Is there a fresh sound of gospel music coming out of the Bay Area that has the promise of having an impact on the nation? The answer is a resounding yes!
Joe Douglass has answered the clarion call of bringing the gospel music spotlight back to the Bay Area with his group Joe Douglass & Spirit of Praise. But, if you ask Joe, he will tell you that he “just got some friends together” because he did not want to sing by himself during his church conference. “I just started calling around to see who was available,” says Douglass. They showed up. They sang. But there was something different about this group. Little did Douglass know that God was gathering an aggregation of folks to deliver the word of God through song on a whole different level. That was November, 2011. Fast forward to the last Saturday in April, 2012.
On Saturday, April 28th, Glad Tidings Church of God In Christ was standing room only as Joe Douglass and Spirit of Praise kicked off their debut concert. Lena Byrd-Miles, Myron Williams, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Tasha Cobbs and Myron Butler were the evenings special guests. Lena Byrd-Miles set the atmosphere with her powerful praise and worship as only she can. Once the atmosphere was set, Douglass & SOP sung song after song under the anointing and with conviction including “The Grace” and “I’m On My Way Up”, each written by Douglass.
Each guest artist sung two songs in the course of the concert while JD & SOP served as background vocals. One song in particular, “Song Offering” by Kevin Terry & Predestined out of Washington, D.C., was so powerful, that the song led to a 20 minute praise break! Crowd favorite, Dayonna Griffin, was in rare form showing her vocal stylings, and authentic worship.
Later in the evening both Myron Williams & Myron Butler got so happy with one tune, that they were tag-team directing SOP, while the mic was passed around the room to Dorinda Clark-Cole and the Bay Area’s own Lawrence Matthews. Just when you thought you were beyond full, Tasha Cobbs closed out the concert, leaving all that were there on a spiritual high. At one point in the concert, I thought SOP was using vocal tracks. Boy was I wrong! To my disbelief, as the concert went on, the voices got stronger! Talk about consistency! The tenors and the altos held it down all night…but the soprano section!!! (LAWD HAVE MERCY)
When asked how he felt about this whole process that God is doing up to this point, Douglass says “I’m usually the planner and promoter versus being the artist. This is a humbling experience.”
As of May 1st, the new single from Joe Douglass and Spirit of Praise “My All”, written by Steven Warren of Tyler, TX is being sold on iTunes. Join me in supporting this great project!
Musical Director & Producer: David Jackson
Keyboards/Organ: Derrick Abram, Ulis Redic, Devin Watkins
Drums: Corey Baugh, Carlin Johnson, Wade Murray
Bass: Marcus Phillips, James “Booyah” Richard
Guitar: Nate Mercereau