Ricky Dillard — “Choirmaster” — New Album Review

Music Review

By Taylor Valery

Freelance Music Reviewer

What You Need to Know 

Ricky Dillard is without question one of gospel music’s most treasured artists. He has released more than 10 albums, with “Choirmaster” being his first releases since 2017’s “10 (Live).” Ricky Dillard recorded “Choirmaster” live in Chicago, at the Haven of Rest Missionary Baptist Church. 

Released on May 1, 2020, “Choirmaster” deepens Dillard’s imprint in gospel music, and makes Motown Gospel an even more profitable record label. The album debuted at no. 1 on the American iTunes Albums Chart. And, with amazing collaborations from Wonderboy, TIFF JOY, and Tamela Mann, “Choirmaster” not only takes me to church, it takes me to spirit. Am I surprised by this? Not at all - Dillard has shared the stage with heavy-hitters such as Patti LaBelle, Diddy, Jennifer Hudson, and many more. 

What It Sounds Like 

Church — a stellar array of instruments creating a sweet soulful feel, reminiscent of my home church Faith & Trust — “Choirmaster” is jazzy with the groovy horns, and uplifting with the steady drums. And not to leave out, the anointed New G choir helps animate the album. 

These six of the 11 songs on “Choirmaster” have already been badged as fan favorites on Apple Music: 

‘Glad To Be In The Service,’ ‘More Abundantly Medley,’ ‘Since He Came,’ Let There Be Peace On Earth,’ ‘He’s My Roof Top’ ft. Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson, and ‘God’s Gonna Do It.’ 

My favorite song on the album, ‘Let There Be Peace On Earth,’ has an elegance that reminds me of James Fortune & FIYA’s ‘Smile,’ and Peter Stewart’s ‘Peace can become more than just a word.’ 

Spiritual/Lyrical Highlights 

There’s another song on “Choirmaster” called ‘I Won’t Go Back,’ and it’s one that makes God smile. It’s a foot-tapper for sure, an anthem for the spiritual soldier. 

Well that’s me, and no, I won’t go back. This song is a pure jam, an uplifting tune to reaffirm your faith. Like ‘Instrument’ by The Clark Sisters, ‘I Won’t Go Back’ declares an unshakable faith. 

Opening with a simple chant, effortlessly paying homage to the late Mattie Moss Clark’s three-part harmony, ‘I Won’t Go Back’ is filled with spirit, and so much soul. 

Best Part About “Choirmaster”

The best part of “Choirmaster” are the seven music videos that accompany the album. Recorded for video release as well, “Choirmaster” is packaged similarly to Beyoncé’s 2013 eponymous fifth studio album. Now, Motown Gospel’s Ricky Dillard adds to this evolving music industry. 

For Fans Of

James Fortune & FIYA, Kirk Franklin, The Clark Sisters

Final Word: Highly Recommended

I support music that brings healing to the soul. Tamela Mann, J. Moss, Le’Andria Johnson,  Joshua Rogers, Ricky Dillard, Kirk Franklin, Kem, Yolanda Adams, The Soul Seekers — these are some of the artists I stream for strength. 

I’m recommending you go stream “Choirmaster.” Listening to this album with headphones takes your experience of it to new levels. I like to let the music seep into my mind, body and soul, like the sun in daytime. 

Ricky Dillard On The Web





Apple Music



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