Angie & Friends Live at Daywind Studios: I Feel Like Singing
New Day Entertainment (release date: August 26, 2022)
By Robert M. Marovich
Certain records capture the unconstrained joy of traditional gospel and hymn singing better than others. One that captures it precisely is singer Angie Primm’s Live at Daywind Studios: I Feel Like Singing.
Gathered in the famous Hendersonville, Tennessee, Daywind Studios, the Angie & Friends troupe establish the theme of the album from the start, on the lead (and title) track. They namecheck gospel songs and spirituals in an informal group sing reminiscent of the Gaither Homecoming sessions (it’s not a stretch; Primm has sung with the Gaithers). It’s almost entirely traditional hymns, gospels, and spirituals from then on.
Primm is the quintessential traditional female church singer, the one who stands before a congregation and sends it into holy fits with her trills, runs, moans, scoops, and shouts, as on “He’s a Wonder.” And she has a sister, Gale Mayes-Stuart, an equally striking contralto, who joins her on “Oh, How I Love Jesus.” Bass singer and southern gospel quartet star Gene McDonald (formerly of the Florida Boys) features on Alma Androzzo’s heartwarming “If I Can Help Somebody.” “I Surrender All” receives an equally delicate treatment, with Primm delivering sweet, round tones. “Oh, I Want to See Him” features Primm and southern gospel favorite Russ Taff backed by a small ensemble of background vocalists.
Primm’s duet with her husband John Primm on “I Will Trust in the Lord” is one of the album’s most musically powerful pieces. It precedes a twelve-minute-plus revival-tent medley of songs, where Primm, Francine Smith, and Nuana Dunlap offer such chestnuts as “Mary Don’t You Weep” (Caravans-style), “By and By” (a combination of Soul Stirrers and Davis Sisters versions), and “We’ve Come this Far by Faith.”
Primm demonstrates her fealty to Aretha Franklin’s 1972 Amazing Grace with an up-tempo rendition of “How I Got Over” as well as Aretha’s medley of “You’ve Got a Friend” and “Precious Lord.” Evangelistic firebrand Beverly Crawford reprises “You’ve Got a Friend” to close out.
There’s no fluff outside of a lengthy spoken word section about Primm’s visit to Jerusalem, which could have been shortened and still achieved its desired effect.
The album benefits from crystal-clear production, well-balanced instrumentation, and plenty of bottom to provide the project a three-dimensionality often missing from today’s more compressed projects. The musicians work together like a well-oiled team of session players. Altogether, the album makes for a solid listen. A companion DVD is also available.
Five of Five Stars
Picks: “Testimonial Medley with the Girls,” “If I Can Help Somebody,” “I Will Trust in the Lord”