I grew up feasting on the nourishment of gospel greats, such as; Andrae Crouch, Bebe & Cece, Commissioned, and O’landa Draper. As a teenager it was quite common to find me in my bedroom, smack-dab in front of my Emerson cassette player, and jamming out to my gospel favs.
My cassette deck, of over 100 cassettes, included the, powerful, but not well known, Nor Cal Mass Choir. Although hidden from the limelight, they were one of my absolute favorite ensembles to listen to. Under the direction of the dynamic duo, Aaron and Vonnie Lopez, they created the soundtrack of my first steps as a Christian. With Aaron at the keyboard, and Vonnie on vocals, they completely transformed the way that my home church approached God in worship. As years passed, Vonnie began to collaborate with gospel great, Kurt Carr, and her audience began to grow. However, her music never gained the attention that many of her contemporaries experienced.
This past week, my Facebook news feed was hit with a tsunami of YouTube videos starring this vocalist. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that she recently auditioned, for a new reality TV series, World’s Best. Backed up by “The High Praise Choir,” vocalist Vonnie Lopez, belted out a soulful rendition of Andrae Crouch’s “My Tribute (To God be the Glory).” The start of her interpretation of this song felt much like the embrace of an old relative. Although there was nothing out of the ordinary, it felt familiar, good, and right. My reaction, however, changed after she sang the fourth line of the song. In a matter of milliseconds I was teleported into a corridor of “all the right feels.” Apparently, I wasn’t the only one with this reaction. Judge, Faith Hill, stated, “This is what it feels like to have the Holy Spirit in a place,” judge Drew Barrymore, commented, “There is something that really happened just now…,” and judge, RuPaul, added, “… You are anointed.” Had I been there, I would have said, “ That my friends… is what you call soul butter.”
Stay tuned for more episodes of Soul Butter Station. Here, you can expect to encounter gospel & soulful sounds that have seeped into my soul like soft butter on freshly baked biscuits. Enjoy. 😊
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