'Dripping Blood' five years in the making
Marcia Rowe, Gleaner Writer
Carlene Davis has completed 14 secular and 10 gospel albums to date. Her latest of the latter, Dripping Blood, was launched last Thursday at Redbones Blues Café, New Kingston.
Its powerful title, the cover art showing a penitent Davis looking up to the blood-covered face of Jesus, the image on the CD depicting two hands (also dripping blood), the songs' lyrics, as well as Davis' relaxed vocals combine to give the album a fresh feel and sound.
Davis accounted for not only the new set's difference from her previous albums, but also said why it has taken her five years to complete it.
"When you think of having done so many albums, it is a case of 'God, what next? How do I do this? God, I have to do something fresh and different'," Davis said. She explained that there was a time in her life when she was trying to please the masses, as demanded by the music industry.
"So a song like Divine Authority took me nearly five years to finish writing it. You wrote it and put it down. Finally, I decided to call in my drummer, Dave Green, and we sat down and figured out how to deliver this rhythm," Davis said.
Divine Authority, which can be described as Davis' testimonial song, has a samba beat "because that's how I feel in my relationship with the Lord. It is a happy lifestyle for me. I am no longer stressed by what people say, because there is a peace that comes with your relationship with Him and I try to live out that peace. Now that I am in this relationship with the Lord and that Jesus died for my sin, what am I doing holding on to this? He said the battle belongs to Him. Let God do the work."
time has changed
The ordained minister's previous album was released five years ago. She explained that "time has changed. The idea of putting out an album every other year or every two years is kinda crazy, because there is so much music out there now. The market is flooded. People are not buying CDs anymore. There is bootlegging and everything. I think you need time to really promote your music and get it cemented in the marketplace. I think three to five years is good."
It is safe to say all the tracks on the album are strong, but even for the performer there must be a preference. Davis, being diplomatic, at first said she has many favourites on the set, but eventually came up with a list. Not surprisingly, Divine Authority is at the top, followed by the title track Dripping Blood and Only Your Glory.
Dripping Blood, which addresses the significance of the crucifixion of Christ, appears twice on the 17-track CD. Initially, Davis sings it solo and, when it reappears as the bonus track, she is joined by Pastor Franz Fletcher. Other artistes featured on Dripping Blood are Jabez on I Love you Lord, Papa San on the foot-stomping Jubilee, and Naomi Cowan on the ballad All About You.
Other tracks on Dripping Blood are the dancehall-flavoured Live For You, the altar call of Only Our Glory, the uptempo reggae My Rock My Song, the ska-based King of Kings, 10,000 Reasons, and Thank You, Mr Mandela.
Dripping Blood is produced by Carlene Davis and Tommy Cowan. All the tracks were done to live music.