Andrew Wartts & The Gospel Story Tellers

Raised in the same St. Louis neighborhood and congregation as Donny Hathaway, Andrew Wartts was inspired at a young age by the sounds produced by the piano prodigy, both inside church and out. After graduation, Wartts logged time with a number of quartets, including the Southern Wonders, the Tyler Singers, the Starlight Harmonizers, and the Faithful Wonders, before settling in Bloomington, Illinois, to write his opus. The Gospel Story Tellers weren’t so much a group as a one-off in-studio session, convened for a single retelling of the bible. Corralling musician friends from his hometown–including Earl Wright, then working as Oliver Sain’s guitarist–Wartts set up shop at Nashville’s Champ studio. “Peter And John” is a preeminent example of Gospel Funk, biting just as heavily from James Brown’s “Give It Up, Or Turn It Loose” as it does the 3rd chapter of Acts.

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