The Sojourners — Marcus Mosely

Concert fans say amen! to gospel trio

PORT HARDY—If the purpose of gospel music is to uplift, then the Sojourners succeeded wildly



PORT HARDY—If the purpose of gospel music is to uplift, then the Sojourners succeeded wildly in Saturday’s North Island Concert Society Event at the Civic Centre.

The vocal trio and their backup band certainly lifted the audience out of its collective seats.

Drawing from a wide-ranging catalogue of traditional spirituals, Civil Rights-era anthems and accessible hits from popular artists, Marcus Mosely, Will Sanders and Khari McClelland drew the annual dinner show crowd into their revival tent and left it shouting ‘Amen!’ by the end.

The Sojourners were in top vocal form throughout Saturday’s show, whether in a tight, well-honed, three-part harmony, individual solos or solos backed by the other two members.

A large part of the group’s appeal to this audience was its engaging manner and the sheer joy the singers brought to the stage. Quite simply, these guys were having fun.

The trio, formed in 2006 to provide backing vocals for Jim Byrnes’ Juno-winning CD House of Refuge, was capably backed by the veteran rhythm section of drummer Geoff Hicks and bassist Bill Runge.

On occasion, NICS concerts provide unexpected — and welcome — surprises for the patrons. This was one of those shows, as the Sojourners also hired on blues/rockabilly/swing guitarist Paul Pigat as part of their accompaniment for the evening.

Though he spent the night seated, sometimes leaning back cross-legged as casually as if plucking on his sofa at home, Pigat — frontman for the rockabilly trio Cousin Harley — made his presence known by the end of the show.

The concert was essentially divided into two sections. Kicked off by the traditional spirituals Brother Moses Smote the Water, Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around and Children Go Where I Send Thee, the first set focused on the Sojourners’ vocal chops.

The set began to expand when McClelland, who replaced founding member Ron Small last year, took the lead on the somber Rev. Gary Davis song Death Don’t Have No Mercy and on the soulful ballad Lead Me Guide Me, a song covered by Elvis Presley.

The group then shifted to a cappella for Clean Up What I Messed Up, a song by the Canton Spirituals that the Sojourners performed backed only by Hicks’s funky groove on drums.

The pop hit When I Die by the Canadian soul group Motherlode followed, and the Sojourners closed the set with a hint of what was to come, with Pigat’s blistering intro kicking off a blues-funk version of Strange Man.

Though he remained seated in the background, Pigat was thrust forward sonically in the second set, a blues compendium that ranged from the Mississippi Sheiks’ Sweet Maggie and the down-and-dirty Frost Texas Tornado Blues to the Los Lobos blues-rocker Peace in the Neighborhood, to a punched-up version of Great Day interlaced with Pigat’s signature rockabilly licks.

In the middle of it all, the Sojourners slipped in a well-received take of Curtis Mayfield’s People Get Ready, a song reincarnated as a hit for succeeding generations by artists as diverse as The Impressions, Rod Stewart and Bob Marley.

You know you’ve won the crowd when you’ve got them clapping along to the music without prompting, and that’s just what the Sojourners did Saturday. A loud call for an encore brought them back for By and By (When the Morning Comes), a joyous, three-part harmony led in by Pigat’s sublime, understated intro.

The evening opened with dinner served by Malone’s Oceanside Bistro, accompanied by instrumental music from the North Island Community Band. It is the last dinner show for Malone’s a longtime sponsor and participant which is scheduled to close its doors this spring.

The fourth concert in the NICS 2011-12 schedule will feature Barney Bentall with multi-instrumentalist Eric Reid Mar. 11 at the Civic Centre. Tickets are $25 and are available at The Hobby Nook, Port Hardy Museum and Cafe Guido in Port Hardy and The Flower Shoppe in Port McNeill.

For info, visit niconcert.ca.

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre Grad 2018

Grade 12 student Jade Hanuse was presented with her diploma from Principal Sheila Mcgrath.

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Port Hardy takes next step towards legal cannabis sales

Two public hearings were held to seek input on cannabis zoning bylaw

Kervin’s Corner: Eye sore or tourist attraction? District of Port Hardy to display windmill blade anyway

Do you like the idea of putting up the windmill blade on display in Port Hardy?

Port Harvey bylaw lands in supreme court

Property owners attempt to quash zoning bylaw allowing shipyard

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Serial killer Robert Pickton transferred to Quebec: victim’s family

Pickton was convicted in December 2007 of six counts of second degree murder

Man shot dead in Surrey ID’d as hockey coach and father of two

Paul Bennett was ‘a champion for the sport,’ team manager says

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

Amalgamation fails in North Cowichan and Duncan

North Cowichan says yes, but Duncan says no

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Most Read