Lonnie Norwood's 1st EP Release
Lonnie Norwood (Audacious Praise - ChicaGO REACH Gospel Workshop) introduces himself vocally through traditional and original songs of his heritage, soundly rooted in the struggles and sentiments of a disenfranchised African people.
The opening track of ROOTED is Norwood's version of the African American spiritual, “Lawd, How Come Me He’uh?”, in homage to his West African heritage. It portrays African civilization disrupted by the "criminally-enterprised" Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. While voicing aloud a Dr. Watts hymn call (I love the Lord), Norwood taps into the double consciousness of the enslaved who question in an internal aside God's love against the backdrop of the unprecedented struggle of slavery. Weary consciousness emerges into Black self-determination in Norwood’s spoken word stretch, galvanized by invoking his ancestral ties, and even a brief nod to James Baldwin (I Am Not Your Negro). A roaring chorus with resounding inversion declares that “this world [of pain and torture] is not my home”.
Other tracks include the spiritual turned free-metered, gospelized field holler “Two Wings”, an achingly honest ode to civil rights protests in “’Til We’uh All Free” that remembers Black lives interrupted by violence in Dr. Martin Luther King and George Floyd, an original song in the understated Black hymn choir tradition from the Carolinas entitled “Goin’ Thru”, an original gospel hymn “Mah Soul Shall Have”, which is an intrepid faith declaration of peace, joy, and rest in the midst of life’s adversities and atrocities. Norwood includes a fresh remake of an uplifting anthem he wrote in 2017 for Audacious Praise entitled “Ah'm Somebody” as a bonus track. Liner notes are included.
With Norwood covering all vocals and production, ROOTED is his 1st release of solo content. It is raw, hauntingly authentic, moving, and unapologetically Black. He is hopeful that this EP will serve as a catalyst for greater opportunities to share the complexities of Africana history.