Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Gospel Harmonettes of Demopolis, Alabama (1991)

(As published in Rejoice! ... )

The Gospel Harmonettes of Demopolis, Alabama
The Gospel Harmonettes of Demopolis, Alabama
(Global Village)

These four a cappella-singing women have just begun singing outside their home county of Marengo, and even now their clothing-factory day jobs restrict their one hundred or so annual performances to the immediate Southeast. Hence the value of this cassette: For the first time in the the group's seventeen years, the raw yet majestic power of its music is available to anyone with a mailing address. Named after Dorothy Love Coates and the Original Gospel Harmonettes, this quartet honors its namesakes with bright, solid harmonies that build and build. But in lieu of instrumentation and dominant lead singing, they rock the rhythms harder than their Birmingham forebears, striking a balance somewhere between Africa and the Jordanaires and nailing uptempo riffs that will ring in your head long after they're over. (Global Village Music, P.O. Box 2051 Cathedral Station, New York, NY 10025.)

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