Monday, April 4, 2016

CD: JOE COUNTRY - We've Gotta Pray

JOE COUNTRY
We've Gotta Pray
We've Gotta Pray - I'll Arise And Go Back - Bring It To Jesus - Gone - I Wanna Go To Heaven When I Die - Only Love Can - The God On The Mountain - Without Him I Can't Do Nothing - All My Sins Are Taken Away - It Reaches To The Highest Mountain
 
I've heard about Joe Country.  My good friend Mike Johnson in Virginia put me on to him some years ago.  The first thing I need to do is quote a statement from Joe's new album.... "I must first thank GOD for giving me His grace and strength to complete this CD.  I want to also extend my gratitude to Buddy Riddel and his family in Ohio for support in the production of this CD.  I'm pleased with the outcome of this production."  I'm pleased too.  I've wanted to hear what Joe Country has been doing with his music.  This is strictly a downhome gospel album, and the music is great.  The album doesn't tell us where it was recorded at or who the musicians are.  But, they are doing a great job, and the producer did a remarkably good job bringing their talent to the forefront.  Joe Country has an interesting background, he came to America from the Caribbean,  and he keeps some of his calypso roots in this delightful Gospel CD.  Joe is a very distinctive 'country' artist.  He's different, but he keeps a lot of the original mountain style mixed with his Gospel to create a very new kind of 'country' sound.  I know he is also a yodeler (though he doesn't yodel on this CD), and he's a good one.  Four of the ten songs on this album were written by Joe, meaning he's also a good composer.  I will be looking forward to hearing what he develops in the future.  Oh, I forgot to tell you, Joe is a colored man.  It simply amazes me that old-time or traditional country music can attract such a large and diverse audience as well as performers.  There was a recent article on the BBC recently entitled "The Nation In Love With Country Music."  "Cowboy boots, checked shirts and country music might conjure up images of the American south, but Dolly Parton and her fellow country singers have a dedicated following across the world - not least in Uganda. Fans often meet in Kampala and large numbers gather for the annual 'Let's Go Country' event, where horse riding and mud wrestling feature alongside live music.  Last year the headline act was country singer Holly Tucker, from the American series on the TV show The Voice.  Most popular song at this event, you guessed it, "Coat of Many Colors." If Holly Tucker can go to Uganda to share her country music, why can't Joe Country and Mike Johnson do the same?We want to wish Joe Country the best of luck with his music, stay with Jesus who will lead the way, and come see us sometime.  Tighten up the vocals a little, and it's off to the Rural Roots Music Commission this one goes. My favorite song on this album, one of Joe's originals, "I Want To Go To Heaven When I Die."
MUSIC REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART - www.ntcma.net 
for Country Music News International
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