For The Revelations, their latest offering, The Cost Of Living (Decision/Sony RED), is a labor of love years in the making. Since they first came on the scene in 2008 with their Deep Soul EP(Decision), Brooklyn, NY’s The Revelations have represented a twenty-first-century take on classic soul—one which shows reverence for the masters, but with a uniquely modern sensibility—a sound The New York Times’ Jon Pareles calls “revivalism without poses or quotation marks”.
|The Revelations Salute Bobby Womack
On The Cost Of Living, Rell Gaddis assumes the lead vocal duties previously provided by Tre Williams. This is by no means Rell’s debut with The Revelations, however. Rell has been part of the group’s writing team from their onset, and performed with the band for years, even contributing lead vocals to “It’s Too Late” from their 2009 album The Bleeding Edge (Decision). Since being signed to Jay-Z’s Roc-a-fella Records back in 1997, Rell has had a prolific singing and writing career, creating his own records, as well as penning and lending vocals to songs featuring artists Usher (Rell wrote Usher's #1 RnB Hit "Here I Stand"), Jay-Z, Kanye West, Mary J Blige, and many more.
This workman-like mentality is pervasive throughout the band as well. The Revelations feature Wes Mingus on guitar, Gintas Janusonis on drums, and newcomer Ben Zwerin on bass. Each accomplished performing and session musicians in their own right, The Revelations have combined to provide music for icons such as the Wu-Tang Clan and Lee “Scratch” Perry, as well as soul royalty Otis Clay, Willie Clayton, Benny Latimore, and Swamp Dogg.
The distinctive blues/rock/soul sound of The Cost Of Living was recorded at soul mecca Royal Studios in Memphis, TN, produced by Bob Perry with Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell, as well as The Revelations themselves. For this project, the band is joined by Stax and Hi Records session legends Bobby Manuel (guitar), Lester Snell (keyboards), and Charles Hodges (organ). Lyrically, The Cost Of Living weaves tales of perseverance despite hardship. From the opening track, “Mama”, about a single mother scrounging to raise her children, to the jaded optimism of “It’s Ok”, the pragmatism of “Money Makes The World Go ‘Round”, and the heart-broken disillusionment of the soul classic “Got To Use My Imagination”, The Revelations continue their tradition of presenting blues topics with soul music's urgency.
The Revelations’ engaging and energetic live performances continue to win over audiences from Brooklyn to the Mississippi Delta to California and beyond, creating fans such as A-listers B.B. King, Bobby Womack and Stevie Wonder in the process. This is new, true soul music with a sharp, modern edge.