by Michael P. Coleman
“Nothing on this earth can take you away from what God has planned for you and from what God wants you to have.” – Sarah Dash
Veteran singer-songwriter Sarah Dash is perhaps best known as one-third of the groundbreaking 70s group Labelle. Along with Patti LaBelle and Nona Hendryx, Dash cemented her place is music history with the multi-format 1974 smash “Lady Marmalade”. They almost single-handedly redefined the term “girl group”for a new generation, paving the way for acts like En Vogue, SWV, and Destiny’s Child.
After Labelle disbanded in 1977, the ladies pursued solo projects and Dash continued to record and perform live all over the world. Recently, she’s surprised some fans by releasing The Seventh Child, a church-steeped extravaganza that plays like a down home revival.
Unlike LaBelle’s contemporary gospel project from a few years ago, Dash serves up traditional“been to the water and been baptized”staples like “The Lord’s Prayer”(featuring a Mahalia Jackson-esque arrangement), “This Light Of Mine”, “The Lord Will Make A Way”, and “His Eye Is On The Sparrow”. The anointed project also includes originals “I’m Still Here”, “Don’t You Know He’ll Take Care Of You”, “Something Inside Of Me”, and “Hold On (He’ll Be Right There)”.
That’s not to say that The Seventh Child eschews contemporary sounds altogether. For example, the album’s “We Need More Love”will appeal to contemporary gospel fans and features a lovely exchange between Dash and her young niece on the intro, along with a stunning refrain with a children’s choir.
If you’re not familiar with Dash as a soloist, her formidable voice falls somewhere between LaBelle’s and gospel legend Albertina Walker’s. She is absolutely in her element on this exceptional album. In fact, the pastor’s daughter sounds like she’s finally found her way home.
Dash says The Seventh Child has been a long time coming, and gives glory and honor to the One who has always seen her through personal challenges.
“I have learned that there is nothing on this earth —not a person, an exercise, or a period in time —that can take you away from what God has planned for you and from what God wants you to have,”Dash told me. “I learned that if there is only one rule to adhere to, I had to adhere to what God has called me to do.”
Traditional gospel fans should be thrilled that Dash answered the call to record this album. If you’re reading this, answer the call to pick up a copy.
Sarah Dash’s The Seventh Child is available now at www.sarahdash.net.
Look to www.sacculturalhub.com for Michael P. Coleman’s EXCLUSIVE interview with Sarah Dash, during which Dash discusses highlights of her career, working with Patti LaBelle and Nona Hendryx, & recording her new album. She also testifies about overcoming life’s roadblocks.
Michael P. Coleman is a Sacramento-based freelance writer. Connect with him at www.michaelpcoleman.com or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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