Emily Duff from the album Hallelujah Hello available on Mr. Mudshow Music (by Henry Carrigan)
Emily Duff raises the church roof with her soulful vocals on the stunningly moving album Hallelujah Hello. She recorded it at FAME in Muscle Shoals with a crew of the Shoals’ finest: Will McFarlane on guitars, Bob Wray on bass, Clayton Ivey on Wurlitzer and B3, Justin Holder on drums, Kelvin Holly on guitars, Brad Guin on tenor sax, and Cindy Walker, James LeBlanc, and Marie Lewey on background vocals, among a holy host of others.
“Trust the Lord” soars right off Hallelujah Hello, floating along on the ethereal strains of the B3, with trembling guitars propelling the song higher and higher, until it reaches its climax with Duff moving off into a gospel shout. The title track rockets off the album, launching the feel-good, praise-God, it’s-great-to-be-alive foundation of the entire album. Background vocals elevate gospel and soul music, carrying us out of ourselves, and they do exactly that on the title track. The tune grabs the soul and doesn’t let go, commanding listeners to get out of their seats and praise God. “Get in the Water” is a hand-clapping celebration reminiscent of Paul Thorn’s and the McCrary Sisters’ fervent gospel barn burner “Come On, Let’s Go.” Guin’s sax on the instrumental bridge of “You, You, You,” and the bright guitars that open the song, propel this moving love song. The country, shuffle-like, gospel tune “Eggs All Day” gains its power from its recognition that food feeds the soul just as it sustains the body; the kingdom of God will be a feast: “when he calls you home/sweet as honeycomb/fresh coffee and eggs all day/nothing could be finer/here in God’s diner.” Every song on Hallelujah Hello moves and transforms, and Emily Duff testifies to the power of the Spirit on each of the powerful gospel tunes. (by Henry Carrigan)
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