TBGB Reviews…The Victory Travelers

He’s a God (25th Anniversary Edition)
The Victory Travelers
Rapture 2007

Just about every one of the eight tracks on the 25th Anniversary CD Edition of the Victory Travelers’ He’s a God, their debut album for Gene Strawhun’s Rapture Records, is hard-charging, powerful, going-to-church quartet excitement. The rest of the songs are deep and bluesy, suggesting that the quartet hails from the Deep South when, in fact, it is from Chicago.

Deacon Reuben Burton leads on most of the songs, with “(I Signed a) Contract with Jesus” being the best on the set. Cris Johnson (of the Righteous Singers) provides killer electric guitar behind this and other songs throughout the project. Aubrey Morris is no slouch on the drums, either. His energetic playing and cymbal crashing add a dramatic flair to the session.

What’s especially gratifying about this reissue is to hear an honest-to-Pete horn section, complete with trumpet and saxes, not the keyboard-produced synthetic horn sound that is de rigour in gospel music today and seems out of place in a genre that shouts authenticity. The difference is significant: real brass adds color and character to the music in ways the electric synthesizer cannot.

Deacon Burton has weathered many personnel changes in the Victory Travelers to keep the quartet going strong well into the new century (for example, Joyce Collins, a vocalist on this project, has since passed away). With some young fellows in its roster keeping the tradition going, the Travelers still dump house on its competition. Listening to He’s a God, you know the group was dumping house 25 years ago, too.

Four 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.

3 comments

  1. feliia5337@yahoo.com

    My father, Junius(Binnie)Binniefield sang with The Victory Travelers I have been trying to find some old pictures of my father with the group. My dad passed away in 1976. if anyone have any old photos of Victory Travelers with my dad please contact me.

  2. Hi — I tried to email you but it didn’t work. Email me your name and telephone number and I’ll be sure to pass your information on to Deacon Reuben Burton who manages the Victory Travelers. He’ll be able to help you. My email is bob@gospelmemories.com.

    Bob (TBGB)

  3. Hello this is Bishop Brad Lollis of Chicago Illinois 60426 905 East on 75th Street I’m trying to see if I can book you for Saturday October 27th at 9 a.m. for an ordination service will you please contact me as soon as possible to see if we can come to some type of agreement if you are available thank you so much in advance

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