Sunday, March 24, 2013

Rev. Victor Jones - Common Christian

Rev. Victor Jones
Common Christian
Sharper Brothers Records (2013)

By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog

You wouldn’t expect to hear reggae emanating from a pastor living in the snow belt city of South Bend, Indiana, but that’s what you get on two tracks from Rev. Victor Jones’ album, Common Christian.

Evoking the early days of Jamaican dancehall and reggae, “Equally Yoked”--a song about Christian marriage that Jones sings with his wife, Ernestine--has a raw, DIY production sensibility, prominent electronic keyboard, and infectious island rhythm.  The sound appears again on “I Know Somebody,” which chronicles the Lord’s infinite abilities.  On the other hand, “Never Met a Man” finds Jones offering a solidly soulful, shouting delivery while supported by a humming male quartet.

The collection would have benefited from more songs and less severe edits, and the couple's commentary on “Gospel Fest” sounds read from cue cards.

Now living in South Bend, Rev. Jones was born in Chicago and his bio states that he and his group “was knocking on the doors of Motown” in the label’s early days.  Mrs. Jones is originally from Greenville, Mississippi, and did some backup work in gospel.

Two of Five Stars

Pick: “Never Heard a Man.” 

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