Tuesday, September 29, 2015

'Fourth Annual Gospel Brunch' Brings Joy of the Lord to Americana Music Fest

(Editor's Note: City Winery hosted the "Fourth Annual Gospel Brunch" on Sept. 20 to help wrap up the Americana Music Fest. Here is an overview by MCAU contributing writer Wil Comstock.

By Wil Comstock
MCAU Contributing Writer

            I arrived with the faithful 50 minutes early, full of anticipation and an empty stomach. Chicken and waffles with piping hot coffee is on the menu. This is going to be good. The McCrary Sisters, who rocked the house at the Awards Show, are scheduled to perform. Everyone is smiling and full of the Joy of the Lord.

            Church begins with The McCrary Sisters. “Hallelujah” sweet heartfelt vocals reaching up from the well and serving up living water. Deborah wrote “Let It Go” while she was recovering from a double stoke. With Ann on vocals, we are encouraged to let it all go and let God take over. The house band, who I believe were the McCrary’s own band, were all tasteful and incredible musicians. 

            Surprise guest Bonnie Bishop treated us to “Ain’t Goin Back” with The McCrary’s on background vocals. She reminds me of Bonnie Raitt, certainly someone to watch out for.

            Leigh Nash of Sixpence None the Richer took the stage with her husband on accompanying guitar. My favorite was the autobiographical “Tell Me Now Tennessee”, the struggle of leaving home and loved ones in Texas to move to Tennessee to pursue her dream.

            Ruby Amanfu knocked me out with “Anyone Who Knows What Love Is Will Understand”...  Killer song and killer vocals, it doesn’t get better than this.

            Jonathan Tyler wrapped up the service with his modern Southern rock sound with songs like “Holy Smoke” and  “Working on a Building”.  After the latter he said,  “We play to the edges and fringes of society... The bars are our church”.

            Everyone took the stage and exchanged vocal lines on “I’ll Fly Away” as the parishioners clapped hands and joined in. There was no doubt we had been to church!

            To learn more about the Americana Music Fest, visit http://www.AmericanaMusic.org.

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