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MELBA MOORE

LISTEN TO:
MELBA MOORE, star of stage, screen and TV as she sits down and kicks it with Soul-Patrol at the GospelSuperfest New York


SOUL-PATROL @
GOSPEL SUPERFEST NEW YORK

Soul-Patrol Newsletter








No there isn't a typo in the title of this article...
For the past two evenings (October 29-30) I have had the pleasure of covering a very special event in my hometown of Brooklyn, NY at the beautiful 3,500 seat Christian Cultural Center, right in the heart of Brooklyn's Black community in East New York.
(And no, I didn't get struck by lightning upon entry into the building......lol)
Here is a little background on the event...
-------------------------------
Gospel Superfest recorded its first Super Show in the year of 2000 in Louisville, KY. The show has moved each year, with stops in Columbus, OH, Raleigh, NC, Jacksonville, FL & Atlanta, GA. Gospel Superfest has released and distributed over 20 originally produced TV specials in national syndication since its inception. The show has garnered network affiliations with The Trinity Broadcasting Network, The Word Network, The Daystar Network and The PAX Television Network. Gospel Superfest TV reaches over 90% of all US TV households four times annually in broadcast syndication and Gospel Superfest' weekly series entitled GSF Back Stage Pass, airs on the TBN Network which airs on over 5,000 TV stations and 38 Satellites worldwide.

Gospel Superfest New York! was held at the Christian Cultural Center (CCC) in Brooklyn where the honorable Dr. A. R. Bernard serves as Pastor.This 20,000 member mega church is also the home of Billboard chart toping artist Gary Anglin & the Voices of CCC. Gospel Superfest New York! will featured some of the top names in the Gospel Music field today and Clifton Davis(AMEN) served as host for the event and the subsequent TV series, for the fifth consecutive year.
-------------------------------

Bob Davis and Melba Moore

So yes, this is a VERY BIG DEAL....
In fact it's such a big deal that I wasn't even in the audience. I was stationed in the press room, where there was a contingent of about 50 media people from various Gospel music publications, radio stations and TV outlets, in a set up that was similar to covering the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies. The performances were televised into the pressroom, and then after each performance, the artist was brought in where they could be photographed and interviewed. So I was able to get pictures of all of the performers and interviews with all of them. These performances were THA BOMB.

The pressroom was filled with bright and energetic folks from all over the country who were passionate and knowledgeable about the music, the artists and the scene. Tina Dixon & Daulton Anderson of WHCR-90.3 (NYC), Wanda Gebrehiwot (of the New York Christian Times) and John Goodman (of the Gospel EUR) seated me at a table off to the side where I was flanked. These folks took pity on me, by all answering of the dumb questions I asked them, because of my lack of knowledge of the artists and the songs. I thank them for their camaraderie...

One of the first question I asked was, "how come all of these performances are being done to tracks, instead of a live band"??
Of course one of the things I had expected to see & hear were phat drumming, stank funk bass playing, heavenly guitars, foot stompin tambourines, etc. I was told that the lack of live musicians was due to "economic considerations, gospel doesn't have as much money as I might be used to in the secular world", plus the fact that since it was the taping of a live TV show, not having live musicians made for fewer things to go wrong. When I was told this, I smiled, because I have certainly heard that before. Nevertheless I didn't really see that as a problem, and neither did the audience.

Here are some of the highlights:

Performers - Friday, October 29th

Bob Davis and Rance Allen Group


* Ruben Studdard - I conducted a brief interview with Ruben Studdard. Sorry folks, but considering the great array of talent at the Superfest, Ruben Studdard simply did not impress me, nor did he impress anyone else. This wasn't "American Idol" and if you are gonna hang out with the artists at the GospelSuperfest, you betta come with something more than "Reality TV"...

* Karen Clark Sheard - I conducted a brief interview with Karen Clark Sheard. Her performance was dynamic, backed by a crew of break dancers, she threw down and showed some influences from Prince.

* Howard Hewett - We had him as a chat guest a LONG time ago on Prodigy and I was pleased that he remembered :) He gave what I would describe as a "traditional gospel performance" at the Gospel Superfest. I interviewed him briefly in the pressroom and he told me that he would be releasing a new R&B CD next spring.

* Shirley Murdock - I conducted a brief interview with Shirley Murdock and her comments will be heard on Soul-Patrol.Net Radio. Of course folks here on Soul-Patrol will know her best from her days with ZAPP (remember "Computer Love"???). Her husband of course is also the musical director of ZAPP. Shirley is involved in a number of different projects both in music and on the stage and is currently looking at forming her own independent label

* The Williams Brothers featuring Tracy Ward - The Williams Brothers were OFF THE HOOK, with a performance that would rival the Okays, Temptations, etc. They have a new CD called "Still Here" and are a great vocal talent.

* Keith "Wonderboy" Johnson & The Spiritual Voices - What a great nickname, eh??? This brotha was certainly a "wonder boy" on stage as he rocked the crowd.

* Rizen
* Gary Anglin & The Voices of CCC
* Desmond Pringle

* Leo Green - Is already familiar to listeners of Soul-Patrol.Net radio. He can be heard on the Soul-Patrol.Net Radio show "Cleveland Soul", back when he was a member of the legendary Cleveland slow jam group called the Imperial Wonders. Leo Green turned out the Christian Cultural Center in his very first appearance in Brooklyn.

* Lonnie Hunter & The Voices of St. Mark - This brotha is one of the most dynamic stage entertainers you could ever want to see. His moves on stage will remind you of Jackie Wilson, James Brown, Micheal Jackson, etc.

* Bridgette

* Rosalyn McDuffy This dynamic sista STOLE THE SHOW during the closing number, when she grabbed the mike and treated the crowd to about 30 seconds her vocal prowess during the song "Let It Rain". She's a supa foine sista from Houston Texas and she is defiantly someone worth keeping our eyes on for the future

* Jonathan Slocumb - Comedian

Performers - Saturday, October 30th

Bob Davis and Melba Moore


* Mom & Pop Winans (Lifetime Achievement Honorees)
* Hezekiah Walker & The Love Fellowship Choir

* Melba Moore - I have been wanting to get next to Melba Moore for 30 years and last night I had my chance :) She looked like a beautiful princess, straight out of a movie. Melba Moore talked to me for about 10 min. about her career (past, present and future). More importantly she talked about the creativity and entrepreneurship that is being nurtured by Black institutions like the Christian Cultural Center (CCC) in Brooklyn.

* Bishop Paul S. Morton, Sr. - This man ended the show with a song out called "Let It Rain". I met him earlier in the press room where he was dressed in a kind of "purple Nehru suit w/full length jacket". So in addition to displaying his "Prince influenced music", also had a "Prince influenced wardrobe".

* Byron Cage

* The Rance Allen Group - Of course these are well known Soul Music superstars from back in the day and I was quite pleased to meet them for the very first time. Rance Allen has one of the most powerful voices in the history of Black music and pulled no punches in Brooklyn at the GospelSuperfest. To say that the Rance Allen group turned out the show would be an understatement. After their performance I got to speak with the Rance Allen group for a few min and walked away from that experience in awe. We spoke about his performance on the CD/DVD package called "Soul Comes Home", that we have been discussing off and on all year here on Soul-Patrol, which was a reunion of former Stax artists in Memphis last year. He turned that show out as well.

* Rev. Timothy Wright & The New York Fellowship Choir
* Lexi
* Gary Anglin & The Voices of CCC
* John Gray

* Eugene Cole & Persuaded - This was a "badd man" who thoroughly ROCKED THA HOUSE with some serious funk, along with his group. Turns out he is from Vallejo California, home base of Sly and the Family Stone and when I told him about Rev. Freddie Stone's church he said that he would try to check them out on a Sunday

* The Choir Boyz
* Chuck & Lolita

* Corey Red & Precise - From the Bronx and Staten Island respectively. These brothas not only impressed me with their performance but also with their refusal to allow themselves to be pigeonholed. You see the "mainstream" would call Corey Red & Precise "Gospel Hip Hop". However they earned my respect, by REFUSING TO USE THAT TERM, when I asked them to describe their music. We then had a nice discussion about how from a historical perspective, that when Black artists allow other people to place a commercial name on their music, that becomes the point in time when the music is STOLEN. I'm listening to their CD right now as I am writing this article and they are badd.

* Tanya Baker - Based out of Dayton Ohio and well steeped not only in Gospel, but also in the FUNK.

* Freda Battle & The Temple Worshippers
* Jonathan Slocumb - Comedian


People keep writing in to me about singers like Joss Stone and others who are stealing OUR culture. In the meantime there is a whole sub culture of artists that I got to witness at the GospelSuperfest who would send Joss Stone home in tears, that don't have massive public relations operations. Therefore you don't know their names. This is no different than what we have seen with many so called "nu soul" artists on today's scene that aren't household names.

My view is that they can't steal it, unless we continue to give it away.
We need to stop giving it away...

This whole scene was quite interesting and as a neophyte to the gospel scene, I was soaking it up.
Within the genre some of these artists are associated with major labels and had "handlers" who helped them navigate the pressroom. While others who were independent artists, "handled their own business" quite impressively.

Overall it was a wonderful two days and we made a lot of new friends.

Big props to Damian & Edna Sims Bruce of ESP Public Relations, for their management of the pressroom and the artists during the event. It was totally well organized and run.
Organizations like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The R&B Foundation and others (including Soul-Patrol, yup I was taking notes...lol) can take a serious lesson from the level of professionalism, management and courtesy that these two. It was a pleasure for me to watch them in action...

And of course to the Christian Cultural Center (CCC) in Brooklyn.


Christian Cultural Center


* It's a great facility
* Located in the Black Community
* Black owned and operated
* State of the art technology
* Excellent parking and public transportation access

I get sick and tired of various people keep telling me that this can't be accomplished.
Well the existence of the Christian Cultural Center (CCC) in Brooklyn, is absolute proof that those people are dead wrong. Black people have always been capable of running and owning these types of events and facilities.

All aspects of this event (including catering, audio/video production, security, graphics, printing, etc) were all performed by Black folks. In fact the whole time I was there I only saw one white person It made me PROUD to see my own people doing what all of the "experts" keep telling me can't be done.

All of that and I didn't get "struck by lightning" upon entry into the building...

Stay tuned...

--Bob Davis


MELBA MOORE

LISTEN TO:
MELBA MOORE, star of stage, screen and TV as she sits down and kicks it with Soul-Patrol at the GospelSuperfest New York


Hopefully you enjoyed this Special Edition of the Soul-Patrol Newsletter.
We will be back in about two weeks with the next edition, with any email alerts for
local events, Soul-Patrol website updates/chat sessions or breaking news in between, as required.

If you have any comments, questions, etc feel free to drop me an email and let me know what's on your mind.

Bob Davis
earthjuice@prodigy.net

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