Grammy Award winning producer, composer and recording artist Donald Lawrence, who is best known for his #1 gospel radio hits “Encourage Yourself” and “Back II Eden,” has entered the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart with his retro soul smash, “Spiritual.” The bass heavy groove is even winning fans in the Fourth Estate.
Pop critic Ben Ratliff calls it a masterpiece. “The song builds a tower,” he wrote in a recent review. “The last two minutes become breathtaking: the shifting harmony, and Ms. McAllister-Dyke’s hollering give it nearly gravitational force.”
The song hails from Lawrence’s recently released #1 CD, “YRM: Your Righteous Mind“ (Verity Gospel Music Group). The new album blends the classicism of traditional gospel music and soulful grooves with uplifting, messages of self-affirmation and practical exercises of faith. Among the collection’s highlights are the upbeat mantra “YRM (Your Righteous Mind)” featuring Dorinda Clark Cole, the smooth “We Agree” with Israel Houghton and “Through The Fire,” a rousing makeover of Chaka Khan’s 1984 hit. “This project really doesn’t differ from my past ones,” Lawrence says. “I want to continue to teach, through song, spiritual principles and laws based on scriptures.”
TV “One on One” host, Cathy Hughes, interviews Lawrence about gospel music and its popularity on a special gospel edition of the program that airs Sunday, September 11, 2011 @ 8 p.m. on TV One. It leads up to the kick-off of Verizon’s How Sweet The Sound gospel choir competition and tour that Lawrence has hosted for the last four years. The tour launches on September 15th in Dallas, TX. Tickets range from $10-$15 and are available from www.ticketmaster.com .
9/15 American Airlines Center Dallas, TX 7:30 p.m.
9/17 Philips Arena Atlanta, GA 7:30 p.m.
9/19 Time Warner Cable Arena Charlotte, NC 7:30 p.m.
9/21 Verizon Center Washington, D.C. 7:30 p.m.
9/24 Joe Louis Arena Detroit, MI 7:30 p.m.
9/26 Scottrade Center St. Louis, MO 7:30 p.m.
9/27 United Center Chicago, IL 7:30 p.m.
10/1 Staples Center Los Angeles, CA 7:30 p.m.
10/4 Oracle Arena Oakland, CA 7:30 p.m.
You can view further details by visiting: www.howsweetthesound.com/contest/tour_schedule