Rev. Ed Wilson & the Rising Star Singers
Dreams Do Come True
Sharp Records 2009

Dreams Do Come True, by the Rising Star Singers of Eastover, South Carolina, is clearly the product of a group that has traveled back and forth along the gospel highway for quite some time. Several songs on the album reference the current aggregation as a new generation of Rising Stars under the tutelage of Rev. Ed Wilson. The group also has a penchant for re-interpreting the vintage gospel quartet repertory in a way that maintains the songs’ original integrity but is also appealing to the contemporary gospel quartet fan.

What struck me most while listening to Dreams Do Come True was how the richness of the quartet’s harmonies hearkened back to an older sound. The Rising Stars harmonize in the lower register, which – more than any electric bass could – gives the music a foundation and depth that are missing when groups tender falsetto harmonies a la the Violinaires.

Much of the CD covers traditional gospel quartet territory. “Fix Me, Jesus,” for example, is a variation of the classic “Search Me, Lord.” “Lord I Tried” is an old Soul Stirrers number, and on “How Far Am I from Kingdom,” Herman Wilson punctuates the singing with gravelly, vibrato-riddled shouts culled from the Clarence Fountain school. Appropriately, “I’m Running for My Life” is an old fashioned hand-clapper with a vamped ending on which Anthony Walls basically preaches in tune like an evangelist during revival.

Of the Sharp releases I’ve heard recently, the Rising Stars Singers’ Dreams Do Come True impressed me the most.

Four of Five Stars

gPod Picks: “Fix Me Jesus,” “I’m Running for My Life.”

Reviewed by Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog.

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Written by : 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.