A legendary song needs a legendary artist behind the mic and instrumentation. Or several. “People Get Ready” is back, after a short hiatus from the mainstream music scene. This iconic song, sewn into the fabric of the Civil Rights Movement and the musical lexicon, is now a single from Grammy Award Winning singer and musician, Skip Martin. The Dazz Band and Kool & The Gang member has called upon his many famous friends to get onboard with a Curtis Mayfield-penned song. This train is a movin’ and a groovin’ with a timeless spirit.
If you’re a first-time listener to “People Get Ready” it’s critical to understand the backstory, or the song’s foundation. During the Sixties, with vocal groups like The Temptations and The Four Tops starting to incorporate social justice and awareness into their lyrics, Mayfield and his group The Impressions, too, entered the politically conscious musical landscape. That said, with so many comparisons to the summer of 2020 to the turbulent sixties, it’s no wonder Martin chose the positive and Grammy Hall of Fame song (2008) to cover. Martin, along with Stevie Wonder, Taylor Dayne, Neal McCoy and many more multiple-award winning and multi-platinum artists joined together, with all proceeds benefiting the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. This is a song for the ages and hearing it this summer feels like it’s meant to be. It doesn’t have to take on more than it already does- in the spiritual sense it says all it needs to say. The singers and the euphoric music bed illuminates the air, it changes the entire scope of the song because to be blunt, it makes you happy.
If you’re a fan of the songs “Love Train” (The O’Jays) and “People Got To Be Free” (The Rascals), you will love “People Get Ready”. Martin’s fine tribute “People Get Ready” hits the mark. If you just close your eyes and listen, it sets you on a riveting course. Martin, no doubt, capitalizes on the notion that these singers have familiar-sounding voices, easily recognizable artistry. When we think of Stevie Wonder, we have happy thoughts, and there’s a strong trust. The same for artists like Dayne and CeCe Peniston. Their voices move mountains. Just like the Little Engine that could, this song keeps chugging and chugging away. “People Get Ready” is never lacking, it’s always moving forward and keeping a high impact. I loved the train metaphor and the way that it invites everyone, that we’re all a community. It has an upbeat tempo, a shimmery finish with brass and piano tones that could color any pallet on any given day.
Skip Martin and his friends have taken the “People Get Ready” baton and honor its legacy. This song continues to be a driving force, and a spiritual gift to humanity. Music, after all, connects us all. What better way to continue giving back to the community and creating special bonds than the amazing song “People Get Ready”. Skip Martin and his friends are just stunning.
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