Before he became a solo soul star, the young Sam Cooke sang with the Soul Stirrers, who pioneered a blend of the old-school gospel vocal-group style and contemporary (that is, 1950s) R&B. PEACE IN THE VALLEY contains some of Cooke's most stirring moments with the Stirrers, from the celebratory, uptempo feel of “Come and Go to That Land” to the impassioned, hopeful “Peace in the Valley.” Don't be misled by the fact that that Cooke's is the only name on the cover, though; these tracks represent a true group effort, as Cooke's voice alternately rides atop and blends seamlessly in with those of his bandmates, like Paul Foster and R.B. Robinson. Cooke would retain a spiritual element even in his pop era, but you can truly hear his gospel roots on PEACE IN THE VALLEY.
AllMusic Review by Jim Allen