The Alabama Boys
Singing A New Song
For those who have attended the American Gospel Quartet Convention you know that it's not hard to find a group that can really sing. Hundreds of groups pass across the stage during the course of the week and most of them represent some of the best their city has to offer. I must say that since I first attended the Convention I have been a person that stays from the beginning of the day until the last group graces the floor and Rev. George W. Stewart dispels the word of God through prayer. I have found through the years that there is usually a blessing in staying until the end on the night/morning. At this year's Convention I was taken by the Alabama Boys of Montgomery Alabama. Though it was well past 3 AM and I was literally propping my head up, these gentlemen sang with such sincerity and precision that I was awe struck. Though they sounded great, it was not their sound that impressed me but their attitude and demeanor on stage. Even at 3 AM they knew that God's people needed to be blessed and they were privileged to be the vessel to disburse that blessing. With these words we present to you The Alabama Boys of Montgomery, Alabama.
Though this group has only been singing for a little over 7 years they have a sound that is absolutely awesome. Their project entitled "Singing A New Song" speaks to the very heart of the quartet fan. Enlisting the talents of master producer Eric Sharper the project on a whole has a very clear and clean sound. As with many other groups reviewed here I try to find similarities with other established groups to help you the reader get a feel for a new group's style. I must say that there are a couple of similarities, but for the most part these guys have their own smooth unique style. Songs of note are many on this release and each one has the makings of being a fan favorite. While the project begins with the Mid-tempo Singing Disciple (Baltimore Maryland group) influenced "Will You Be Ready" it is the song that follows this that is one of the major standouts on the project. "Jesus, You Brought Me" was featured on Gloryland Quartet Radio not to long ago and received a great response from you the listeners. A straight forward message, crisp lead vocals, and harmonious backgrounds have always been the ingredients for a good quartet song. When these very things are perfected, then you have a hit on your hands. This song has everything including a great display of the group's lead singer Michael Leverett's vocal range. By the end of the song both the lead singer and the background are sky high.
In a market of so many mixed genre projects it is really refreshing to review a CD that is on the whole traditional in style. There are no urban or electronic drum driven tracks on this recording. In terms of drive songs this project has two that will really get you out on the floor praisin' God. "Prayer Is The Key" features both Michael Leverett and Bill Leonard of the Prodigal Sons (Wetumpka Alabama group). The styles of these two vocalists on this great song compliment one another perfectly. Though the vocals are great I do have to say that it is the instrumentation that really jumps out at you. The song starts out with that old time Pilgrim Jubilee Bobby McDougal dirty lead guitar vamp intro that let's you know that the group means business. The other drive song features the seasoned vocals of Arthur Sanders and Michael Leverett. Making great use of Philippians 4:8, "What So Ever" has a real pop to it that is sure to have you pressing your repeat button on your CD player.
While this project features some really great mid-tempo and drive selections I do have to say the group's real bread and butter is their slower ballads. In fact at the Convention these guys graced us with one of the smoothest versions of "Pass Me Not" sung in the old style with the vocalists all huddled around one microphone. While I could speak extensively about "A Breath Away", and "Pass Me Not" the song "I Stepped Out" is absolutely the best song on this project. This 7 minute tour de force is smooth and the message is very powerful. The Alabama Boys speak of the Christians move of faith which is personified by stepping out on the solid rock of Jesus Christ. What a message to those who are weak in the faith!! In a few words this song is literally beyond description. If you don't find yourself praisin' God for his sustaining power in your life on this one then something is wrong.
Being conscious of time and space I will have to end this review of this outstanding release by the Alabama Boys. After meeting these gentlemen and speaking with them after the Convention I have been blessed by their sincere spirit form Ministry. The have been awarded the keys to the city of Montgomery, have donated over $4,000 to several inner city schools, and continue to be involved in various aspects of community service. Though not nationally recognized at this time their Christian ethic is something that even nationally known groups could take a lesson from. With that said, I give The Alabama Boys "Singing A New Song" a solid 9 out of 10. This project is available directly by e-mailing their manager Gerald Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting their website at www.thealabamaboys.org . Click on the title to hear "Jesus, You Brought Me". If you would like to hear other sound samples visit the group's website.
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