD of the Year. The voice of the legendary John Finley (Jon-Lee Checkmates, Rhinoceros) has soared angelically with age. I may have discovered Danny Brooks, Hiram Joseph and Amoy Levoy later than some; but just in time to catch the moving, mournful and fierce vocals of this wonderful group of Gospel singers. Danny Brooks singing "Still Standing Tall" will make anyone testify and John Finley's "Change Is Gonna Come" gives a fresh and intimate rendition to the Sam Cooke Classic. Put that together with the keyboard wizardry of Michael Fonfara (Checkmates, Rhinoceros, Downchild Blues Band) and his selected musicians and you have a tabernacle of soulful, gospel offerings. Do yourself a favor! Buy it! Put this on your CD player and let it take you higher."

-John Donabie
CFRB Radio Toronto
Autumn, 2002 

 
   

"NorthernBlues summoned a great bunch of gospel talent from both sides of the US / Canada border...This is rocking’ down home music and is often branded Hard Gospel. The four featured singers each contribute in their individual ways...This fine album features some great guitar work by Bob Yeomans and hard rocking’ keyboard by Michael Fonfara. Saved is a fine session and worthy of your attention."

-Richard Bourcier
Jazzreview.com
October, 2002 

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"The sacred truth is that the Blues owes a serious debt of gratitude to the black churches of the Bible Belt. That's where it drew its fervour, emotionalism, and raw honesty...Whether you're religious, a non-believer, or "in-between", becomes irrelevant as soon as the adrenaline rush of 'Saved' works its revitalizing cure."

-Gary Tate
TO-NITE
Fall 2002 

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"...it's that good; the material's irresistible, production impeccable, and the singing nothing short of heavenly...Absolutely essential!"

-John Taylor
Canadianblues.com
Fall 2002 

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