The Harlem Gospel Travelers

Rhapsody

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With their new album 'Rhapsody, the extraordinary vocalists fedayo Gatling, Dennis Bailey, and George Marage are able to fully explore the entire range of music that influenced them. The follow-up to their acclaimed 2021 release 'Look Up!', the record is a dive into a lesser-known but hugely important era in the evolution of gospel music.

Starting in the mid-1960s, local gospel groups and singers began incorporating elements of popular soul and funk styles and in 2006, Chicago-based reissue label Numero Group released Good God! A Gospel Funk Hymnal. HGT's longtime friend and mentor Eli.

"Paperboy Reed" approached the group with the idea of digging through the Numero catalog and recording some of the gospel funk material, reinterpreted in their own way from the high-energy, old-school soul of "God's Been Good to Me" to the hip-hop-inflected "Get Involved."

The Harlem Gospel Travelers story began when Gatling and Marage met while studying under Reed's tutelage. The group put out their debut LP, 'He's On Time', to rave reviews in 2019, earning them high profile fans like Elton John and landing them festival slots everywhere from Pilgrimage to Telluride Jazz. Originally a quartet, they brought in Bailey and reconfigured as a trio prior to recording Look Up!, their first album of all original material.

At a moment when the world is reconsidering the concepts of genre and category and who's allowed to participate in which traditions, HGT are squarely on the cultural pulse.

"We always found it difficult to stay in this one lane of what people think gospel is supposed to be," says Gatling. "This record allowed us to hear people that were innovators in their own time, pushing how gospel music sounded, and now we've created this project that is message-wise gospel, but the feeling and the sound can be whatever you want it to be."

TRACK LISTING

1. We Don't Love Enough
2. Ever Since
3. God's Love
4. God's Been Good To Me
5. Get Involved
6. Somebody's Watching You
7. How Can I Lose
8. Jesus Rhapsody, Pt. 1
9. Have You Tried Jesus
10. Searching For The Truth

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