We affectionately called him The Maestro! Straight from the heart of Detroit, MI, Thomas Whitfield gave us songs right from the mouth of GOD! He stood among Detroit’s best gospel artists such as Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, Donald Vails, and Rev. Charles Nicks. His musicianship is yet to be compared.
Whenever you pull a Thomas Whitfield song out, it is sure to be a Gospel sing-a-long! From, “Oh, How I Love Jesus ” to “Let Everything Praise Him” it is sure to move you to your feet! No funeral is complete without a rendition of “Soon as I Get Home!” His music continues to stand the test of time.
Whitfield was asked by the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, to head the musical direction for her upcoming live recording “Amazing Grace“. In 1989, Aretha Franklin took home a GRAMMY Award for Best Soul Gospel Performance, Female for “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism” and a Dove Award for Traditional Gospel Album of the Year – an album that featured musical and choral arrangements from the Maestro. Some of the album’s serious highlights include the moving opener of “Walk In The Light” and Aretha Franklin being serenaded by Whitfield’s entrancing piano accompaniment on “Ave Maria“.
My favorite Whitfield collab was with the incomparable Vanessa Bell Armstong. “Lift Those Hands and Bless Him” is my all-time favorite! Their vocal combat as they exhorted how sweet and wonderful God is, still sends me through the roof! Nobody can squall it like Vanessa!
Songs You Love but No One Ever Sings Them
There are millions of gospel songs out there, however, many ministries/choirs limit their selections to just their favorite songs or the top ten hits!
Many of the songs I love and know every word to, rarely-to-never show up in church services around the world.
One project in particular in comes to mind with a lot of great songs that I rarely hear sung is James Hall’s “You Are Not Alone” (Live at Foxwoods). In my mind, that’s a sho nuff black you out song! I was blessed to hear the original lead sing it at Bishop Kevin Bond’s Consecration service. Mother didn’t not fail me! Watch here!
Another amazing track from this project was led by the Late, Great, Tunesha Crispell – For the Lord is Good! What a sweet refrain with a great build! Since many of us have downsized since the pandemic, this would be perfect for an ensemble!
What songs do you love but you never hear sung?
Every round goes higher and higher with Ricky Dillard and New G! It is no secret that they are my favorite gospel group! BREAKTHROUGH seems like it’s the very BEST one so far! The production was phenomenal and the vocals cannot be matched!
Here’s my take on some of my favorite tracks!
“Up There” is an understatement!!! The way New G is literally UP THERE!!!! I love a good repeating BOP!!! That’s when I usually “get happy”. That last up there split tho…WHAT KEY IS THAT?!!?! Basically, a song that the angels CANNOT sing!! I haven’t enjoyed an “Up There” song like this since Mark Hubbard!!! WE NEED MORE OF THIS!!! #NewG #Anybodywannagotoheaven #Bratpack
“Redeemed” is absolutely a Youth Day march in song!!! That 80’s/90’s vibe is really strong!! I can imagine it being back in the day with the tenors singing and clapping as hard as they could with their hands cupped! Altos and Sopranos with finger waves and stacked bobs to the heavens!! Shantell Hankerson surely made Dr. Mattie Moss Clark proud cause as she drove that “my soul has been redeemed” line! Took us all the way back to UNAC with the Southwest Michigan State Choir! Professor Iris Stevenson (the G.O.A.T.) had the national choir go over it one time in rehearsal but we never sang it during the service. She knows how to write a song! A perfect addition to another Ricky Dillard hit!! This track has definitely has had my Jeep bumpin!!! #NewG
“I’m Free” Leave it to Ricky Dillard to take an old classic and put that NEW G flavor on it!!! Not to mention my friend, Tyree Poon Miller II!!! Sheeeesh!! And quit asking who is the woman that sang with him…please!!!! That’s all him!! I agree with Kelly Price, “I appreciate how you handle your voice…delicate and powerful!” He’s got RANGE, RANGE!!! I was amazed before Sunday Best and New G! Now the world shall know who you are!! Thanks for presenting your testimony in song. It’s only UP from here!! #NewG #MiltonBrunsonisproud
April Hall…I wanna say that’s the post, but I must elaborate on the power and simplicity of this song!! It’s heavy on the THANK YOU! Those light New G blends are heavenly. That “to me” line takes you right into the Holiest of Holies! That exhortation at the end gets us right where we need to be. She made us think and thank! “Even if you had it, He restored you!!! He didn’t let you die!…” What an amazing follow-up to “The Lifter.”#ThankYou #NewG