The Harlem Gospel Travelers are not from Harlem. They came to Harlem, however, from far-flung corners of the five boroughs of New York City, and it was in Harlem, that legendary center of African-American culture, that they found their voices. As members of the music education program Gospel For Teens, these young men spent many hours on the subway or the bus to ultimately end up at an unassuming brownstone on W. 126th Street. They walked through the red door at the parlor level, the one with the cross on it, and inside they found a world of music. Gospel music.
As their teacher, my job was less to impart information, and more to show these talented young men what they already knew. They already knew how to sing, that much was obvious, but it was here that they learned what their voices could really do and how to use them. We listened to the music of the masters: The Soul Stirrers, The Swan Silvertones, The Violinaires and The Swanee Quintet, and these young men, really boys at the time, soaked it all in.
They quickly moved from imitation to creation, writing their own songs and building original arrangements of traditional material from the ground up. They honed and tightened their harmonies. They learned when to shout and when to whisper. What you have before you is the distillation of all their hard work -- the first full-length album from The Harlem Gospel Travelers.
Each member of the group gets a chance to lead here, and each gets to showcase his unique and individual voice. Their styles are already fully formed at such an early age (the youngest member is 18, the oldest just 21), and they use them here to great effect. Each song has a purpose, but the goal of the album as a whole is simple: to glorify the name of God and to sing His praises. We hope you like the music included on “He’s On Time," but more than that, we hope it lifts up your spirit and brings you joy for years to come.