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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sweet Deliverance - You're My Rock

 Sweet Deliverance - You're My Rock
2011, Sweet Deliverance Ministries

Sweet Deliverance is a seven member a cappella group that has been singing the praises of Jesus Christ for over three decades.  What started out as an old style gospel vocal quartet has transitioned over the years in both sound and size.  Members have come, gone and returned, and Sweet Deliverance has transitioned to primarily original material as they continue to share their mission with all who will listen.  Sweet Deliverance's album You're My Rock was released in 2006, when the group was still a quartet.  Voiced by Bob Allsup (bass); Gary Ferguson (Tenor); David Morgan (Lead) and Kevin Percival (1st Tenor), You're My Rock displays a group that is comfortable in their sound and message, and inspired by faith.

Sweet Deliverance gets things rolling with the title track.  "You're My Rock" is pure a cappella gospel with a hint of 1980's classic rock triad-style harmonies.  Catchy and full of spirit, the song finds David Morgan ripping up the lead vocal line and having a ball with it.  Rare Earth's "I Just Want To Celebrate" gets the royal treatment in a funky version set to minimalist percussion.  Bob Allsup makes the lead line a soulful affair, and Sweet Deliverance comes off sounding a lot like their a cappella brethren The Blenders (before they changed into a pop band).  "Thank You" is presented almost as a 1960's vocal group number, with Allsup once again taking the lead vocal.

"It's Alright" finds Sweet Deliverance trading lightly on the vocal ground of Take 6.  While the foursome can't quite compete with Take 6 in fullness of sound, the vocalizations here take on an urgency and beauty that is surprising, and Morgan is spot-on in the lead.  "God Of Hope And Love" is a prayerful song of thanks and praise voiced again by Morgan.  The vocal harmonies here are as tight as can be.  Sweet Deliverances takes a bit of a detour through the uninspired "The Only Way" (Kevin Percival) and "We Sing Holy" (Gary Ferguson).  While both songs are obviously buoyed by faith, the energy heard both before and after is simply not here. 

Things get hopping again on "I Need You", with a quirky vocal arrangement that grabs your attention.  David Morgan shows the charisma of a true front man here, and Sweet Deliverance has a definite spiritual swagger going on with this tune.  "Broken Heart" (Gary Ferguson) features a gorgeous, compact vocal arrangement that's based in old-style, mixolydian harmony that's been brushed up with modern accoutrements.  Sweet Deliverance takes their leave with "Amazing Love Medley", stringing together "Think About His Love", "Show Me Your Ways" and "Amazing Love".  It's a solid closer that shows off the diversity of sounds the group can create with mostly just their voices.

Sweet Deliverance continues to grow in stature and size.  Since the recording of You're My Rock, former member Russ Wooten has returned to the fold.  Acappella alum Ken McAlpin has joined the group, as has David Morgan's younger brother Stephen.  Ever dynamic and full of spirit, Sweet Deliverance continues to sing praise and glory to God.  Their album "You're My Rock" is exceedingly accessible, whether you're in it for the Christian ideals behind the songs or the pure beauty of the voices assembled here. 

Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about Sweet Deliverance at or on Facebook.  You’re My Rock is available on CD and as a download through  Digital versions are also available via and iTunes.

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