TBGB Reviews…The Frierson Brothers

Over There
The Frierson Brothers
Joyland Records 2007

The Frierson Brothers – Rev. Fredrick, Sr.; Rev. Franklin; and Joe, Jr. – hail from New Jersey, but on Over There, the quartet sounds as if it’s headquartered in the Carolinas.

The song selection runs the gamut from the traditional (“Walk With Me,” a reorganizing of “In the Garden,” complete with standard quartet guitar chord intro and the bass singer intoning the familiar, “Well…”), to compositions by 1970s and 1980s stars Donnie Harper of the New Jersey Mass Choir (“These Are They”) and Harrison Johnson (his classic “I’ve Decided to Make Jesus My Choice”), to songs written by the Friersons.

Throughout Over There, the Frierson Brothers keep their sound rooted firmly in the traditional camp, receiving vocal support on the title track from the Pilgrim Jubilees’ Ben Chandler, while the Rev. Dr. Elton T. Byrd (the same person from the Holy Hour single (below)) renders spoken word wisdom during “Step By Step.”

On “He Saved Me,” Franklin and Fredrick channel the O’Neal Twins in their harmonies, offering evocative lyrical images such as tussling with the Devil and making Death behave. “I’ll Go With Jesus” and “Praise Is What I Do” are also good quartet rousers.

Two and a Half of Four Stars

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.