First Listen: The Harlem Gospel Travelers deliver joyful hit

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    (June 22, 2022) The Harlem Gospel Travelers draw on two great musical traditions for their new song “Look Up.” One is the harmonies of the gospel trios, quartets and quintets that were a mainstay of that old-time religious music of the 1940s and 50s. Of course, secular and sacred musicians relentlessly borrow from each other, and so the tight harmonies used by gospel groups to sing the good news influenced generations of vocal groups from the 1950s to the early 1980s.

    The musical arrangement that the Harlem Gospel Travelers use on “Look Up” draws from the Memphis Soul sound of Stax and HI records. That sound fuses the electric organ with jangling blues-influenced guitars, percussion from tambourines and a driving, rhythmic drumming and bass playing.

    (June 22, 2022) The Harlem Gospel Travelers draw on two great musical traditions for their new song “Look Up.” One is the harmonies of the gospel trios, quartets and quintets that were a mainstay of that old-time religious music of the 1940s and 50s. Of course, secular and sacred musicians relentlessly borrow from each other, and so the tight harmonies used by gospel groups to sing the good news influenced generations of vocal groups from the 1950s to the early 1980s.

    The musical arrangement that the Harlem Gospel Travelers use on “Look Up” draws from the Memphis Soul sound of Stax and HI records. That sound fuses the electric organ with jangling blues-influenced guitars, percussion from tambourines and a driving, rhythmic drumming and bass playing.

    The combination of those elements along with the ease in which singers Thomas Gatling, George Marage, and Dennis Bailey move from tight vocal harmonies to showcasing their own unique vocal style as soloists give the Harlem Gospel Travelers a distinct sound. “Look Up,” itself is a joyous, rollicking and inspirational tune that encourages listeners to elevate above their circumstances, whether those be breaking free of the shackles of sin or rising above the setbacks of life.

    “Look Up” is the title track from the trio’s new full-length album, which is due to drop in September. Look Up follows their highly acclaimed record He’s On Time, which was released in 2019. Like He’s On Time, Look Up was producd by singer/songwriter Eli Paperboy Reed. Unlike its predecessor, all the songs on Look Up are originals. Check out, “Look Up,” the first of those originals here.

    By Howard Dukes

    The Harlem Gospel Travelers
    "Look Up"

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