Godfather Records (2011)
By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog
Another ensemble featuring the progeny of gospel royalty is David Wright and the DW Project. Wright’s father, Godfather of Gospel Music Rev. Timothy Wright, met an untimely end in April 2009, the result of a tragic auto accident the previous July that also took the life of Rev. Timothy's wife, Betty, and grandchild D.J.
The title track to David Wright and the DW Project’s CD, Heaven, is a musically rich and radio-ready ballad that evokes the joy in entering the hereafter and seeing loved ones gone on before. The song’s clear reference to Rev. and Mrs. Wright and D.J. is made more explicit in the music video, found on the companion DVD, which depicts David visiting their gravesite.
On Heaven, recorded live at Christ Fellowship Baptist Church, Wright and the DW Project come across as a well-rehearsed, well-oiled group, from the leads to the background vocalists to the musicians. The DVD companion contains footage of the group doing three of the album’s songs live. Although the nattily-dressed ensemble sings flatfooted, they nevertheless deliver spirited performances.
The DW Project cultivates the mood-setting multicultural P&W sound, though not without a couple of nods to the traditional. “This is the Day,” the quintessential congregational sing along, begins as a jazzy aisle walker and transitions into a contemporary gospel arrangement. With organ and piano accompaniment, Wright solos on “Great is Thy Faithfulness”—titled “Hymn” in the liner notes—like a veteran church singer.
Songs on Heaven that have the more delicate touch include “Great God,” “Healing Is Here,” “He Saved My Soul,” and “He Was There,” which features a lovely lead vocal by Jessica Price. Two songs were clearly recorded earlier: “I Feel the Lord” and “He Saved My Soul” contain cameos by the late Rev. Wright.
The well-produced album is quality P&W and contemporary gospel product. It is still eerie to think of the Godfather as gone, these four years hence, but as “Heaven” clearly states, he is waiting on the other side.
Four of Five Stars
Picks: “Heaven,” “This is the Day.”