The gifted songwriter and vocalist Anthony Brown brought musical excellence to his “Anthony Brown & group therAPy” CD release concert on Monday, August 20. In fact, it was more than a concert. It was a first-rate musical production that showcased their musical depth and range.
Lines formed at First Baptist Church of Glenarden (FBCG) long before doors were scheduled to open, as many from all parts of the DMV (D.C., Maryland and Virginia) came to supports its native son in his major label debut. They were not disappointed as the group gave all that they had, and then some. To call it a five-star performance would not do it justice. It would be safe to say one of Brown’s songs “Beyond, Beyond” most aptly describes what took place.
Brown made full use of the giftings of those in his church body and proved he is deeply entrenched within the very fiber of FBCG where he serves under the leadership of Pastor John K. Jenkins, Sr. Stellar Award winner and FBCG Minister of Music Stephen Hurd opened the concert with the praise team. After that the night belonged to Anthony Brown & group therAPy.
The show opened with a skit with group therAPy followed by a video of Brown carrying multiple bags and discussing his journey. One by one he stripped himself of the baggage, “laying aside every weight” and we see him climbing, then running to the doors of First Baptist Church of Glenarden and bursting through. The concert began with Brown and his exuberant vocal ensemble group therAPy delivering some of the most amazing vocals in the industry. Executive producer and Tyscot label mate Vashawn Mitchell briefly joined the group onstage.
Actor/Producer Joshua Jenkins did an impassioned monologue about sowing and reaping which was the prologue for “Harvest Song” featuring mentor Maurette Brown Clark. As the song concluded Brown described how he labored earnestly while waiting patiently for his day to come. It was more than a musical run; it was an earnest outpouring from a heart filled with gratitude to his God, his church and the others who stood with him on his journey. “I love my Glenarden family who have been praying for me for a long time,” Brown said.
Other songs include “Water” which is surely destined to be among the many hits from this album. Other songs included “Deep Enough,” “Better Days,” “The Overflow” and “Beyond, Beyond” which pays homage to FBCG’s 2010 church theme.
Brown is a graduate of Morgan State University and was under the tutelage of the famed Dr. Nathan Carter. He and the Morgan State Alumni Choir with Ramon Bryant Braxton on piano paid a phenomenal tribute to Carter which began with the choir marching down the aisles and singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” followed by “Precious Lord” and “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” Members of group therAPy were part of the choir.
So many of Brown’s peers came to support his concert. Many of his mentors and greatest advocates were there, including the Richard Smallwood, Donald Lawrence, Kim Burrell and Byron Cage. Other gospel luminaries in attendance were Sheri Jones-Moffett, Jessica Reedy, Jason Nelson, Patrick Lundy, Shirley Berkeley, Kenny Taylor, Cheryl Jackson, Phillip Carter, Charles Butler. The entire Tyscot family came out to support their new artist as he performed before an estimated crowd of 3,500.
Brown and his group paid homage to many of his mentors by singing their songs including Richard Smallwood’s “Total Praise,” the song Brown sang for Maurette Brown Clark years ago that led to their successful collaboration. They also sang the songs of Kim Burrell, Byron Cage, Donnie McClurkin and Donald Lawrence, who group therAPy often sings background for on Bobby Jones Gospel appearances.
Before ending the night Brown took time to thank Pastor John K. Jenkins, Sr. for pouring into his life spiritually. He said Pastor Jenkins actually postponed his vacation so he could attend the release concert. He also said his father, who had been his only pastor, told him Pastor Jenkins was a man of integrity. Brown went on to define his role at FBCG, “I’m not an artist; I’m not a celebrity, but a member.”
The concert ended with the high energy “Testimony.” The single is rapidly climbing the charts and was the most added this week. During and after the concert accolades poured in on social media sites:
“This Anthony Brown release concert is amazing. Everybody …run top speed and go buy this Anthony Brown”~Byron Cage
“…I’m so blown away by the creativity behind tonight’s presentation.”~Charles Butler
“This was a night that will always be remembered and should be mentioned in an official “CD Release Manual”!! Job very well done, Anthony and team!!” God be praised!!!”-Jared Sawyers
“Still thinking about Anthony Brown & Group therAPy’s AWESOME production tonight. It was truly not your average CD release, it was an anointed, superb, professional offering that will go down in the history of my mind.”~Kenny Taylor
More than an hour after the concert ended Anthony Brown was still signing CD’s. It was a fitting end to an awe-inspiring night. “Anthony Brown & group therAPy” is available in stores and online everywhere. For more information on this amazing group visit www.tyscot.com.
© 2012 Sarah Hearn