The Sojourners The Sojourners

Canadian lovers of gospel music seeking some domestic practitioners of the art have been quick to welcome Vancouver, BC-based trio the Sojourners. Their 2007 album, Hold On, was their debut, but these American expatriates are far from musical novices, boasting 50 years of singing experience apiece. Their work together as an ensemble pays off on a second album that's even more impressive. Along with producer Steve Dawson, Marcus Mosely, Will Sanders and Ron Small have come up with strong arrangements to such traditional gospel tunes as "Brother Moses Smote The Water," "Another Soldier Gone" and "Great Day." The Gary Davis classic "Death Don't Have No Mercy" is brought to vibrant life, and the choice of Los Lobos tune "The Neighborhood" was a smart one. The Sojourners' solo vocal turns and group harmonies are first-rate, and there's nice musical variety. Dawson's guitar work is typically fluent, the B3 and Wurlitzer accompaniment of Mike Kalanj is equally effective, and Jesse Zubot's mandolin adds a country tinge to "By And By." This is sweet and soulful stuff, indeed. (Black Hen)