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MP3 Rock My Soul - GOSPEL: Traditional Gospel

Rootsy, raise-the-rafters gospel for everyone. Unique, traditional sound authentic to the way black and blues gospel used to be played.

11 MP3 Songs
GOSPEL: Traditional Gospel, URBAN/R&B: Rhythm & Blues

With its unique brand of rousing, old-fashioned, raise-the-rafters gospel music, Rock My Soul has garnered an ever-growing following and has performed to packed houses on the East Coast. Now, this 25-member choir''s first CD, which contains 11 of the group''s favorite songs, is available for gospel fans everywhere.

In October 2005, Rock My Soul shared the stage with Boston''s legendary Silverleaf Gospel Singers, recipients of the New England Conservatory of Music''s Lifetime Achievement Award. As one member of the group said, "You just don''t get to hear gospel done this way anymore. I''m so glad you all are doing it!"

Thanks to the musical guidance of choir director Cheryl Stromski, Rock My Soul is as tight and polished as a fine choral group, yet has the immediacy and soulfulness of the authentic American gospel sound they’re looking to revive. The choir is also accompanied by a full band led by noted acoustic guitarist Brett Hartenbach.

The self-titled album contains new renditions of old songs by gospel greats such as Blind Willie Johnson, Robert Anderson and the Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey, to name a few. Listeners will be treated to soloist Dawn Boyer''s impassioned interpretations of "Nobody''s Fault But Mine," "Walk Over God''s Heaven," "I''m Tired," and "Prayer Changes Things," and quieter, but no less uplifting a cappella songs like "Amen," led by soloist Mary Kull, and a unique arrangement of the familiar spiritual "Rock My Soul," led by soloist Jenny Price. Two favorites, "Let Your Light Shine on Me," and "His Eye Is on the Sparrow/I Sing Because I''m Happy," led by Chester Buckley, Dawn Boyer, Carolyn Morse-Finn, and Jenny Price, are sure to please. An added treat is the liner notes--listeners are introduced to some fascinating stories behind some of the songs, as well as the secret code hidden behind some of the lyrics. Rock My Soul is as passionate about the rich history and cultural heritage behind gospel music as it is about the songs themselves.

Rock My Soul’s live performances have never failed to bring audiences to their feet. And the lively, full-spirited singing by this inter-faith, non-denominational group is also sure to make listeners want to jump up and dance with joy. Highly recommended!

Rock My Soul Soloists:

Dawn Boyer first heard Southern Baptist gospel choirs as a child in North Carolina and developed a deep reverence and respect for the music. She’s heavily influenced by Mahalia Jackson, Aretha Franklin, and Marion Williams. Known as a soulful “shouter” as well as a singer of quiet, deep, warm resonance, she puts all of her heart and life experience into any song she sings. Her adult background is steeped in blues, soul, and R&B, and she has performed for audiences across the nation, singing with James Montgomery, Luther Guitar Junior Johnson, and Pinetop Perkins, to name a few. Her dynamic voice is both powerful and moving, but the emotion she gives to a song and to audiences is even more so. As Deacon Randy Green of Boston''s legendary Silverleaf Gospel Singers stated, “You can''t fake where gospel comes from, and she’s the real thing. That girl can sing!”

Chester Buckley has sung in gospel choirs most of his life, and his powerful, rich voice never fails to move audiences. Originally from Mississippi, Buckley and his family moved to Detroit and then finally to New England. It was in Kittery, Maine, that he heard Rock My Soul perform as a warm-up act for his sister, singer Lillian Buckley, and he joined the choir soon thereafter. When Chester sings, you can’t help but sit up and take notice, and “spellbinding” is the word many use to describe his performances.

A dynamic and versatile singer, Mary Kull has performed with a variety of bands and artists nationwide. In addition to her role as a soloist with Rock My Soul, she has performed as lead vocalist for several original projects, a hip hop artist, and various jazz and dance bands. Mary’s studio work includes 2 demos featuring all original material, album back-up vocals, and commercial voice-overs. Her live recordings include Clear Channel’s Instant Live at the Paradise Lounge in Boston. Live Radio performances include Bozeman, Montana’s KGLT 91.9 and Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s WSCA 106.1. Mary recently recorded a 3-song demo and plans to record an album in the coming year.

At the age of 18, Carolyn Morse-Finn sang throughout Europe to audiences in the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and, finally, Spain, where she stayed for 7 years. There, she managed a quintet in Madrid and did a TV appearance and several radio shows. She was invited to make a demo in London, then spent two years in Iran and Turkey, where daytime volunteer work brought her to orphanages and hospitals. She not only lifted children from their cribs and beds but lifted their spirits with music and laughter. Upon returning to the US, she sang as part of choirs and folk groups, always with a love for gospel music. She is one of the original members of Rock My Soul.

The sounds of old-time gospel music have filled Jenny’s life for as long as she can remember. She was born and raised in a small Louisiana town, and some of her first memories are sitting with her grandmother in church and listening to the congregation sing “He Set Me Free” and “The Old Rugged Cross.” She sang her first solo in church at age nine. Jenny joined the adult choir at age 13 and continued to sing regularly through her late 20s, at which time she moved to New England. She participated in Louisiana All State Youth Choir for 2 years in her late teens and sang in various community events throughout her life there. She was thrilled to begin singing with Rock My Soul in early 2004 and again be able to share her love for gospel with others.

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