Imperial Golden Crown Harmonizers

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The Austin, TX, gospel group Imperial Golden Crown Harmonizers is a remarkable collective in several ways. First, the group contains some of the city's finest musicians -- and that's a strong statement…
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The Austin, TX, gospel group Imperial Golden Crown Harmonizers is a remarkable collective in several ways. First, the group contains some of the city's finest musicians -- and that's a strong statement in a town like Austin -- with backgrounds in several genres, including country, jazz, blues, and reggae. Longtime Lucinda Williams sideman Gurf Morlix, who has produced for Robert Earl Keen, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and Ian McLagan (to name a few) is a singer and guitarist for the Harmonizers. Also on board are singer/bassist Sarah Brown, singer/guitarist Scrappy Jud Newcomb (who plays with Beaver Nelson), guitarist/singer Malcolm "Papi Mali," percussionist Paul "Buddha" Mills, and singer Martha Merriell. Secondly, as one would expect from the background of the members, the group takes an eclectic and varied approach to spiritual music. Most remarkable, however, is that, starting in 1997, the Harmonizers began convening every Sunday for "gospel brunches" in Austin, passing the plate at the shows to raise funds for various charities. The group's self-titled debut, released in June 2001, includes a wide range of spiritual music, from soulful fare such as Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready" to traditional numbers like "Hem of His Garment" to the gospel blues of Blind Willie Johnson's "John the Revelator."