Live from Los Angeles, Vol. 2

by: Beverly Crawford

Perhaps because this is the second volume of Beverly Crawford's Live from Los Angeles, she begins in what seems like midstride, launching the disc with the old-time traditional gospel romp "It's About Time for a Miracle!" "Come on and clap your hands," the husky-voiced singer exhorts her listeners, as if they needed any encouragement, "We goin' over to the Promised Land." The opening might have suggested a fully traditional outing, but Crawford turns to more of an R&B sound on "For Who You Are," while "Radical Praise" even employs a synthesizer. No matter what the style, however, Crawford invests her performances with energy and force. Even when she slows down for a ballad on "Serve You Well," she quickly follows it with a reprise in which she revs back up to full power. Shawn McLemore joins in on her own composition "Everything Will Be Alright," which also features Shirley Murdock, and Crawford steps aside entirely in favor of a young relative, the soft-singing Latrina Crawford, on "I Need a Word." But the traditional sound is back at the end with "Marvelous," suggesting that there's at least enough energy to fuel another volume. ~ William Ruhlmann

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