The Grammy ® Award-nominated gospel trio, The Rance Allen Group, has debuted at No. 7 on Billboard Magazine’s Top Gospel Albums sales chart with its 25th album `Live From San Francisco’ (Tyscot Records). The stand-alone DVD version of the album bowed at No. 13 on Billboard’s Top Music Video sales chart.
The dynamic group pioneered the fusion of R&B-styled rhythms with spiritual and message music themes in the 1970s. It’s a winning style that has won them fans as varied as American Idol’s Randy Jackson and `80s rockers Huey Lewis & The News. They continue to labor in this musical vineyard on the new eleven-song set that was recorded at the San Francisco Bay area’s Richmond Memorial Auditorium.
“The theme really is to be encouraged in a very kind of depressed time,” says Rance Allen who sees parallels between today’s social climate and that of when his group was formed during the Civil Rights and Vietnam eras. “It’s a time of unusual stress with all of the killings going on, the political mess that’s going on and there’s just so many people who have just moved away from trusting God and believing in Jesus Christ. Our job of encouraging and uplifting will never be done. We’ll have to keep working on this until the Lord comes to take us home.”
The album’s first radio single “All Day Long” is a warm, uplifting song with R&B and Jazz styling that is centered around Rance Allen’s lion-like roar of a wail. The project features new songs such as the ballad “My Delight” (led by Steve Allen), the quartet-styled stomper “Hold On” and the soulful tune “Vessel” (led by Paul Porter) that is guaranteed to raise the roof.
The groups also dusts off some stellar B-sides from past albums and gives them new arrangements such as the old school soul of “Like A Good Neighbor” and the funk of “I’m Not Givin’ Up Givin’ Out Givin’ Givin’ In” that is lead by Tom Allen. The group provides some retro-soul-styled dance-floor rhythms with songs such as “Got Me Dancin’,” “Can’t Give Up (The Groove)” and “Victory Dance.” The collection is rounded out with fan favorites such as the group’s signature songs “Miracle Worker” and “Something About The Name of Jesus.”
The Rance Allen Group was formed in 1965 in Monroe, MI as a self-contained band. In 1972, they signed to Stax Records’ Gospel Truth subsidiary where they recorded a series of gritty gospel songs that won them main-stage tours with R&B headliners such as Isaac Hayes and Barry White. The group has been recording ever since and was honored with the BMI Trailblazer Award in 2008.