The Struggle Is Over

I love this song. EVERYONE goes through hard times, but young black kids growing up in urban setting can have it really hard, so when these young men and women sing “You’ve been in this place long enough, and your mountainside has been rough…the struggle is over for you”…it goes right to my heart.

  1. The Struggle Is Over Youth For Christ 7:52

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The Youth for Christ Choir, led by T.L. Barrett, was an approximately 40-member ensemble of children ages 12 to 19, which grew out of his Tuesday night weekly choir meetings.

T.L. Barrett is a complicated figure. Context colors perceptions of the man. To many on Chicago’s South Side, Barrett has been known for more than four decades as an activist and pastor, an influential figure in the city’s black community, and an active participant in numerous projects and initiatives intended to improve social and economic conditions on the South Side.

In the 1970s, Barrett’s congregation included many noteworthy Chicago-area musicians, such as Maurice White and Philip Bailey of Earth, Wind and Fire, Donny Hathaway, and Phil Cohran. Barrett, recording as Pastor T.L. Barrett and the Youth for Christ Choir, released the album Like a Ship (Without a Sail) in 1971. The album featured instrumental contributions from Phil Upchurch, Gene Barge, Charles Pittman, and Richard Evans (of Rotary Connection). It was reissued by Light in the Attic Records in 2010 to critical acclaim and praise from musicians such as Jim James and Colin Greenwood. Barrett also released several further albums of music over the course of the 1970s, as well as discs of sermons; he also recorded as Rev. T.L. Barrett.

Something About God’s Grace

So here we have the same song from two choirs both brought to America’s attention by Rev. James Cleveland; The Charles Fold Singers and The Donald Vail Choraleers.

So, the question for today is, how far into the song do you have to go until you figure out the tune or song that THIS song was based on. You’ll know when you hear it…the riff/chord structure just makes you think…”I KNOW that…it’s from….uh…________!!!! (You fill in the blank.) So, two versions of the same song, each given their own unique treatment by the artist.

  1. Something About God's Grace James Cleveland Presents The Donald Vails Choraleers 4:20
  2. Something About God's Grace Rev. James Cleveland & The Charles Fold Singers 5:17

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Abundantly Blessed

There are some songs and some performances that one never forgets and this is just one of those songs. It was performed by The New England Gospel Ensemble that was originally started at The New England Conservatory by James Early and Donnell Patterson, as I understand it. It still continues to this day under the directorship of Renese King.

The NEGE performed this song during the intermission at a Joyful Voices concert in Waltham years ago and it bowled me over. The solo was sung by Eddie Mallory and was exquisite, as was the entire song. This is a version of Abundantly Blessed that makes me recall that performance. It’s a great song because each of it’s three sections are great. Enjoy.

  1. Abundantly Blessed Dr. Ed Montgomery · The Abundant Life Cathedral Choir 6:56

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Glad About It

I had this song in my iTunes library, but it had no info as to artist and album…so I did a bit of research. It’s by Joe Pace and The Colorado Mass Choir and it features great vocals by Alicia Williamson & Maurice Carter. Another version of this song was a huge hit for LaShun Pace Rhodes

  1. Glad About It Joe Pace & The Colorado Mass Choir 4:19

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Let Go. Let God

I don’t know where I get some of these songs. As many of you know I listen to iTunes while walking my dog Jack. This song came on and it was like I NEVER EVER heard it before.

It’s an interesting recording because it the recording quality sounds fairly amateurish, but don’t like that fool you. It’s a nice song; authentic if nothing else. I wouldn’t publish it here if I didn’t think some of you might like it. Always interested in hearing whant you think…just leave a comment if you want.

  1. Let Go. Let God Memphis Praise Fellowship Mass Choir 6:59

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I Know A Man

Rance Allen is has never been your typical gospel performer. He has a totally unique style and voice; it is a crossover mix of soul/r&b/gospel and a bit of pop. But it works for what it is…very different contemporary gospel.



  1. I Know A Man The Rance Allen Group 2:49

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Give Him Praise

This is a great FUNKY contemporary gospel song with a terrific sax part and great, simple vocals with great harmonies. The tag line “Give Him Praise” can stay with you long after the song is over! And the part where they exhort, “Praise him with the horns, praise him with the horns, praise him with the horns” and then the sax cuts in is fantastic.

I’m not always very partial to using saxes in gospel songs (with apologies to Willie Sordillo), but it works perfectly on this song. I know VERY little about Voices of Atlanta other than they make great music and have been around since 2001.


  1. Give Him Praise Voices of Atlanta 4:28

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One Last Time (44 Remix)

Just released today, December 21, 2018, this is a remix of the song “One Last Time” from Hamilton…a GOSPEL remix, with President Obama reading Washington’s lyrics before it breaks into a wonderful ending gospel vamp.


  1. One Last Time (44 Remix) Christopher Jackson, Barack Obama, Bebe Winans 4:17

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Can’t Give Up Now

Mary Mary are actually sisters Erica Atkins-Campbell and Trecina Atkins-Campbell. Formed in 1998, Mary Mary was launched into mainstream recognition following the release of their best-selling debut album, Thankful, which contained not only this track but the hit single “Shackles (Praise You)”. Their followup album Incredible (2002), reached number one on the Top Gospel Albums chart. Their third album, Mary Mary (2005), contains the worldwide hits “Heaven”, and “Yesterday”. The group’s name is inspired by two famous Marys from the Bible: Mary, mother of Jesus, and Mary Magdalene.


  1. Can't Give Up Now Mary Mary 4:59

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His Name Is Jesus

This is a great song, albeit a tad long at just over 9 minutes.  If the first 4 minutes and 42 seconds don’t quite do it for you (I LIKE it…especially the  echo/reverb effect on “money’s gone”), then head right for 4 minute+ vamp.  I love it; nothing special or gimmicky, just good out call and response gospel.  Enjoy


  1. His Name Is Jesus Rev. Gerald Thompson & The Hi-Prayz Crusade Choir 9:30

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