The Como Mamas - Get An Understanding LP art

The right Reverend Vince Anderson is a soulman, musician and ordained minister. He brings his ministry of “Dirty Gospel”  to the people every week with the renowned “Reverend Vince Anderson and his Love Choir” residency, which takes place every Monday night at Union Pool (and just happens to be one of Okayplayer’s favorite live residencies, ever). OkayPrayer is a new semi-regular space for him to preach about the wonders of Dirty Gospel online. This week he introduces us to Mississippi-based gospel group The Como Mamas:

For years I was the minister of music at a Salvation Army church in Brooklyn. My favorite part of the service was testimony time. This is when the members of the congregation would stand up and tell us how God had delivered them from all kinds of temptation and strife. The stories would end with how they now have their health back, or have reunited with their wives and families. We would then sing a song like “Victory in Jesus” or something like that. I heard hundreds of touching and beautiful stories of people’s transformation and reconciliation. When I heard these stories, though, I often found myself more drawn to the parts about the hard times they endured than the inevitable victory. The stories of broken-ness rang more true to me. They betrayed a reality that at one time of or another we have all experienced.

Esther Mae Smith has the kind of voice that points to that brokenness. She sings lead in the Daptone gospel vocal group, The Como Mamas. Accompanied, a capella, by sisters Angela Taylor and Della Daniels, Esther tears through the traditional gospel catalog, with a voice that cracks with the emotion one only gets through the experience of a hard fought life. Through the cracks of her voice we see a light that points to a better place. Take the time to journey with Como Mamas, and to borrow the title of their latest record, maybe, just maybe, you will Get An Understanding.

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