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Hear The Jones Family Singers Make A Soulful Call For Peace And Tolerance

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Monday June 22, 2015

The tiny town of Markham, Texas is home to 2.3 square miles of land, just over 1,000 people and Bishop Fred A. Jones’ Mt. Zion Pentecostal Cathedral. Mt. Zion is, in turn, home to the Jones Family Singers, consisting of Jones, five of his daughters and his two sons (among others). Veteran practitioners of electrifying southern gospel, the Jones Family has only recently found the ears of those much beyond Markham.

“You guys are the perfect soul group for atheists,” longtime Texas music writer Michael Corcoran lovingly told Jones a few years ago. Corcoran had been attempting to steer Jones toward a more secular sound in hopes that his family would find a wider audience. Jones, a devout preacher, politely declined. But after Corcoran attracted documentary filmmaker Alan Berg to Jones’ story and music producers John Croslin and Eric Friend came on board, Jones dipped his toes in the secular waters.

The resulting album, 2014’s The Spirit Speaks, took the Jones Family not just beyond Markham, but all the way to Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center and into the pages of The New York Times. At the same time, Berg’s documentary, The Jones Family Will Make A Way, premiered at SXSW this year.

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