Release Date: May 19, 2017
Record label: Daptone
Genre(s): Gospel, Religious, Southern Gospel, Black Gospel
Out of Como, Missouri comes the American South's toughest power trio. The Como Mamas are the real thing. Ester Mae Wilbourn, Della Daniels and Angelia Taylor are the kind of natural talents that can push music outside of a category. This is a gospel record through and through, but you don't have to be a fan of the genre to appreciate its strengths. On opener and title track "Move Upstairs," Taylor's lead vocal will command your attention, and earn more than a few comparisons to Mahalia Jackson, while highlight "Out of the Wilderness," would be a standout in any hip-hop DJ's set.
I've been worshipping this record for months now. Fresh off one of my many jaunts Southbound, this time in and around Como, Mississippi for visits to two of my favorite musicians final resting places, that of the great R.L. Burnside and Mississippi Fred McDowell. The latest offering from the enigmatic Daptone family, Move Upstairs, by the incomparable trio of gospel singers, the Como Mamas, played its part as the intrinsic soundtrack of my travels.
The sixth volume in Daptone's gospel series is a return performance by the Como Mamas, a trio of gospel singers from the tiny town in Panola County in northwestern Mississippi. Ester Mae Wilbourn, Angela Taylor, and her sister Della Daniels have been singing together since they were children. The trio appeared on Daptone's excellent compilation Como Now, and their debut full-length date, Get an Understanding, in 2013.
After a bring-the-house-down show at Harlem's Apollo as part of the Daptone Super Soul Revue, THE COMO MAMAS - Ester Mae Smith, plus sisters Della Daniels and Angela Taylor - headed to Daptone's House Of Soul in Brooklyn to record Move Upstairs (**** Daptone), their second album for the label. Their first, 2013's Get An Understanding, is an outstanding piece of a cappella gospel sung live in Mount Mariah Baptist church in their native Como, Mississippi. This time, with The Glorifiers, led by Gabe Roth with the line-up completed by Jimmy Hill, Thomas Brenneck and Homer Steinweiss, they are even more potent and passionate.