Elsa Harris - Let My People Go

Published Monday 16th March 2015
Elsa Harris - Let My People Go
Elsa Harris - Let My People Go

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 154560-22939
LABEL: Authentic 5060256821519
RRP: £9.99

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

Clitheroe, Lancashire isn't a place you'd expect an album of old school gospel and spirituals to be recorded. But then you wouldn't expect a 68 year old singer to be making her solo album debut. Not that Chicago-based music teacher Elsa is a young, sorry, old hopeful. In decades past Elsa sang with the Jessy Dixon Singers and that work took her around the world singing backups for Paul Simon. In fact, there's a musical acknowledgement to Elsa's roots here, when she and British singer Sandra Godley sang a credible duet rendition of Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water". Mostly though, the songs here go back to African American slavery days. Stirring renditions of "Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho", "Wade In The Water" and "Walk With Me Lord" take on a whole new relevance when we read Elsa's sleevenote, "While the fight against human trafficking continues, our children and youth, as well as older people, are being captured and exploited and used for unlawful gain all over the world. Epiphany Trust and Jubilee Campaign take a firm stand and fight against injustice and I want to raise my voice to support this important work." And support it she does with timeless reminders of slavery past and hope in Jesus Christ present. Not everything clicks on 'Let My People Go'. The elaborate vocal arrangement of "My Soul's Been Anchored" doesn't begin to work. But with Elsa's excellent piano work and beautifully tight accompaniments from UK musicians and Elsa Harris' husky contralto never overdoing the vocal theatrics these are good reditions of much recorded songs made for an important cause.

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