|Byron Cage - Live At The Apollo: The Proclamation|
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Reviewed by Paul Poulton
In one sense it's a bit of a bother playing at a legendary venue, and even more vexing to record there. It's a case of having to turn on the magic to order, which can tempt artists into trying too hard, the result being a jerky performance that struggles to settle down. The Apollo is undoubtedly one of New York City's famed venues, Byron moves things along at a rapid pace, the band try their best to keep up and the choir hang on for dear life. In among the musical melee there is some magic going on, though it takes a while and a few plays to hear it. Byron knows how to sing gospel, and even with him not firing on all cylinders there is still a lot to hang on to: Cage at 85 per cent is still a beneficial listening experience. Plus, there are some fine guests: this is a rare chance to hear the Epic recording artist Kim Burrell as she nails Byron's song "If You Never" into place with a big hammer.
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|The 'Prince of Praise' has done it again, this time with a star-studded recording event at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, NY. 'Live At The Apollo: The Proclamation' is Byron Cage’s third release on GospoCentric/Zomba Gospel, and with each release, he substantially raises the bar to which praise & worship leaders, psalmists, and choir directors must aspire.|
With solid successes behind him, and hit records to boot, Byron Cage has certainly solidified his place as a formidable male vocalist in the gospel music arena, earning his ranking as reigning 'Prince of Praise'!
With 'Live At The Apollo: The Proclamation', Cage brings gospel music back to Harlem, and to the very stage that introduced the world to such early gospel music luminaries as Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, The Dixie Hummingbirds, and countless others. Byron rose to the occasion with an amazing collection of songs, masterfully rendered by him and produced by gospel’s heavy-hitting trio, PAJAM, consisting of J Moss, Paul 'PDA' Allen, and Walter Kearney. Cage and the PAJAM trio worked together first on 'An Invitation To Worship', and that result was a Stellar Award-winning, Grammy-nominated mastery.
The same accolades, and even more, can be expected this time around! Cage is joined onstage by fellow gospel sensation Kim Burrell and by his labelmate, R&B star, turned gospel balladeer, Dave Hollister. 26 April 2007 was truly a night to remember as Byron Cage took to Harlem’s historic stage and left it forever marked with his stamp of rousing, soul-piercing gospel music.