CD Review: Dr. Norman Hutchins – Where I Long to Be

TBGB reviews…

Where I Long to Be
Norman Hutchins
JDI Records 2006

Dr. Norman Hutchins has a knack for writing gospel lyrics that become standard church parlance and songs that become compulsory for choirs to learn and perform. “God’s Got a Blessing (With My Name on It)” is the most famous example.

This is no coincidence: Hutchins’s music is designed with church folk in mind. The latest proof of Hutchins’s church roots is on his new CD, Where I Long to Be. Throughout the project, Hutchins shifts back and forth with ease between traditional and contemporary sounds, and without any feeling of contrivance or sense of obligation. With his vocals planted firmly in the traditional church, Hutchins gives even the most contemporary of sacred songs a short lesson in gospel blues when he sings.

Indeed, the standout tracks on Where I Long to Be are the churchy ones, particularly the opening “Get Ready for Your Miracle” (another likely entry into the lexicon of religious phrases), and the pentecostal “Everything Will Be Alright,” which features a splendid vocal by Shervonne Wells of the Kurt Carr Singers. “Because of You” also has a drop of old-church in it.

“Testimony” confirms the CD’s live in-service feeling. The project is supported by high-volume and powerful singing from The “A” Team, a group of background vocalists that any gospel artist would die to have supporting him or her.

Dr. Norman Hutchins’s star continues to rise, and it’s because he lets his roots show while pushing the gospel music envelope forward.

About Bob Marovich

Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Founder of Journal of Gospel Music blog (formally The Black Gospel Blog) and producer of the Gospel Memories Radio Show.

One comment

  1. I had the opportunity to purchase this CD at the James Cleveland Gospel Music Workshop of America in Dallas, Texas a few weeks ago and this has got to be one of the best I have heard. These days when you purchase Gospel Projects you may only get a few songs on the CD that are pretty good! I have to say that EVERY CUT on this project can be effective in any CHOIR!!!

    May God Continue to Bless and Keep You!

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