Amen Goes Right There
Dherico Music (2011)
By Bob Marovich for The BlackGospel Blog.
Amen Goes Right There is the debut solo CD of Everett Drake, a Nashville singer-songwriter and long-time vocalist for the popular Bobby Jones television program. A former member of the famed Johnson Ensemble, Drake has toured with artists representing a variety of music styles, including country’s Lyle Lovett and Donna Fargo.
While gospel remains Drake’s first love, his solo CD, like his music career, traverses a cornucopia of styles: from traditional to high energy rhythm and praise to techno-infused pop. The lyrics, however, are rooted firmly in the sacred.
The project benefits from guest soloists such as Adriann Lewis of Rizen, who shouts and squalls on the driving opener, “That Name.” Top-shelf vocalists Mark Kibble (Take 6) and Ann McCrary are in the chorus. Real brass and strings, the latter courtesy of the famed Nashville String Machine, add authenticity.
The two top selections are the title track, a catch-phrase driven call to action to love one another and come together as a nation; and an updating of Rosie Wallace’s beloved 1960s gospel hit “God Cares.” It is on “God Cares” that Drake and his assemblage are at their most deeply emotional, although fans of contemporary gospel will recommend “All Over Me” for its popular praise and worship vibe.
Drake’s voice is handsome and tunefully rough-edged, the musicians are tight, and Derrick Lee’s production is solid. The project would have benefitted from a few more classic but updated traditional tracks like “God Cares” to take advantage of Drake’s strengths in old-school.
I applaud Everett Drake for writing a socially relevant song such as "Amen Goes Right There" because its message is sorely needed today.
Three of Five Stars
Picks: “Amen Goes Right There,” “God Cares.”