Entries tagged with “CDs”.

Rev. Luther Barnes & The Restoration Worship Center ChoirFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – SRT ENTERTAINMENT


The Reverend Luther Barnes comes from a notable gospel background. His father, Bishop F.C. Barnes, wrote and scored a hit with the gospel standard “Rough Side Of The Mountain.” Raised in the church from a young age, Rev. Barnes felt called to music ministry and embarked on a hit-making career as lead singer, producer, songwriter and director of the “quartet” gospel group Luther Barnes & The Sunset Jubilaires. He also founded The Red Budd Gospel Choir which also scored a string of hits, including the Stellar Award-nominated “Somehow Some Way.” Now Rev. Barnes steps forward with a brand new choir, the Restoration Worship Center Choir, and a stunning set of new compositions. The Favor Of God, his first choir project in a decade, is to be released by Shanachie Entertainment/SRT Entertainment on Sept. 9, 2016. Produced by Rev. Barnes and Derrick Adams, the album is a beautifully arranged and performed work featuring live strings and horns on several tracks, a work of extraordinary quality that re-asserts the relevance of traditional gospel. The lead single, “God’s Grace,” hit the gospel radio Top 20 in record time and seems destined to be another major landmark in Rev. Barnes’ magnificent gospel career.

Given the quality of Rev. Barnes’ work and his commitment to his ministry, one wonders why it took so long for him to step forward with this new project.

“Although it has taken a minute for me to bring forth another musical project,” Luther says, “ I believe the delayed process was nothing less than God’s perfect will. The birthing of our church, Restoration Worship Center, has brought with it new life and purpose, which is extremely evident in these songs. The Restoration Worship Center Choir and musicians are awesome. We have truly been blessed by the Favor of God.”

Indeed the diversity and all-around quality of the music on “The Favor Of God,” makes it well worth the wait. Ranging from rousing hand-clapping, foot-stomping tracks such as “One More Time” to the heartfelt, lush, orchestrated “God’s Grace,” The Favor Of God is truly a tour-de-force.

“Luther Barnes is the ultimate musical trifecta,” says SRT Entertainment’s D.A. Johnson. “He is a phenomenal producer, prolific songwriter and consummate artist; his smooth velvet voice is one of the most distinctive, recognizable voices in the history of record music, ranking him amongst the greatest balladeers of all time.”

Luther Barnes was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina in 1954, the son of the late Bishop F. C. Barnes and the late Willie Mae Barnes, who instilled in him a desire to trust and obey God’s word. At the age of nine he felt the call of music ministry, feeling he had been given a special gift from the Lord. On graduating from high school he became the lead singer of the successful gospel quartet The Sunset Jubiliares, who went on to score a string of gospel hits. Luther’s style was notable for its refinement and dignity; he did not employ the flamboyant style of many other gospel vocalists. He pursued and attained a degree in Music Education from St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, North Carolina and in 1985 formed the Red Budd Gospel Choir, who broke through with such hits as “I’m Still Holding On,” (which features a lead vocal from his wife Deborah Barnes), “So Satisfied, “ Spirit, Fall Fresh,” “That Other Shore,” “Somehow Someway” and “No Matter How High I Get” (written by Bobby Womack). In 2006 he accepted a call into the preaching ministry, following the leadership of his father. But he continued his music ministry, which took him all over the country, garnering a multitude of awards and honors including a Vision Award, Stellar Award, and a GWMA Excellence Award. He also received a Grammy nomination and a Gospel Heritage Award. Having produced over twenty-eight CDs, he found time to perform or record with such gospel greats as Shirley Caesar, Kirk Franklin, The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, John P. Kee, and The Mighty Clouds Of Joy. He established the Restoration Worship Center in Rocky Mount, North Carolina in 2014 and serves as its Senior Pastor.

Even though Rev. Barnes is steeped in the gospel tradition and in many ways is continuing that tradition, he sees himself as an innovator. As he told journalist Bill Carpenter in Carpenter’s Uncloudy Days: The Gospel Music Encyclopedia: “At an early age, I would always listen to the difference between the sound of gospel music and the sound of popular music. The Temptations and all those artists sounded so much better. I said, ‘Goodness, why can’t gospel music come up and be just as right musically as the other forms of music? I thank God for people such as Kirk Franklin and James Cleveland who have helped us get our act together and upgrade our music.”

Always, modest, the Rev. Barnes did not mention himself as one of those who is elevating gospel music. But, as The Favor Of God shows, he definitely is!

Jewel RecordsJewel Records was really one of the “jewels’ in gospel music during the 60’s and 70’s. Jewel Records was founded in 1963 by Stan Lewis and was headquartered in Shreveport, Louisiana. Jewel Records also owned Paula Records and Ron Records.

Some of the memorable quartet gospel recordings from Jewel were The Brooklyn Allstars’ I’ve Got My Ticket and The Ten Commandments, The Meditation Singers’ A Change Is Gonna Come, The Bell Jubilee Singers’ Do You Know the Man from Galilee, The Traveling Echoes’ Looking and Seeking, and Bill Moss & Celestials’ I Don’t Want to Do Wrong.

Then there were the recordings by The Violinaires – (1972) The Upper Way, (1973) Spirit and Soul, (1974) The Fantastic Violinaires, (1976) A Message to My Friends, (1978) The Violinaires, (1979) Don’t Forget to Pray, and (1980) Born Again.

Even Clarence Fountain of The Five Blind Boys of Alabama recorded for Jewel. And so did The Five Blind Boys of Alabama.

Many of the Jewel gospel recordings have been reissued on CD.

NITRAM RECORDSToday we take a look at NITRAM RECORDS. This is another small label with just two artists. They are the group Family Friend and soloist W. D. Martin, Jr.

In 1995, the label released W. D. Martin, Jr., Cast Your Bread. The label has released three projects by Family Friend, Standing By, Live In Albuquerque, and Double Minded Man.

NITRAM RECORDS is an independent label based in Wichita, Kansas. NITRAM RECORDS seem to understand the business side of the gospel music industry. Visit their website and you will find a wealth of information focusing on gospel music as a business.

No doubt the label artists believe in ministering to their fans. Reflective of that fact is the concept DVDs that the label released. They took the R & B song Standing By and turned it into a sincere testament reminding all that God is Standing By. And, they also did a concept video on the 23rd Psalms.

The quality of the products from the label is proof that even small labels can produce outstanding quartet gospel CDs and DVDs.