When you speak of excellence in gospel music, Luther Barnes & The Sunset Jubilaires is a group that hits the high marks.
Under Luther’s leadership, The Sunset Jubilaires have long been recognized as one of America’s top traditional groups as well as an international gospel powerhouse.
Deriving from one of gospel music’s influential musical family aggregations, Rocky Mount, North Carolina’s Barnes family, The Sunset Jubilaires have been traveling down this gospel highway for quite some time. “The group has been together close to 35 years, says Luther. “There are two generations of Barnes’ within the group. My three uncles, Haywood Barnes, William Barnes and William Pope are the ones that actually organized the group. Myself, along with another uncle, Roy Barnes, who also plays bass guitar, joined the group 20 years ago or so.”
Inspired by the likes of Andrae Crouch, the Williams Brothers, the Jackson Southernaires as well as his father, Rev. F.C. Barnes; Luther has crafted The Sunset Jubilaires into a group possessing a unique blend of voices and musicians with the uncanny ability to deliver a song in their own fashion. These are facts that have only increased their popularity.
Their immense popularity has opened the door for the group to perform at the prestigious Apollo Theatre, many of this country’s major amusement parks, along with travels to the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Jamaica and Germany.
In 1989, the gospel industry recognized their contributions, with the group winning a GMWA Excellence Award for “Group of the Year.” In 1991, Luther & The Sunsets Jubilaires also received nominations from the Stellar Awards and GMWA Excellence Awards for “Best Traditional Gospel Group.” Luther received the Vision Award in 1992 presented by the BET network’s popular Bobby Jones Gospel Show and Score (now Gospel Today) magazine. Luther & The Sunsets also received a 2000 Dove Award nomination for “Traditional Gospel Song of the Year” for “Heaven On My Mind” from their 1999 release entitled The Barnes Family “A Live Reunion”.
Luther Barnes & The Sunset Jubilaires tenth album for Atlanta International Records entitled, Wherever I Go, takes the group in a slightly different musical direction.
“The sound on this album is probably a little closer to what you hear in today’s music,” says Luther. “In listening to some of the songs, you’ll hear a little different flavor, more upbeat, more like a Boyz II Men type sound.”
Luther adds, “But we also perform some of our tried and true traditional songs. We didn’t want to totally tear away from that style, because we enjoy singing traditional music and there are a lot of people who still enjoy the traditional sound, and we didn’t want to lose them.”
Although Wherever I Go may incorporate somewhat of a new sound for The Sunset Jubilaires, the message they deliver remains the same; communicating God’s love and saving grace.
“The title track, “Wherever I Go” is a song I believe people can closely relate to,” says Luther. “It conveys the fact of the Lord being with us through ups and downs, heartaches and pain, sunshine and rain, our going out and coming in. There’s an upbeat, traditional flavored song called “Leaning On Jesus.” It’s a fast, churchy, quartet type song that will definitely have you up on your feet. There’s also a powerful invitational type song called “Lord I’m Here Waiting.” Overall, I feel really good about the songs and direction God is taking us on this album.”
Luther Barnes & the Sunset Jubilaires are committed to their music and ministry. Each project takes them to a higher level and with Wherever I Go, their hit making tradition continues. –Airgospel.com
Their 2004 Release, It’s Your Time, was nominated for a Grammy Award and won the 2005Stellar for Traditional CD of the Year.
In 2014, Luther Barnes signed with D.A. Johnson’s, SRT Entertainment and will be releasing his first choir album in a decade with his newly formed church choir, The Restoration Worship Center Choir, entitled The Favor Of God.
Photo Credit :: Artist Management