“What You Gonna Do”
Ruth Black and the Harmonettes
By Bob Marovich
On their new single, “What You Gonna Do,” Ruth Black and the Harmonettes of Alexander City, Alabama, ask sinners to consider whether they will be ready when Jesus comes.
They mince no words in calling sinners out, either. Peace breakers, drug addicts, “thief in the night,” backsliders, alcoholics lying on the barroom floor—all are summoned not for shaming but for reclaiming souls for Jesus.
“What You Gonna Do” has that relentlessly bouncing southern soul quartet groove that moves seamlessly from verses into a vamp that finds the Harmonettes doo-wopping as Ruth invites saint and sinner to follow her to the Rapture.
Singing for more than a decade, the female quartet is not related to the other Harmonettes from Alabama (the late Dorothy Love Coates’ Birmingham-based quartet). This group is comprised of Ruth Black Burns, Stephanie Hicks, Yvonne Burton, Shelia Wilson, and Felecia Johnson. Among their many accolades are top honors at Esther Wooten’s popular annual Exclesisa Showcase Extravaganza in 2017 and 2018.