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Journal of Gospel Music

 Dave Bass & the DBGs
 All Over the Place
 DNB Associates (release date: June 15, 2018) 

Although Dave Bass led a vocal quartet on 1997’s The Welcome Table, on his 2018 release, All Over the Place, he fronts the DBGs (Dave Bass Group), a musical quartet with the sonic signature of a pub blues-rock band.

Bass delivers six straightforward selections on his latest project. The theme of the first three tracks is the importance of holding onto faith as the only way to overcome the difficulties of life (Hebrews 11:1). For example, the title  track depicts the 24/7 work of an omnipresent God while “I Don’t Need Any Proof” is a paean to the power of belief.

Like Bass’s 2013 single “When Will It End,” three songs on All Over the Place are topical and, to a lesser or greater extent, tinged with social commentary. The best of the three, “We Made it Through,” is an ode to the spirit of  African Americans who have not only overcome four hundred years of enslavement, degradation, deprivation, and disenfranchisement, but have done so with ironclad endurance and unwavering hope.

On “Old School or New School,” Bass ignores the traditional versus contemporary gospel music argument to say that “as long as it’s based on the Bible,” the music is gospel. The musical foundation of this song falls squarely  in the middle, incorporating aspects of both old and new school. The album’s concluding piece, “Remember the Vets,” is a patriotic piece set appropriately to a march tempo.

While the musicians are skilled and Bass’s vocal delivery is genuine, I really missed the prominence of the quartet that backed him on The Welcome Table. Given his past experience singing lead with the Mighty Royal  Travelers and working with the Spiritual Volunteers of Washington, DC, before going solo, the combined lead and quartet went together like bacon and eggs. The spirit of Sam Cooke that hung over that project is absent here.

Three of Five Stars

Pick: “We Made it Through”

  

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Journal of Gospel Music

Journal of Gospel Music

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