Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
For Old Time's Sake
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop, Christian, Gospel
Continuing a tradition
M. J. Smith | Seattle, WA USA | 04/17/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There are several religious music traditions in the South that deserve to be saved - including the 5 person a cappella quartet. Yes, they can count - the purpose of the 5th voice is to permit the four-part harmony to continue while a lead fronts the group. This group has voices that meld into a wonderful harmony. While there are both historical and theological reasons for using voice-only, The Birmingham Sunlights make a strong musical statement for a cappella - instruments would be superfluous.
The repetoire is traditional - Golden Gate Quartet, Thomas Dorsey, Charles Tindley ... The sound is traditional but not slavishly so. To my ear, the most distinguishing characteristic of the group is the precision in simultaneous enunciation - something the best of ensembles struggles with (or deems less important). Also special is their use of voice to provide the "percussion". In "If You Miss Me" and "Gospel Train" a baritone provides a very convincing string bass sound. Although it is lightly use, the use of a counter-tenor is excellent providing a distinctive variation in sound.
Two of the songs written in part by members of the group ("Take It To The Lord" and "Gotta Find My Way" reinforce the fact that this is not a "retro" group but rather one that is continuing a living tradition. Best track? That depends upon my mood but the traditional "Somewhere To Lay My Head" is a frequent contender as is Tindley's "The Last Mile Of The Way".
As a group that holds its own against many of the big names - Soul Stirrers, The Five Blind Boys of Alabama", I am surprised (and annoyed) that more recordings are not available."