To a sultry rocking chair tempo, “Proof” gets a meaty rendering by Rhythm of Gospel Award nominee K.T. Ellis, who is making his recording debut on Blacksmoke Music Worldwide.
Ellis’s vocal delivery is marinated in deep southern soul quartet stylings. Kenneth Coleman enters into a duet with Ellis on a litany of church aphorisms that describe how God is a protector and keeper. To hammer home the point, they share snippets of personal testimonies while the musicians and background vocalists keep things silky.
First off, any song by James Grear & Company and Princess of Praise Maurette Brown Clark is very likely going to be excellent. When the two artists combine, however, the result is very likely going to be a JGM Pick of the Week.
As is “I Wanna Say Thank You,” a woefully underappreciated composition by Pharis Evans Jr.
Besides a beguiling lead vocal from Maurette, the lyrics to this tenderly rhythmic selection are what sell it. The measured and humble gratitude of the sentiment sounds culled from a prayer book. I can almost hear the Rev. James Cleveland singing the song and incorporating his contemplative caesura, letting the listener hear and reflect on each line before moving on to the next.