A Message From the Ghetto

A Message From the Ghetto

by The Sons of TruthThe Sons of Truth

CD

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Overview

The Sons of Truth put out this album on Stax's subsidiary Gospel Truth in 1972, but it remains rare to the point of being nearly unknown, despite its affiliation with one of soul's most prominent labels. As Dean Rudland's historical liner notes to the 2010 CD reissue on Beat Goes Public rightly observe, it was an "album filled with funk and soul with a gospel edge, rather than the other way around." But while musically this is for the most part a funk-soul hybrid, lyrically it's very much in the religious gospel stream, as titles such as "God Help Us All," "With Jesus You're Free," "Call on Him," "He's All We Need," and "God Bless the Children" make clear. The title of the album, as well as the cover showing a very hip-looking bunch of dudes in a dilapidated inner city environment, might lead you to expect something a little more political than what the album actually delivers. It's still an interesting blend of gospel with the steamy funk that was fast becoming a big soul trend in the early '70s, especially in the opening cut, "Son of the Deacon," a slow groover powered by a smoky fuzz guitar riff and smoldering female backup vocals. Nothing else on the album matches it, alas, but this has far more appeal to secular soul and rock fans than most gospel records that strive to incorporate contemporary sounds. The rabble-rousing "I Feel Good" has some cooking wah-wah guitar, and "The Ghetto" does come up with some of the observations of ghetto life reflected by the packaging. Elsewhere, the group get into some more traditional smooth male vocal harmonizing and material akin to soul ballads, though even so, the fuzzy and distorted guitar lines let you know these guys were listening to plenty of sounds cooking in rock and soul music outside of the mainstream gospel world.

Product Details

Release Date: 12/07/2010
Label: Beat Goes Public Bgp
UPC: 0029667522823
catalogNumber: 6752282
Rank: 114283

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sons of Truth   Primary Artist
Keith Taylor   Bass Guitar,Tenor (Vocal)
Thomas Morgan   Guitar,Baritone
George Smitherman   Guitar
Gary Grier   Tenor (Vocal)
Danny Henderson   Electric Piano
Calvin Fair   Vocals
Bobbie Brown   Tenor (Vocal)
Ricky Vandez   Drums

Technical Credits

Jimmy Holiday   Composer
Bonnie Bramlett   Composer
Homer Banks   Composer
Dean Rudland   Liner Notes
Bettye Crutcher   Composer
Dave Clark   Composer,Producer
Thomas Morgan   Composer,Music Direction
Arelya J. Mitchell   Liner Notes
Ron Cat   Art Direction
Calvin Fair   Arranger,Composer
Bobbie Brown   Composer

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