Front Page

CD Shop

The Best Tracks in 2016

New Releases

Forthcoming Releases

Back Issues

Serious Soul Chart

Quality Time Cream Cuts

Vintage Soul Top 20

Boogie Tunes Top 20

Album of the Month

CD Reviews

Editorial Columns


Readers' Favourites


V.A.: SACRED SOUNDS – Dave Hamilton’s Raw Detroit Gospel 1969-1974

Reviewed by Heikki Suosalo

Rating: 8/ 10

Kent UK CD, 2019

1) Jesus Is With Me Pt) 1 - Little Stevie & The Reynolds Singers
2) I'm Not Ready to Die - The Scott Singers
3) Pressing On - The Silver Harps
4) (This Is) My Plea - Rev Simon Barbee
5) Little Boy - The Johnson Spiritual Singers
6) Savior On the Throne - Mr Bo
7) Wrapped, Died Tangled Up in Jesus - Mary Ellen George
8) When the Saints Go Marching In - The Scott Singers
9) Someday We'll Be Together - The National Independence Singers lead by John King
10) Life's Pathway - Rev Evans
11) Moving On - Little Stevie & The Reynolds Singers
12) I Still Remember - Umble Faith lead by C Stuart
13) I Got a Home - The Detroit Motor City Singers
14) If I Had My Way - OC Tolbert & Clara White Houston
15) I Heard a Voice Pt) 1 - Sensational Angeletts
16) Grown Old and Feeble - The Soul Inspirers
17) I Thank You Jesus for One More Day - The Scott Singers
18) He's All I Need - The Sensational Sunset Paraders
19) Try Jesus - The Reynolds Singers
20) The Little Light - The Fantastic Voices of Joy
21) Leaning and Depending On Jesus - The Jr Echoes
22) I Need Your Power - Pure in Heart Travellers
23) Down Here Praying - The Detroit Silvertones
24) My God Is Calling Me - The Scott Singers

(CDKEND 484)

  This, if any, is uplifting music. The word ‘raw’ in the subtitle describes best the overall sound on this CD. It is at times ecstatic, even primitive, but gets to your bones and then all of a sudden soothes you and gives you a breather for a minute.  The notes for Sacred Sounds (24 tracks, 78 min., track listing: were written by Adam Stanfel, and he tells briefly about Dave Hamilton’s musical history in Detroit since the 1940s, including his stints as a band leader, a session musician – also on Motown – and finally in the capacity of a label owner, producer and writer.  There are also comments from some of the artists that he recorded those days, about fifty years ago by now.

  Five tracks on this set remained in the can at the time, and one of them is the slow and soulful rendition of If I Had My Way by O.C. Tolbert and White Houston. Another intense, unreleased slow gospel number is I Thank You Jesus for One More Day by the Scott Singers, and this same group excels also on one of my favourite track, on the impassioned When the Saints Go Marching In. While on the subject of standards, there’s also the driving The Little Light – aka This Little Light of Mine – by the Fantastic Voices of Joy on display. Only here the song is credited to L. Holmes, and similarly the Saints song is credited to W. Scott.

  Among fierce rejoicing, “Holy Ghost” numbers there are Jesus Is with Me by Little Stevie & the Reynolds Singers, I Still Remember by Umble Faith and My God Is Calling Me by the Scott Singers. Getting back to those breathers, the Silver HarpsPressing On and the National Independent Singers’ Someday We’ll Be Together (not THAT song) should do the trick.  There are also a couple of half-spoken, almost aggressive sermons by Rev Evans and the Johnson Spiritual Singers and even two kiddie gospel tracks. I’m sure that all gospel aficionados will grab this one, but all you other Detroit music admirers do yourself a favour and give this CD a listen. (8)

© Heikki Suosalo

Other CD reviews
Back to our home page