Three time Grammy Award-Winners and Gospel Music Hall of Famers, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, are undoubtedly shuffling around a few trophies to find space for one of their most recent award statues. This year, the Clouds were named the 22nd Annual James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award recipients by the Stellar Awards Gospel Music Academy. This was only one of a few honors the group has received already this year. Also this year, they have been recognized by the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) for their accomplishments as gospel music pioneers. And it doesn’t stop there. Their recent live performance on the Bobby Jones Gospel Show was named the highest rated performance in the history of the broadcast, which airs weekly on BET. These are stellar honors for a stellar career that spans nearly 4 decades of gospel music history. The Clouds, however, are still far from the finish line, and they’re in no hurry to get there. On April 3, 2007, The Mighty Clouds of Joy plan to keep things Movin’ with the release of their 37th full-length CD.
For their latest release, The Mighty Clouds of Joy have once again enlisted the production and songwriting brilliance of Sanchez Harley, also producer of their critically acclaimed 36th album In The House Of The Lord - Live In Houston. Clouds’ lead singer, Joe Ligon suggests you B.Y.O.P (bring your own praise) for this one. The live album jump starts in high-speed with the hand-clapping Jesus Will Turn It Around and continues with a hard hitting, up-tempo praise anthem, appropriately titled, Bring Your Own Praise. Additional songs featured on the CD include the folk guitar driven At the Foot of the Cross and the groovy title track Movin’. This release is packed with praise, but it doesn’t forget the worship. The track Rain On Me covers the listener with a worshipful flood of God’s love, a feeling that’s clearly close to the Clouds’ hearts. “It’s the rain that can only come from heaven,” Joe says. “Rain down love, understanding, peace, joy, health… the rain that only our mighty God can send.” The Clouds are more passionate than they have ever been about their music, so one can rest assured that Movin’ is not just another notch in their fan belt, but a treasured keepsake from their 47 years of faithful gospel ministry.
Gospel innovators from the very start, the Mighty Clouds of Joy were the first quartet group to transform their stage presence with colorful matching outfits and smooth choreography. They challenged the sound barriers with live instruments such as bass, drums, and keyboards, a more than noticeable change from the previously sparse traditional quartet accompaniment of a lone electric guitar. 1974 saw the dawn of a decade-long string of big R&B-flavored Gospel hit records, such as Mighty High, which peaked at No.2 on the Billboard dance charts in 1975. The group has been embraced by secular audiences at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the White House, and the Apollo Theater. Still, after 47 years, the Clouds remain rooted in ministry and inspired to create albums that pay homage to the quintessence of the Quartet legacy, relying on their unshakeable passion for Christ and their love of spreading His gospel to help make it happen. Their new project, Movin’, is sure to go down in history as yet another talking point in the group’s wealthy musical legacy.
47 years and still going strong…The word retire is as good as foreign to this group of trailblazers. For up to the minute details surrounding their upcoming release Movin’ visit their website at www.mightycloudsofjoy.com, or on their myspace page at www.myspace.com/themightycloudsofjoy.
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