Smokie Norful Live
By Monica Watkins, GospelMusicChannel.com
EMI Gospel recording artist Smokie Norful is set to deliver his first ever live CD recording simply titled Smokie Norful LIVE. Smokie Norful LIVE is 10 tracks and just over an hour worth of celebration and inspiration as only Norful can deliver.
Recorded live in Memphis, TN, Smokie Norful LIVE launches with stadium-sized enthusiasm not often captured on Gospel music projects. Norful sets the tone for the project from track one, "He's Gonna Come Through." Tye Tribbett, one of Gospel music's most energetic performers, along with a seasoned band of musicians, ushers Norful to the stage like a rock star. The crowd erupts, and from there it's ON! The music, the message, the vocals, the arrangement, the guest appearance by Tribbett and the sheer energy on this track are more than enough to get you excited about the nine songs to follow.
The momentum continues through the next song, "I Will Bless the Lord," and is evident in the audience response. "I Will Bless the Lord" is underscored by a tantalizing call-and-response dance between Norful and his singers. It's impossible to remain seated or even remain still on this track. You will absolutely "bless the Lord" on your feet!
"Justified" is the superbly selected first single from the project. This eight and a half minute musical vitamin is pre-empted by a powerful mini-sermon by Pastor Norful, then punctuated by the powerful "Mighty God." With some discreet disco elements, it's apparent the audience is inspired and charged as they sing along: "Mighty God, mighty God, mighty God is He!"
Norful's gift to pen songs that reach deep into the hearts and lives of every listener is displayed throughout this project. Other notables on Smokie Norful LIVE include "Dear God," a heartfelt musical thank you note, and a spirit-infused re-make of the timeless Commodores classic "Jesus is Love," with famed R&B artist Heather Headley.
Smokie Norful LIVE is a strong, penetrating work of musical inspiration. The project is fun, hopeful, energetic, and encouraging. As a pastor and an artist, Norful's heart is clearly on display throughout the project, singing as if the music is medicine for his soul. And it certainly is for anyone listening. Smokie Norful LIVE could very well be noted as one of, if not the most powerful live Gospel music recording of the year.
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