Charles May & Annette May Thomas’ album Songs Our Father Used to Sing is digitally available for the first time today: https://found.ee/may-ourfather-g
The process behind this concept album included a great deal of fanfare. On its face, the album is based on a humble enough premise: siblings Charles May and Annette May Thomas pay a loving tribute to their father, legendary gospel singer Brother Joe May, known affectionately in the gospel world as the “Thunderbolt of the Middle West.”
As the album’s title insists, the sibling duo interpret a six-minute medley of songs their father made famous. The rest of the album, though, finds Charles May at the helm, arranging, producing and writing tracks such as “Satisfied,” a minimalist, conga-driven track that, removed from its sanctified subject matter, could fit right at home in the score of a Blaxploitation film. Gospel Truth director Dave Clark fittingly defined the album as a deliberate mixture of gospel and soul, assuring listeners, “You will hear the messages that today’s crusaders for Christ are sending to the youth of the world.”
Find Songs Our Father Used to Sing today wherever you stream or download music.
The Rance Allen Group’s “Truth Is Where It’s At” album is digitally available for the first time today: https://found.ee/ranceallen-truth-g
With Rance at arguably the most lucid juncture in the family band’s early career, playing guitar, piano and displaying absolutely astonishing vocal elasticity, it’s of little to no consequence that the album is split down the middle between original material and cover songs. Rance Allen has never seen a song he couldn’t make his own.
Take, for instance, “There’s Gonna Be a Showdown,” a clever retooling of a 1968 rhythm and blues single by Archie Bell & the Drells. Though the formerly released version is far from lacking in the realm of energy, the tumbling, tambourine-accented exuberance of the Allen brothers’ take on the song is drenched in a spirit that borders on the impractical.
The almost alien qualities of Allen’s tonal gymnastics never really slide back down to Earth, but the album’s subject matter does manage to shift, at times, away from the heavenly. On “See What You’ve Done,” the brothers sing of the plight of a mother whose child perishes as a casualty of the Vietnam War, before singing an ode to their own mother on the aptly titled “Mama.”
Enjoy this album today!