“Have Mercy O Grace”
Armstead Ford ft. God’s Harvesters
Independent (release date: October 27, 2023)

By Robert M. Marovich

Although “Have Mercy O Grace” is a newly-written gospel song, it’s sung in the traditional quartet style by Belleville, Illinois’ Armstead Ford, featuring God’s Harvesters.

God’s Harvesters, a gospel quartet with a bass singer (a rarity nowadays), delivers this song about deliverance in smooth and resonant harmonies reminiscent of the Blind Boys of Alabama. Indeed, among Ford’s inspirations are other classic quartets like the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, the Dixie Hummingbirds, and the Soul Stirrers. The antiphonal work between lead and group is probably even more compelling live.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Armstead Ford moved a little east to Belleville, where in addition to writing songs like “Have Mercy O Grace,” that come to him in dreams, he enjoys working on his farm with his wife and two sons.

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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.