Mighty Voices of Wonder: I Thank the Lord
Sam Taylor: Heaven On Their Minds
Both from Good God! A Gospel Funk Hymnal (Numero Group, 2006)

First of all: this compilation is superb.

Numero Group has proven itself to be one of the best soul-oriented reissue labels out there: they have a keen eye to detail and history and are less interested in flash than in offering music to the public that people haven’t known about…but really need to. I never fail to be impressed by what they put out and this latest compilation is practically floating on that wave, it’s so good.

The thing about gospel and funk is that even though funk’s musical roots lead back to gospel (via soul), it’s hard to imagine two genres on more opposite sides from one another…gospel is about getting closer to God, cleansing the soul, etc. Funk? Secular. Sensual. Sexual.

But that’s the great thing about gospel funk – it presents gospel in a very different context from what you’re used to but of course, it’s not a great stretch to think of the kind of passionate testifyin’ that happens in gospel melding with the rawness of funk.

Seriously, just check out the entire CD – so many of the songs are (no pun intended) revelations. The Mighty Voices of Wonder song, for example, is incredible to me for a gospel song. I can’t imagine how’d this go over with the Sunday morning prim-and-proper crowd but for a Saturday night juke joint? Feel that Holy Ghost!

The Sam Taylor is equally amazing to me, especially those intro vocals: “whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh…JESUS!” What kills me is that this song is probably the most easily “found” on the collection but I totally slept on (the Mighty Voices is some “pray to the record gods” find on the other hand). Then again, it wasn’t until very recent that I’ve been listening to more gospel soul and now I’m fiending like a, uh, fiend.