Richard Smallwood gave DC fans a preview of his new CD Promises during Radio One’s Praise 104.1 “An Intimate Evening with Richard Smallwood” at the New Horizon Hall of Elegance on Sunday, July 17th in Mt. Ranier, MD. Promises will be released Tuesday, July 19th.
Richard Smallwood and his ensemble Vision treated the intimate group of fans to several selections from Promises including “Mender”, “Facts Are Truth Is” and the current hit single, “Trust Me”. Vanessa Williams led “Is There Any Way?” which Smallwood said is his favorite song penned by his mentor and friend, the late Bishop Walter Hawkins. The performance concluded with “Anthem of Praise” from the Persuaded: Live in D.C. album.
In keeping with the intimate feel of the evening there were question and answer sessions between performances. The maestro answered a variety of questions including the origins of “Total Praise”, his friendship with Donnie Hathaway, and the longevity of Vision. He also took time to stress the importance of formal and informal music education for singers and musicians. He reminded church musicians that they should be able to diversify their music and be familiar with a variety of musical styles, including hymns.
Click HERE to see a slideshow of the performance.
The event was hosted by Praise 104.1’s Cheryl Jackson. She thanked Dr. Charlene Monk for opening the doors of New Horizon for the CD release event. National recording artists Byron Cage (2011 Stellar Award Winner) and Ricky Dillard (Keep Living) were in attendance. Angelia Robinson and Brian Spriggs also came to support one of DC’s own. A long lined formed after the performance as fans waited to purchase CDs and have them signed by the legendary artist.
With producer Steven Ford (who has collaborated with artists ranging from Vickie Winans to Tye Tribbett) at the helm, Smallwood offers the same sophisticated symphony of praise on Promises that established his name over 30 years ago. “Not too many people understand my musical insanity,” he joked at the live session. “And Steven Ford has been working with me since the Middle Ages.” The two veterans pulled their best resources to spotlight a collection that spotlights not only the promises of God but also further solidifies Smallwood’s stature as one of gospel music’s greatest tunesmiths. Like Donald Lawrence said, “Richard writes like Rogers & Hammerstein. His songs are ageless and they never go away.”
DC fans can also check out these other Promises events:
Monday, July 18th. 8:00 p.m. ET Promises Online Listening Party Bonnerfide Radio hosts an online listening party where listeners can tune in and hear the full Promises album and participate in a live chat.
Monday, July 18th. 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pre-Release & CD Signing Fans will have the opportunity to meet the gospel legend and purchase a pre-release copy of Promises and have it signed by the maestro himself. Potomac Adventist Book and Health Food Store, 12004 Cherry Hill Road, Silver Spring, MD
Promises will be available at local area stores July 19th. Follow Richard Smallwood on Twitter or Facebook