Album Reviews

The Jones Family Singers

Live From Mt. Zion

Artist:     The Jones Family Singers

Album:     Live From Mt. Zion

Label:     Arts+Labor

Release Date:     07/24/2015


Bishop Fred Jones Sr., his five daughters, two sons, plus a drummer, guitarist and percussionist, provide listeners with soulful sounds that blend touches of rock, R&B and blues. The group’s powerful love of music and religion have given them the ability to perform worldwide for over two decades.

Live From Mt. Zion was recorded at Mt. Zion Pentecostal Holiness Church in Markham, Texas. “Do It With Excitement” is the intro (and the shortest track, at :40). Along with closer “The Lord Is Calling,” they are perfect bookends to the album. “I Am” rolls in second with outstanding vocals from Alexis Jones. She grips you with the intent of not letting go until track seven is done. Each song leading up to “The Lord Is Calling” is a sermon in itself. The tracks are long but worth it, for what is being preached. “I Love You” is 14:35, but you won’t notice, so just listen and do what the Jones family tells you to do.

This is unlike anything you may have heard before, channeling the family’s belief in the goodness of God with a gospel meets Muscle Shoals sound. Though spiritual music and songs of praise may not be for everyone, there is no denying the urge to rock, roll and dance along with this group. Even if this isn’t your preferred genre, one listen will make it easy to see why the Jones Family Singers sell out shows at churches and festivals alike, and evoke standing ovations wherever they may go. NPR called them a “must-see act” at 2014’s SXSW. No surprise there.

—Brenda Hillegas

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