RADIO 2 'CANADA LIVE' CONCERTS
Jim Brynes and the Sojourners at Richards on Richards
- July 2009 [ listen
'The Sojourners' CD Release Party at the Rogue Folk
Club - June 2010 [ listen
Me Guide Me' on Slippin' Into Darkness, Shore
104fm [ watch
'People Get Ready' with C.R Avery [
Go Where I Send Thee' at the MapleBlues Awards
'He Calls That Religion' at Tractorgrease [
'Run On' with Jim Byrnes [
ARTISTS THE SOJOURNERS HAVE RECORDED WITH
Jim Byrnes - My Walking Stick (Black Hen)
Jill Barber - Chances (Outside)
Old Man Luedecke - Proof of Love (Black Hen)
C.R. Avery (CBC Radio Two 'Fuse' show)
Jim Byrnes - House of Refuge (Black Hen)
PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT 'THE SOJOURNERS' CD
Steve Dawson provides an invigorating musical backdrop
featuring his own exceptional guitar skills, along with
bass, drums, Wurlitzer and Hammond B-3 organs, and old
friend Jesse Zubot on mandolin. The Sojourners confirms
music lightning can strike twice in the same place."
men have an extensive gospel pedigree, singing in church
as young men in their hometowns. On this set, though
the gospel "feel' is the driving force, there is
also a common thread with soul-influenced groups such
as Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions. And, the addition
of producer Steve Dawson's incredible string work gives
this one a decided "Saturday night" edge to
go along with the "Sunday morning" influences.
That soulful feel is evident in cuts such as "When
I Die," and the leadoff "Nobody Can Turn Me
Around," with its multi-layered harmonies accentuated
by Dawson's slide and B-3 from Mike Kalanj. Will Sanders'
upper-register vocals take center stage in tribute to
our fallen military heroes, "Another Soldier Gone."
Steve's slide again provides the perfect foil to the
harmonies in "Great Day," and the socially-conscious
"The Neighborhood." Jesse Zubot also adds
sweet mandolin on the old-school set-closer, "By
And By." We had two favorites, too. Marcus takes
the lead on the uplifting story of the "Strange
Man at the well" with the power to cleanse your
spirit! And, Steve's lap steel adds to the deeply-brooding
mix of Rev. Gary Davis' "Death Don't Have No Mercy."
Whether you are sinner or saint, you'll definitely feel
better after giving a listen to "The Sojourners."
and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society.
Sojourners are Marcus Mosely, Will Sanders and Ron Small.
They cut their teeth singing in the church in their
respective hometowns of Ralls, Texas; Chicago and Alexandria,
Louisiana. They got together a few years ago, when Canadian
musician Jim Byrnes asked Mosely to round up some backup
singers for a session. This is their second CD for the
Canadian Black Hen label, Steve Dawson is once more
called on to produce and play guitar, Mike Kalanj plays
keyboards, Keith Lowe is on bass and Geoff Hicks plays
drums. The Sojourners draw on influences from the gospel,
soul, blues, r&b and country traditions, throw them
in their own melting pot, and emerge with a unique sound.
This music grew on me every time I played it..."
Wight, Blues & Rhythm
years ago, Canadian blues singer Jim Byrnes needed some
backup vocals for a new album. He called his friend,
Vancouver-based gospel singer Marcus Mosely, who contacted
two of his friends, Will Sanders and Ron Small. When
the trio began singing, they knew that they had stumbled
onto something special. During the session, Byrnes gave
them the name The Soujourners, and an act was born.
After the session with Byrnes, they teamed with roots
music producer/performer Steve Dawson to make their
own recording, and then they made a name for themselves
appearing on numerous sessions. Their latest self-titled
release, on Black Hen Music, is an excellent showcase
for their vocal talents, honed over a combined 150 years
of musical experience. Re-enlisting Dawson as producer,
the trio is presented in a traditional classic gospel
setting, highlighted by Dawson’s stellar blues-based
guitar work and Mike Kalanj’s soulful Hammond
B-3, and a tight rhythm section (Keith Lowe –
bass and Geoff Hicks – drums). Those wonderful
group harmonies are the selling point of the disc, however...
The Sojourners’ vision of gospel music has roots
in soul, country, blues, and doo-wop. Whatever your
religious leanings may be, you’ll find that there
is a lot to love in their music."
Clarke, Blues Bytes
black gents of this trio have been singing for over
50 years but only together for the last few after meeting
by accident doing a back up session. It’s a gospel
session, but it doesn’t sound like anything you
ever heard on Duke or Malaco, it sounds more like the
kind of roots session you wish some of the boring farts
in the genre would apply their talents to making. If
there’s something atavistic about this you can’t
put your finger on, it’s this. Remember those
movies from the 30s when the movie moguls hadn’t
codified the language of film yet and they were trying
to be all things to all people? These guys sound like
the black singing group that would pop up in a Marx
Bros. movie for no reason and do a number to cleanse
your palette while the Marx’s set the scene for
their next round of shtick. This record is a great find
and you’ll probably like it even more if you aren’t
a gospel fan since you won’t be bringing a moldy
fig sensibility to the proceeding. That, and it sounds
like Maria Muldaur/Bonnie Raitt gospel. We dig it and
you will too."
Spector, Midwest Records
with another album, Vancouver's gospel trio The Sojourners
-- Will Sanders, Ron Small and Marcus Mosely -- step
into their album with joy, fire and confidence. Those
feelings take a strong hold in the lively opener, Nobody
Can Turn Me Around, a bass-led, organ-drenched, R&B
gospel number featuring a gnarly lead guitar solo from
Steve Dawson. Then there's the gritty city funk of The
Neighbourhood and a snappy update of the old Motherlode
hit When I Die. Yes, The Sojourners step right in with
fun and a good beat, praising the Lord and praising
the prayer. After all, It's Hard to Stumble (When You're
On Your Knees).
vocal trio the Sojourners appear regularly with singer-guitarist
Jim Byrnes, and here they get their own time and space
to perform a rousing set of new and traditional gospel
songs. Marcus Mosely, Ron Small and Will Sanders sing
sweet harmonies, sometimes alternating the lead voice
on each verse of a song. All three gentlemen have been
around a while, and their musical influences span generations.
Lead Me Guide Me and Nobody Can Turn Me Around both
have 1950s elements, the latter using that "bump-bump
bump, bump-bump bump" beat so popular 50 years
ago. When I Die, on the other hand, sets the way-back
machine to the 1970s; both the vocals and the electric
instruments belong in something the O'Jays would record.
And the guitar-heavy The Neighborhood has the bite of
ZZ Top. The backing band shines as brightly as the vocalists.
Special mention goes to guitarist, producer and label
owner Steve Dawson, who, playing a number of stringed
instruments, adds just the right colours to the sound
PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT THE 'HOLD ON' CD
you from the first moment of the soaring title track
with pitch-perfect harmonies, Hold On is the righteous
11-track debut of Vancouver-based gospel trio the Sojourners.
For 40 minutes, Will Sanders, Ron Small and Marcus Mosely
reinforce each other’s deep Southern traditional
vocals that shine like church stained glass.
— NOW Magazine
On contains lots of snappy, soulful tunes sung by Will
Sanders, Ron Small and Marcus Mosely. Each singer has
a fantastic voice in his own right and they all combine
to make a powerful, pleasing sound, with no one singer
standing out from the rest.”
guys are as authentic as the well-worn pews and well-used
Bibles stationed in any Church welcoming the sounds
of Gospel songs. Rich and textured voices that harmonize
along a rolling sea of sound waves; The Sojourners take
you on a gentle walk down the back alleys and pathways
of the soul and have you cathartically ending up on
the other side.”
your spiritual inclinations, this is a gem. Produced
by Steve Dawson, who also contributes some killer guitar,
and accompanied by bassist Keith Lowe and drummer Geoff
Hicks. It was recorded in three days and feels wonderfully
From ‘Eyes to the Prize’ to ‘Father
Along’, it’s soul-stirring stuff. Rating:
— The Province, Vancouver.
producer Dawson wisely employs minimal accompaniment
… as he strives to recover that ‘old school’
spirited sound of seminal sanctified groups such as
the Soul Stirrers and the Swan Silvertones - while cleverly
updating matters with subtly layered vocal arrangements
reminiscent of Curtis Mayfield’s hit-making Impressions
— Sing Out!
backing Jim Byrnes’ wonderful, Juno-winning 2006
recording House of Refuge, this Vancouver-based gospel
trio’s debut is an old school gem. Ron Small,
Will Sanders and Marcus Mosely are music veterans and
integral members of the Good Noise Vancouver Gospel
Choir. On “Hold On’, the trio produces soulful
harmonic and rhythmic textures carved from a sanctified
repertoire of gospel, folk, and soul classics.”
— The Times-Colonist, Victoria.
Sojourners specialize in close, old-time quartet harmony.
Hold On proves they are well schooled in the gospel
quartet songbook, as they offer up authentic readings
of some of the songbook’s classic compositions.
The Sojourners are preserving the jubilee-style of quartet
singing that was once the most popular form of gospel
music. And doing a marvelous job of it, I must say.”
Three out of Four Stars.
— The Black Gospel Blog
people whose tastes run towards the adamantly secular
should find at least one thing here to enjoy, in the
form of the trio’s cover of Curtis Mayfield’s
People Get Ready” - though even there, The Sojourners
bring the song’s spiritual meaning to the fore.
Hold On is a phenomenal album, and an excellent reminder
that sometimes it’s important to look beyond your
usual tastes, because it can often lead to wonderful