Rev Roy Reed and the Zion Jubilees

Sharp records – Sultonproductions Booking

Rev. Roy Reed & the Zion Jubilees Lets Give Him Praise One things for certain: young gospel artists may throw everything but the kitchen sink into their contemporary arrangements, but quartets pretty much stick to their knitting. That is not to say that gospel quartets havent adapted to predominant musical styles and techniques over time they have, but you know that deep quartet sound when you hear it. The groups strive for the quintessentially authentic, and the community that supports them fervently would have it no other way. Take, for instance, Rev. Roy Reed and the Zion Jubilees. Formed fifty years ago as the Reed Brothers, the Zion Jubilees garnered national attention in the 1970s while signed to the Jewel label. TBGB caught up with the group in 2006 and reviewed two of their releases: the self-produced In the Precious Name of Jesus and One More River to Cross (Jubu 2004). The group has issued a couple more releases since then, all available on CD Baby.

Let’s Give Him Praise, released on Tony Sharpers Sharp Records, is the Zion Jubilees’ latest album and taps the same vein as the group’s earlier projects. The quartet offers a bluesy, deep southern groove, a sound as sunny, humid, and languorous as a Mississippi mid-summer afternoon. Selections like My Father House and One More River to Cross are classic examples of their southern-fried soulfulness. Standout tracks on the album include the chugging My Soul to Be Lost, featuring Joe O. Bailey’s deliciously gravelly yodels. The uncanny You Better Get Ready, on which Rev. Roy Reed declares You better get ready, you got to die, but the loping beat and relaxed Impressions-like harmonies are spoonfuls of sugar to make the bitter truth go down easy.