Living Blues - 11/03, pp.70-1
"...It is the finely crafted material - written mostly by Wallace and Luster - and the sincerity with which it is rendered that cause the Sensational Nightingales to still shine brightly in the world of traditional gospel quartet music..."
The Sensational Nightingales: Joseph Wallace, Larry Moore, Horace Thompson, Darrell Luster (vocals).
Producers: Darrell Luster, Joseph Wallace, Horace Thompson.
Recorded at Malaco Studios, Jackson, Mississippi.
SONGS TO EDIFY was nominated for the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album.
The Sensational Nightingales were formed as a quintet in the 1940s (when they were known as simply the Nightingales) and have reassembled in various configurations all the way through to the present, with tenor and guitarist Joseph "Jo Jo" Wallace the only original member still working with the group. Now a quartet, Larry Moore, Horace "Sug" Thompson, and guitarist Darrell Luster round out the current lineup on Songs to Edify. The original group was anchored by the intense, rough-hewed vocals of baritone Julius Cheeks, the prototype of a hard gospel singer, but little here rises quite to the level of that legacy. The Nightingales are a solidly professional outfit, however, and the album does feature sharp group harmonies and several easy-spirited gospel shuffles, including "Please Send Lazarus" and "Separation Line." ~ Steve Leggett