Various Born Again Funk

The Numero Group's Good God! A Gospel Funk Hymnal collection of a few years ago was inspiring ― not least of all for having motivated further gospel funk compilations. It's hard to believe that some 30 to 40 years after these hot grooves were recorded that these tunes never made a bigger dent with soul audiences. These records were the result of mostly small start-ups with limited distribution, but the singular conviction of the music must have been a deal breaker ― not so anymore. From the get go, sublime opener "Like A Ship" by Pastor T.L. Barrett and the Youth For Christ Choir bathes the listener in liquid electric piano and reverb turned up to 11. Elsewhere, it's gutbucket soul with enthusiasm sometimes outweighing skill, with funky results. Lots of anachronistic touches in mid-'80s recordings reveal a groove that was still going strong a decade after it first hit its stride. It's impossible to ignore the messages if you're a non- believer, but if you believe in dancing, then consider yourself converted, to some degree. (Numero Group)