Last summer the McCrary Sisters, four phenomenal women, and their band put on a masterful show at Nashville’s 3rd & Lindsley venue. The performance was captured for a live CD for the ladies to share with their fans so they could (re-)experience the magnificent music at home or wherever they choose in the way it is meant to be heard — with the live feel of being there with them in a hall.
I was fortunate enough to be there with my sister and we want to invite you to come out and feel the power and feel the joy and love of an actual live performance by the McCrary Sisters ahead of the forthcoming release of their new live CD. They will celebrate the project with a CD release party at City Winery on Friday, July 21, and you will have the time of your life.
The album ‘McCrary Sisters: Live’ was recorded at Nashville’s 3rd & Lindsley and featured instrumental players / musicians Tyrone Jackson – Guitar; DeMarco Johnson – Piano/Synth; Ralph Lofton – B3 organ; Anton Nisbet – Bass; Derek Phillips – Drums; Dana Robbins – Sax; Javier Solís – Aus Percussion; and Quentin Ware – Trumpet / Horn Arrangements. Background vocals were provided by Tammy Crawford (ANN McCRARY’S DAUGHTER); Latoya McCrary (DEBORAH MCCRARY’S DAUGHTER); Elia Rucker (ALFREDA MCCRARY’S DAUGHTER); and Jessica Rucker (ALFREDA MCCRARY’S DAUGHTER).
Guest artists on the session included Bob Britt – Lead Guitar on “Bible Study” and “Other Side Of The Blues”; Steve Crawford” (ANN MCCRARY SON IN-LAW, Gospel Group ANOINTED) – Vocals on “David Dance”; Colin Linden – Slide Guitar on “Hum and Moan”; Allen McCrary (BROTHER) – Vocals on “Other Side Of The Blues”; Devin McKendree – Piano on “Bible Study” and “Other Side Of The Blues”; Danny Flowers – Harmonica on “Train”; and Tommy Sims – Bass on “I’ll Take You There”.
The project was produced by Tommy Sims, with Exec. Producers Tom and Becky Sterzing, Live Engineer Kathy Mac, Recording Engineer Danny Duncan – Vanguard Recording, Mix Engineer Chad Brown – Space Monkey Sounds, Master Engineer Jim Demain – Yes Master, and Video Director Richard Armentrout.
Tracklist + Songwriters: 1. David Dance – Regina McCrary / DeMarco Johnson 2. He Cares – Alfreda McCrary Lee 3. Help Me – Beverly Ann McCrary / Tommy Sims 4. Hum and Moan – Regina McCrary / Colin Linden 5. Other Side Of The Blues – Regina McCrary / Kevin McKendree 6. If You Believe – Alfreda McCrary Lee 7. Stones – Regina McCrary / Tommy Sims 8. Let It Go – Deborah Person/Kevin McKendree 9. Train – Beverly Ann McCrary / Tommy Sims / Calvin Smith 10. Bible Study – Regina McCrary / Kevin McKendree 11. I’ll Take You There – Alvertis Isbell.
“Let me begin with the disclaimer than I have been a fan of Regina, Ann, Freda, Deborah, and the McCrary family for more decades than I need to share.” says Cassandra Teague-Walker. “With this release, the McCrary Sisters have come to us fearlessly with new music that captures them and the audience with the kind of attitude that draws you into their music and takes you along the ride with them.
“Some folks just can’t help being who they are and doing what they do. That describes the McCrary sisters. And if you need persuading, just listen to them. Their southern gospel roots are the foundation for the sweet and true harmonies that make them the best at what they do, as their voices float, jab, cajole, and promise….They CAN do any music, but what they DO is gospel, inspirational, spiritually uplifting rhythmically lyrical lessons wrapped up in their inimitable ‘Wake up and listen’ style. They have personality and musicianship to spare, and all of their individual and collective talent is showcased in this LIVE recording which spotlights their songwriting skills, as well. The only thing better than listening to this album is hearing them in person. This is a CD for all music lovers.
“If you don’t like gospel, you’ll like THIS. Even if you don’t like modern gospel, there’s enough of their family legacy in their music to win you over. And even if you don’t like traditional gospel, there’s enough modernity to satisfy. Most of all, if you just like GOOD MUSIC, regardless of the genre, they’ve got the right groove. They flip the switch on every style from the reggae influenced David Dance to the bluesy The Other Side of the Blues, to the pop and r&b laced Stones and the boogie woogie style of Bible Study. My personal favorite is Let It Go, the listenable, relatable, sing-a-long instructional lesson of life.
“Other than the last song on the CD, the soulful classic I’ll Take You There, which needs no introduction and always gets the house on its feet, the McCrary Sisters introduce each track. They give you a hint of what’s to come and then they let you have it to savor, to chair dance to, to clap and sing along to, and to lift your spirits. For an hour or so, you FEEL that you have all that you need to get through your life.”
I couldn’t have said it better, so I let my sister say it. She’s right: I don’t like gospel, but I do like this. See you at City Winery!