Did you know that our band was born from Farideh's love of African American spiritual music?  That's right!   Sometimes we sing gospel!  Don't get your panties in a knot, the four of us come from different spiritual backgrounds, and when you attend our concerts, you will soon realize we are not out to promote any religious message.  For us it's all about the music!  One of our favourite gospel singers is known as the Queen of Gospel, Mahalia Jackson.  We often use one of her quotes during our concerts and it goes like this:  "If your vein ain't popping out of your forehead, if your wig ain't falling off your head, and if you ain't dripping with sweat, from every pore in your body, then you ain't singing!"  So we Riveters try to do all three!

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Mahalia is one of our favourite women in music, and also a solid role model!  She was born in New Orlean's in 1911 and grew up singing spiritual music in churches.  She had to deal with racism, poverty, and the pressure to change her gospel genre of music to further her career.  She stuck to it however, and never once broke her vow to sing gospel.  Mahalia toured internationally with her powerful voice, making gospel music popular all over the world.  Struggling with racism, Mahalia eventually became involved with the civil rights movement.  She became friends with Martin Luther King, and the two fought along side for the movement.  Godpel music had become the soundtrack for the movement in the 60's, and it's positive uplifting message empowered the people to incite real change in politics.

So here is a link to Essential Mahalia Jackson, the full album, for your listening pleasure.  Enjoy!

With love, Melissa

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