Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens’ “Cold World”

Naomi Shelton

Joshua Daniel

In mid 2014 I picked up Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queen’s “Cold World” from Silver Platters based solely on the cover and the hype sticker Daptone Records placed on it. The sticker read that this record contained, “Soul music of the highest caliber.” I brought the record home and spun it. I then spun it again and again. I have not been able to put this record down. I even recommended this album to at least 6 friends that ask for my help with music. They immediately asked me to buy them a copy.

Born in the 40’s Naomi Shelton is an old school gospel singer. She started her career in church choirs and moved to adapt a soul sound to gospel music. Her music is akin to The Staple singers in many ways lyrically. The production on “Cold World” is spot on with Gabriel Roth running the show. You can expect the typical slick Daptone production you have heard with Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley and the Budos Band. Many of Daptone’s house players lend a hand in instrumentation.

Though this is a soul record I would almost label it folk lyrically. Most songs describe the trials of the world and rising up above the smoke. Other songs are devotional songs praising Jesus. Although, I am not a Christian I find this music to stands up above its religious undertones. It must be said this record was recorded in Mono. That holds some significance because this album would fit in and rival any soul or gospel music put out before it.

Have you paid attention to Charles Bradley on KEXP or maybe Sharon Jones? I feel that this record deserves the same attention as either of those two artists. Surprisingly there are copies still floating around in each of the Silver Platters locations. Go pick this record up and put it on your turntable or in your cd player and turn the music up. You literally will receive a smile on your face and a warm feeling in your heart after listening.

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