Steve Dawson is the man behind Black Hen records. In that respect, this self-titled release from The Sojourners is probably as much his record as it is the band’s. Sure, Will Sanders, Ron Small and Marcus Mosely provide the vocals, and the way their harmonies blend together is truly breathtaking, more like a group that’s been singing together for decades than of a trio that only came together in the last few years. Still, in some ways, the singers are a backup band, an afterthought overpowered by the awesome skill and power of the musicians supposedly supporting them.
When the singers take control, the result is nothing less than heavenly. The song selection, with the exception of a saccharine paean to fallen soldiers, is equally inspired. Of particular note are: “Nobody Can Turn Me Around,” “When I Die” (an R & B classic) and “By and By.” It is a strong collection of songs that will appeal whether or not you’re a gospel fan, and even to those who are wary of the message. It is well-delivered, heartfelt and immensely listenable.