by Emmanuel Joseph
Gospel music lovers demonstrated their overwhelming support for talented local female artiste, Neesha Woodz, when they turned out in their hundreds to help her celebrate the official launch of her debut album at the Collymore Rock Nazarene Church on Saturday night.
In the audience were pastors, worship leaders, gospel music fans, fellow gospel acts, Neesha’s church colleagues and family as well as Principal of the Graydon Sealy Secondary School, at the Garrison, Matthew Farley. They all joined in lending moral and financial backing to the fulfillment of a vision for this young music minister.
By the end of the concert, what evolved was tantamount to one big “praise party”, particularly when the host of the evening “wrapped the ribbon around the package” of her I Need You CD launch with two very groovy tempo tracks.
The energetic Neesha rode the rhythm on a Sherwin Gardner composition All Ova, a funky soca, bouncy, foot-stomping, waist-moving, hand-raising, selection and Love My Jesus – a similarly driving, verve-filled, mash-up-the-place, congaline-forming, flag-raising zouk number, she penned.
She also found time to get her House In Order in a melodic soca style. Her entire set reflected the varying rhythms of the Caribbean, including the title song from the album I Need You, done in reggae, and Nagga Bow, a “bubble-licious” dancehall-er, which was evidently massive with the patrons.
One of the songs of significance and with sentimental value for her was I Am, her 100th composition, which was written on the first anniversary of her mother’s death in May 2010.
To say Neesha Woodz gave the best performance of a local gospel music — and some secular — acts witnessed in recent times, would be an understatement. Being there to see her perform was worth it. The same could be said, though in varying degrees, for guest artistes Paula Hinds, Allison Norville-Forde, Larix, The Miraclettes, Shane Forrester, Cornerstone, The 13th Apostle, Nayan and Bishop and Andre Belle, the mimer.