Lord moves in mysterious ways. When Canadian blues icon Jim Byrnes
called Vancouver based gospel singer Marcus Mosely on the phone
a few years ago to ask if he could round up a few friends to record
some back up vocals for a new album, no one could have guessed what
would happen next.
the moment Mosely and his pals stepped up to the microphone and began singing, they realized that they
had something very special going on. When Byrnes dubbed the trio
The Sojourners the name stuck and – as they say – the
rest is history.
Formative years spent singing in the churches of Marcus Mosely, Will Sanders and Khari McClelland, (from Ralls, Texas, Alexandria, Louisiana and Detroit, Michigan respectively) give The Sojourners' sound an authentic edge that only comes with experience. This is real gospel - blessed with a soul that can't be faked.
on the tail of their session with Byrnes, the Sojourners went into
the studio with roots music whiz Steve Dawson to record Hold On,
their first solo album in 2007. Three years and many sessions later,
they took all they had learned in
between and returned to record a second CD simply entitled The Sojourners.
the new kids on the block, the trio had definite ideas of how they
wanted their follow up record to sound, and one listen through the
songs they’ve captured here shows that they’ve succeeded
beyond their wildest expectations.
is not music that strives to be polite. In The Sojourners’
universe, echoes of doo wop, R&B, country and blues weave together
to create a unique sound that has all but vanished from today’s
is gospel music that can take a punch and remain standing. Singing
praise music with their own special ‘stank’, the Vancouver
based Sojourners sound just as at home in a road house bar as they
do in a revival tent.
has travelling the hard road between sin, loss and redemption sounded
as glorious as it does on these eleven timeless recordings. Listening
to these seasoned vocalists breathe new life into classic tunes
is as transcendent an introduction to gospel as anyone could ever
hope for. To hear all three singers’ distinct vocals meet
at the crossroads is to experience the signature Sojourners sound
as different gospel traditions come together and blend mellifluously
as one.The recording is nominated for a Juno Award for Blues Album
of the Year.
of the group’s time together include a definitive show with
the Dixie Hummingbirds, opening spots with Jim Byrnes at the Vancouver
Jazz Festival for both Dr. John and the Blind Boys of Alabama and
featured stages at most of the major Canadian folk and roots festivals.
on the Prize’ from Hold On was selected for inclusion in Let
Freedom Sing, a Time-Life compilation box set celebrating the music
of the American civil rights era. The Sojourners were also pleased
to participate in both the CD and DVD of the award-winning Things
About Coming My Way: A Tribute to the music of the Mississippi Sheiks.
They receive a steady stream of invitations to contribute to the recordings and live performances of a diverse range of artists, spanning several genres, from the outer reaches of jazz to beat box / street poetry. Marcus and Will became Canadian citizens in the summer of 2008. The band was invited to perform on Parliament Hill on Canada Day that year, where they sang the national anthem.
Sojourners are a rock solid unit and proof positive that faith can
move mountains. But, don’t let that scare you away. Sinner
or saved - wherever you are on your own personal journey, you should
listen to The Sojourners. You’ll feel better for it.
Marcus was born in a small town in the Texas panhandle, called Ralls.
Marcus soon discovered that he carried around a well of music in
his soul. Over the past 54 years, Marcus has found himself drawing
from the well in many places around the world. He has sung throughout
North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the South Pacific, owing
to 10 years of service as a missionary. He began recording back
in 1975 with a folk gospel group called ‘The Family’. Just before
Expo 86, Marcus made Vancouver his home. Since then, he has starred
in various highly successful stage productions such as ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’,
‘Black and Gold Revue’ and ‘Show Boat’. Marcus has toured Canada
giving concerts and conducting gospel choral workshops.
Through his childhood, in Alexandria, Louisiana, Will sang in choirs,
ensembles, and even played in the school band. But his heart was
always drawn to singing gospel. In his first time out he won a starring
role in the Arts Club production of Ann Mortifee’s tour de force,
‘When the Rains Come’. He was nominated for a Jessie Richardson
Award for Best Performance in a Musical that year (1994). He also
went on to star in the Arts Club’s ‘Five Guys Named Moe’. Over the
years, Will has sung with a number of Vancouver based Gospel ensembles:
‘Circle Of Voices’, ‘Cloud Nine’ and ‘The Gospel Experience’.
Khari was born and raised on the streets of Detroit. He picked up
his first instrument, the trumpet, at the age of nine, and sang
throughout his early years. Khari came to Vancouver seven years
ago and almost immediately started performing and making inroads
into the Vancouver music scene. Vancouver’s strong roots music
community and his early influences, ranging from Motown to hip-hop,
have combined to form a dynamic performer. In 2007, Khari formed
an acapella gospel quartet, Cornerstone, with Frazey Ford, Ora Cogan,
and Matt Anderson. Cornerstone was well-received and played major
festivals and local venues alike. Khari met The Sojourners at the
Vancouver Folk Music Festival. That fortuitous event led to him
becoming a permanent member of the group.