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David Harrison and The Bells of Joy

I Can't Give Up Now





This month we take you to the state of Maryland and introduce to some and present to others David Harrison and The Bells of Joy.  Their 2007 recording is titled I Can't Give Up Now.  This is their third recording.  Their first full project (titled Breakthrough) was released in 2000.  In 2004 they released the CD titled Do You Really Love The Lord


These guys are seasoned musicians and singers.  In addition, they own their record label - The Bells Recording Company.   You may not be familiar with this label, but get ready to hear a great deal more about them.  The label has just completed work on the new recording by Joe White and Company titled Put Your Trust In Jesus

For the quartet enthusiast, when you hear the name
Bells of Joy you probably think of the group from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.  The group that gave us such songs as "Let's Talk About Jesus" and “In The Morning.”  Well, this is not that group.  David Harrison and The Bell of Joys are in fact an offshoot from The Sensational Bells of Joy of Baltimore, Maryland.

The group consists of Mr. Harrison, Tracy Merritte, Sr. and David Merritte.  Tracy and David sing background, play several instruments an actually sing lead on several songs.  The guys share lead duties on most of the songs and they wrote most of the songs on this project.  Spanky Williams joined the guys on two of the tracks.  In addition, the project is produced by Carl (Benny Hill) Britt and Milton Johnson.  Many will remember Benny from his days with
Doc McKenzie and The Gospel Hi-Lites and Bill Pinkney and The Gospel Drifters.


The recoding begins with “Inside Out.”  Mr. Harrison and David share lead duties.  This upbeat song tells us that Jesus is working on us from the "Inside Out."  The song has a great message. In addition, the instrumentation is outstanding.

Mr. Harrison slows things down with the traditional “Lord Come By Here.”  Now, this song will definitely remind you of the quartet era of the late 60’s and early 70’s.  Listen to the groans throughout the songs.  And, pay close attention to the interaction between the lead singer and the background singers.

"If You Love The Lord" is the next track.  Spanky Williams shares lead duties with Mr. Harrison.  Spanky takes this very traditional song that has been sung by many and really makes it an exciting song. The next track is "I’m Free."  For those who remember the Late
Calvert McNair, this is the same song that was the title track to his solo project.  The Bells of Joy really provide an outstanding rendition of this song.  It may not receive any airplay; after all, it is over eight (8) minutes in length.  But, we feel comfortable in saying that this will be one of your favorite songs on this project. David Merritte, Sr. and Mr. Harrison share the lead duties. They interact so well on this song that is difficult to determine who is actually singing lead.

"Put Your Weight on Me" and "I’ll Go" are the next two tracks.  They are followed by "Bless and Brought Up By The Lord."  This song also has the early 70’s feel to it.  In fact, it will probably remind you of
Willie Banks and The Messengers.  This song also shows the versatility of the vocal talents of Mr. Harrison.  What a powerful ballad.

The next track is "I Made It."  This is followed by "No God Like Mine."  This is another powerful song.  The background harmony is great on this track.  The CD closes with the title track – "I Can’t Give Up Now." On this track Spanky shares lead duties with David Merritte and Mr. Harrison.  This is another song that may not get airplay because of the length.  It is over seven (7) minutes long.  But, the message is so powerful it does not seem that long.  Of all the songs on this project, this is the one we encourage you to listen to closely. Like several others, it has a powerful message. More importantly, there is something in this song for everyone.

Although, there are several songs that have been recorded before by others, this is a great CD.   There are some original songs on this CD.  It is obvious from the song selections and the arrangements that a great deal of thought went into the production of this CD.   Benny has taken some of the best of what he gained from being with Doc and with The Gospel Drifters and consolidated those gains into the production of this project. 


If you like good gospel music than you must have this new offering from David Harrison and The Bells of Joy We give David Harrison and The Bells of Joy's I Can't Give Up Now an 8.5 out of 10. 


You may not be able to find this CD in your local record store.  However, you should be able to purchase it by contacting the group at (410) 624-3597.   Click on the title to hear “Inside Out."






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