Live from Los Angeles
JDI Records 2008
Multiple GRAMMY-nominated Beverly Crawford has church on the video companion to her 2008 release, Live from Los Angeles. It was this project, her first for Professor James Roberson’s JDI Records, which earned her a 2009 Stellar Award for Traditional Female Vocalist of the Year.
The hour-plus video was produced by the ubiquitous Bro. Steve Harris and filmed at the beautiful and spacious Faithful Central Bible Church in Los Angeles where Rev. Kenneth C. Ulmer is Pastor. It is a straightforward program presentation featuring Beverly and her background vocalists and musicians over what appear to be two separate but equally superb performances.
Gospel lights Edwin Hawkins, the always-animated chorister Ricky Dillard and Hammond B3 master Moses Tyson (“That man is baaaad!” Beverly remarks) take turns assisting the singer on “We Need to Hear a Word,” “God Has Been Good to Me,” and “I Owe Everything to Jesus” respectively.
The video and project contain a satisfactory share of uptempo numbers, including the mood-setting “Victory Comes,” a sanctified shouter that has the audience clapping along. Similarly, “I Know Too Much” brings the audience to its feet with a quartet-style vibe.
Beverly’s recent smash hit, “He’s Done Enough,” is an old-school gospel blues with that classic gospel “waltz” tempo. The lyrics are based on the saying, “If the Lord doesn’t do anything else for me, He’s done enough.” Beverly sings it like an LA version of Albertina Walker, lifting everybody from their seats by the conclusion.
Another highlight of the program is “I’m Still Standing.” Beverly gives this paean to resilience a slow, emotional delivery, which demonstrates her ability to communicate a message directly to the hearts of her audience. There were plenty of congregants who shook their head in wizened acknowledgement of the song’s simple truths.
Beverly Crawford continues the tradition of gutsy and traditional female gospel singers who not only sing a song but deliver a message like a preacher in the pulpit. She’s one of those artists who is as much fun to watch as she is to hear.
Five of Five Stars