Early in 2013, Fred Hammond released "United Tenors," an album wherein the gospel giant recruited three of his peers – Brian Courtney Wilson, Dave Hollister, and Eric Robertson -- to help him deliver his brand of fresh, funky gospel to adoring fans. The album features the same vocal theatrics the multi-talented Hammond displays at his live concerts. Fred Hammond has an opera singer's poise, a funkmaster's soul, a gospel singer's faith, and a showman's love for his audience. Not one wrong note comes out of Hammond's mouth, not one missed beat or misstep. He is a singer's singer, able to rouse a concert hall like a revival preacher with the power of his voice. Each performance is a tour-de-force. For his audience, a Fred Hammond show is a ticket to paradise.
"United Tenors" demonstrates Hammond's ability to imbue every song with a power all its own. From the first track, "Unshakeable," it's clear that Hammond is in control. The song is funky and tight and sets the tone for the entire album. Gospel is given a new face here with elements of hip-hop, sampling, scratching and other throwback styles enlivening the mix. Hammond and friends may have invented a new style of gospel altogether.
When Fred Hammond started his first group, Commissioned, back in the '80s, the young producer and singer carved out a niche for himself as a major force in the industry. A singer since the age of 12, nothing could keep the dynamic Hammond down when he took off on a solo career with 1991's "I Am Persuaded," an album that reached No. 11 on Billboard's Top Gospel Albums. From there, Hammond established his firm place in the world of contemporary black music. "God, Love & Romance," released in 2012, reached No. 1 and for good reason. In songs like "Face It All," Hammond fuses the love song with gospel praise so perfectly that the match seems made in heaven.