Jewell & Converted

Live in St. Louis

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This set is not by the Alaskan poet songstress, but the killer gospel singer and her backing band, Converted. Live in St. Louis is a rave-up, shout-out, burning R&B set of contemporary gospel music by one of the industry's very best. There are 13 cuts here, all of them played and sung impeccably, and Jewell's voice is simply from heaven itself. The feel of the record is live, with everything in your face. The only problem -- and it's a small one -- is that the producers thought that they really needed to get the kind of excitement Jewell & Converted generate live, so the crowd noise is ever-present. After a few minutes, though, it's merely part of the backdrop, and the record goes on to bring its joyful noise impeccably to anyone willing to listen. The folks who produced this shouldn't have tried so hard to make sure the listener got it, and instead should have let the music speak for itself. It's more than enough to convince and inspire.

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