EMI Gospel (release scheduled for early 2010)
In gospel music, family groups are as plentiful as singing preachers and go back just as far. Most gospel artists will tell you that their first singing experience was with their siblings, whether professionally, for their home church, or harmonizing in the living room. And as far as a family band, the Ross Family of Chicago formed a mini combo of young Rosses who, as the eponymously named Instrumentals, recorded jazzy versions of gospels and hymns in the 1960s.
Continuing in this tradition is Forever Jones, a self-proclaimed “family band” of musicians and vocalists whose debut CD on EMI Gospel, Get Ready, is scheduled for release in early 2010. Their singles, “He Wants It All” and the title track are already available digitally.
The group is comprised of parents DeWitt III and Kim Jones with their children D'Jeniele', Dominique, DeWitt IV, Judah and Mya. Kim and Mya are the lead singers while the rest of the family plays the instruments and contributes background vocals.
Get Ready is a superb debut. “He Wants It All” is a lovely poppish, piano-led gospel ballad, characteristic of Forever Jones’ way with a good melody, as is “Time to Believe,” “Adoration,” and “All the Way.” The family is equally capable of hard hitting, funky bass thumping, sweaty energy, as “This is the Day,” the disco-flavored title track, and the country-church gospel waltz “Bless the Lord” demonstrate. “Privilege” might well be the Jones’ anthem, as it articulates the importance of being part of a loving family.
Like the Murrills, introduced by Donald Lawrence about this time two years ago, Forever Jones has a bright, cheery sound fueled by strong singers, tight musicianship, and plenty of production savvy.
The year 2010 may well be a year to keep up with the Forever Joneses.
Five of Five Stars
gPod Picks: “He Wants It All,” “Get Ready,” “Time to Believe,” “All the Way.”