The Sojourners are not only the epitome of true gospel music, but show they don't have their heads in the clouds, but are part of this gritty earth. These three men grew up in different parts of the lower 48; Marcus Mosely in Ralls, Texas, Will Sanders in Alexandria, Louisiana, and Ron Small in Chicago, Illinois, singing in their respective churches' choirs. Somehow many years later they came together to do a project in Vancouver, Canada for Jim Byrnes, and the rest, as they say, is history. They knew from the minute they started to sing that this was something special.
These men are far from kids, and the years spent between church and this recording project (about 40 or 50 apiece) were put to good use learning their craft and its many branches well, so that the result is a gospel sound that is warm in tone and tough enough to take the blows and still keep on giving. The three of them share the lead vocal duties depending on who fits the song best. They are working again with Steve Dawson as producer, and he also contributes the guitar, particularly the down and dirty slide guitar for the second of their discs. Mike Kalanji contributes the keys and is expressive on the Hammond B-3, Keith Lowe is on bass, and Geoff Hicks is on drums.
The songs are mostly traditional Gospel songs but two particularly stand out; David Hidalgo and Louis Perez's The Neighborhood and the other is the Reverend Gary Davis' Death Don't Have No Mercy. This is not to say the other more traditional songs such as, Brother Moses Smote The Water or Another Soldier Gone, don't burn in their hands, but the aforementioned two songs stand out for their passionate treatment. This is a group that has transcended the traditional Church setting for their music, and I would think it would be just as comfortable in a Road House setting.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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