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Running With Cheese

a cappella gospel, early music, tremolo guitars, lactic solids, the Heavenly Lights, vocal workshops, music publications, recordings and other associated musical projects...

2016 Gospel Tour

Tony Backhouse - Friday, September 30, 2016

The 2016 Gospel Tour finished up in New Orleans on Sunday September 18. The schedule on our last day was pretty exhausting: two churches before lunch, a big group buffet lunch, a second line after lunch, and finally possibly the wildest church I’ve ever seen at the Ebenezer MBC service at night. Ebenezer is a favourite of mine for a number of reasons, one of which is the looseness and openness of the service structure (a readiness for anything), but that night it was just funky, loose & open from the start. The choir was intense, the organ & piano interplay was telepathic (stylistically all over the map, from traditional gospel into echoes of Stravinsky or Keith Jarrett, for instance), the rhythm section has hot, young Earl’s tambourine seemed to be driving and lifting everything, most of the choir were falling out, and songs morphed into praise & back to song & back to shouting and so on….
….but even before that we had had some great moments on the tour: hanging out with the Moments of Joy in Memphis, Dr. Johari Jabir’s seminar at the Centre for Black Music Research in Chicago, the relentless funk of Cosmopolitan Church in Chicago, fabulous soul food lunch at Pearl’s Place in Chicago,  the song workshop by Pastor Jermaine Landrum & Elder Pamela Landrum in New Orleans (which turned into something else), the female quartet at Rev. Malcolm Collins’ Pressing Onward BC and Rev. Collins’ sermon (‘Some people just DON’T LISTEN….’) in New Orleans. 


Soloists & choir at Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer: Something Got A Hold on Me (Photo: Julie Sommerville)
I'm not going to give a full account of the tour, I'm still on the road in the USA and caught up with other things, but if you read posts about previous tours, you'll get a very good idea of the kind of thing we experienced. Thanks to all who came on the tour, thanks to the Tourettes for invaluable help and support, and thank you to Marianne whose engaging presence and good planning is still benefitting us all. Much of the success of the tour is attributable to Marianne’s careful work behind the scenes, and in her setting up he template we now use. And thank you as always to our friends in the USA: Mae Barnes, Sara Smith, Delores Montgomery, Belva Armour, the Moments of Joy, Prof. Johari Jabir, James Bryson & First Church of Deliverance, Chedwick Allen Cathey, Shelby Wills, Lakeisha Lockert & the Douglas Singers, Jeffrey Pelrean and CTW, Ivan Lee, Rev. Malcolm Collins, Lois DeJean, Pamela Landrum and Rev. Jermaine Landrum.