Sondra Busby
We Need Your Presence
Independent (release date: August 30, 2019)

By Robert M. Marovich

South Carolina singer Sondra Busby might be a contender for the title of “queen of the vamp.”

On her 2019 album We Need Your Presence, she tags several of her songs with a quartet-style vamp, improvising with an evangelist’s zeal over repetitive lines sung by the background vocalists, which are actually Busby, multi-tracked.

Among these are “The Place Where You Are Near,” “You’ve Been Good to Me,” and the title track. Busby steps right into the vamp, offering church mantras designed to rouse the audience and make the message stick. The best example is “Nothing But the Blood” and its especially infectious reprise. It’s when she and her musicians most let loose.

Busby sings with a quartet lead’s fervor and there are moments where everything comes together. There are others, however, when her voice sounds fatigued, especially during extended melismatic runs or when she reaches outside her range.

Like “Nothing But the Blood,” the album’s best selections are the traditional ones, such as “I Surrender All,” “Blessed Assurance,” and the “Worship & Praise Medley,” which does not include P&W songs but old Baptist devotionals. Still, even the new songs have a traditional feel. Of Busby’s own songs, the one that could find its way into other artists’ repertoires is the title track. It has an easy-to-learn melody and lyric, both ideal for worship teams.

Three of Five Stars

Picks: “We Need Your Presence,” “Nothing But the Blood (Reprise)”


  1. Sondra Busby April 27, 2023 at 8:59 am - Reply

    Thank you for this well organized & honest review. The purspose for my music was unveiled in this review without question! I deliver the songs through my lead vocals. However, the vamp is where I “let loose,” and begin to minister through the songs. Therefore, your preception was right on point. Thank you again.

  2. Albert Thomas April 28, 2023 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    Sondra Busby is a Highly Anointed Gospel Singer.Elder Albert Thomas 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻

  3. Frederick Parker May 16, 2023 at 4:47 pm - Reply

    Definitely enjoyed the album! I recommend to anyone and everyone. It’s a good combination of old and new school gospel!

  4. Cedrick White May 17, 2023 at 10:22 pm - Reply

    In this album, with genuine heartfelt fervor, Sondra Busby coaxes the soul to ride upon the sweetest tides of the sacred space!

Leave A Comment

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.