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Apostle Norbert Simmons & the Gospelaires, feat. BoPeep

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Apostle Norbert Simmons & the Gospelaires feat. BoPeep

Get A Grip On God (2012)

By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog

Larry Frederick of Decatur, Georgia turned TBGB on to Apostle Norbert Simmons and the Gospelaires.  Hailing from Deeper Life Church Ministries of Goldsboro, North Carolina, where Simmons is founder and pastor, the quartet is steeped in that spicy southern soul that characterizes today’s gospel quartet singing.  It is a traditional sound beefed up with bass, keys, drums, and electric guitar.

The lyrics are the most distinctive aspect of Get A Grip On God.  The Gospelaires revel in turns of phrases, such as on “Fellowship,” which they sing is the “only ship that won’t sink.”  Likewise, during the title track, the men exhort listeners to “get a grip on God…he won’t let you slip.”  The group doesn’t “have time to be messing around” while they are “Working for the Lord,” and add that if you do the same, you “won’t get paid ‘til you get through,” which metaphorically is a good thing. On the funky “Don’t Make a Move,” the quartet recommends you don’t change your job, car, or even get married “until you hear from the Lord.”  “Could’ve Been the Other Way” is a reminder to be happy any day that you are among the living.

Musically, the Gospelaires infuse the title track and “He’s My God Too” with a driving tempo, backbeat, and vamp, while “God Is So Amazing” possesses a soft soul soundtrack.  The harmonies are strong, and the production, courtesy of Johnavon “BoPeep” Sauls, is well balanced.

The Gospelaires (not related directly to the legendary Gospelaires of Dayton) are Apostle Norbert E. Simmons, Samuel Platt, Pernell Simmons, and Johnavon Sauls.  Get A Grip On God is a solid release.   When you hail from the Carolinas, where there are quartets a plenty, nothing less than your A-game will do.

Four of Five Stars

Picks: “Get A Grip On God.”


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