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Andrew Gouché: God’s Bass Man Releases Debut Album

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Andrew Gouché

Andrew Gouché

By Dr. Valerie Wardlaw
Special to the NNPA from the Los Angeles Sentinel

Andrew Gouché is all about the bass.  He is the real deal – just ask any musician anywhere in the world.  He is appropriately referred to as the Godfather of Gospel Bass; a world-renowned bassist whose skills have graced over 250 Gospel, Jazz and R&B albums.

His talents are many, Grammy® Award winning producer, musical director, composer, and the list of those he’s played with is endless, the late Rev. James Cleveland, the Hawkins Family, Andraé Crouch, the Winans, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, the Mississippi Mass Choir, BeBe and CeCe Winans, Gladys Knight, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Donna Summer, Michael Jackson, Snoop Dogg and Prince.

A self-taught artist, Gouché grew up surrounded by music in the church.  His grandfather was a pastor, his mother sang in the choir and he literally honed his craft at the side of musicians who played for the ministry of Rev. Cleveland.

“I played the trumpet first, but I begged my mother to buy me a bass when I was 15-years-old after seeing Larry Graham (Graham Central Station) play on Soul Train,” recalled Gouché.

“I literally taught myself how to play bass at James Cleveland’s church and that’s why I always have to give him credit.  I would sit on the side and try to figure out the bass lines and Rev. Cleveland allowed me to do that.”

Gouché began to play professionally at the age of sixteen.  “I would go to churches and ask if they needed a bass player and the answer was usually no.  Most churches at that time used the organ to play the bass line,” hence the title of his first solo project, ‘We Don’t Need No Bass.’

After 41 years of performing with others, Gouché decided it was time to showcase his musical gift.  “I started writing songs for myself in 1999.  People would ask me when was I going to record a solo project but as an artist and producer, I was still growing,” Gouché said.

“My album is coming out at the time when it’s supposed to come out.  I can say that I have developed as a producer and as an arranger.”

For Gouché, an artist who is used to performing in the background, moving to center stage has been a process.  “I had to learn to look at myself as a solo artist.  I remember when I had my first solo performance and I thought, ‘Oh wow, someone has to talk’ and I remembered that it was me who had to talk.”

‘We Don’t Need No Bass’ was officially released on iTunes, on June 9.  “I’m excited and I get butterflies when I think about my music.  Where I am now is a road that I haven’t travelled down before.”

‘We Don’t Need No Bass’ has been a labor of love for Gouché and his wife Kelly, one of the producers on the album.  “My wife has truly been amazing on this project.  Without her, this album would still be a thought in my mind.”

“This album is my musical life,” Gouché said.  “When I think about it, I remember the first gospel album I ever bought, Andraé Crouch, ‘Live in London.’  I would play it every day and read the credits and wonder what it would be like to meet these artists and to think that God has allowed me to play with them is truly surreal.

“I realized that it didn’t have to be me and I am eternally grateful to God. Music is like talking and this project is my heart speaking, and that’s what I hope listeners will experience.”

‘We Don’t Need No Bass’ is available on iTunes.com. Andrew Gouché will perform at the 2015 Long Beach Jazz Festival.  For information, visit longbeachjazzfestival.com.  Follow Andrew Gouché on Twitter @AndrewGouche and on Facebook.com/Andrew-Gouche.

Events

Moving from Pain, Trauma and Crisis Is Never Easy but Is Possible.

For more information, call 510 688-7437.

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Depiction of a woman with a distorted face; Photo courtesy of Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona via Unsplash

Join Pastor Phyllis Scott in her 5th annual yoke breaking, life changing conference,”

“Moving from Pain to Purpose; “The Journey from Violence to Victory.”

The conference will be held Sept. 23-25 on Zoom.

Guest Speakers:

  • Day 1, “Still I Rise”

Lisa Carlisle, ACBH Child and Youth Systems of Care Director

Tianna Hicks, Da Bigger Picture Foundation and the mother of Pittsburgh Steeler Najee Harris

  • Day 2, “My Secret”

Carolyn Russell, executive director, A Safe Place

Rev. Michele Raiford, E. V. E. International Ministries LLC, CEO

  • Day 3, “I am More than a Conqueror

Annabella Guerrero, communications director, Love Never Fails

Chief LeRonne Armstrong, Oakland Police Department

Zoom Meeting ID 853 2091 1800 No password required

Please register at https://paintopurposeviolencetovictory.eventbrite.com

For more information, call 510 688-7437.

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Activism

Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s Statement on Afghanistan Crisis

The people of Afghanistan are facing a terrible tragedy. It is crucial that we ensure the safe evacuation of Americans and allies, including our Afghan allies. That must be our top priority. This is an untenable and dire situation, and we have a moral obligation to protect Afghans seeking refuge.

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Apache attack helicopter in approach, Sep 2020, Photo courtesy of Andre Klimke via Unsplash

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) released the following statement on the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan on August 16:

“The people of Afghanistan are facing a terrible tragedy. It is crucial that we ensure the safe evacuation of Americans and allies, including our Afghan allies. That must be our top priority. This is an untenable and dire situation, and we have a moral obligation to protect Afghans seeking refuge.

“We should expedite Special Immigrant Visas and support all in Afghanistan —U.S. Citizens, women, journalists, civil servants and activists, and allies of U.S. troops—who need safe passage. This includes working with surrounding countries to encourage the welcoming of Afghan refugees across their borders.

“As Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, I stand ready and committed to use my position to provide any and all support and investment in humanitarian relief and ensure the safe resettlement of the Afghan people.

“We must also remain intensely focused on investing in the safety and security of Afghan women and girls. An entire generation of Afghan women and girls have now seen the potential for a life of freedom and opportunity. The international community must continue to prioritize their rights and protection.

“Our courageous men and women in the armed services did exactly what they were asked to do. I pray for their return and the return of those still there defending the lives of Americans and Afghans on the ground in Kabul. We must get clear answers for how we got here and how to avoid repeating our mistakes.

“President Biden correctly laid out (Monday) what has been clear for 20 years: there has never, and will never be, a U.S. military solution in Afghanistan.”

  U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee’s press office is the source of this report.

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

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Commentary

Community Responds to OPD Chief’s Call for Help in Stopping Violence

Oakland Chief of Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong has reached out to the community asking for support, and rightfully so.  For this is not just an Oakland Police Department fight but our fight.    

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stop gun violence sign photo courtesy Chip Vincent via Unsplash

Seventy-five.

That’s the number of homicides that have occurred so far this year here in Oakland.  There have also been at least 300 acts of violence injuries perpetrated against the citizens of Oakland, many of them gun related.

Oakland Chief of Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong has reached out to the community asking for support, and rightfully so.  For this is not just an Oakland Police Department fight but our fight.

Those 75 families who lost loved ones to senseless acts of reckless violence are families from our communities. They’re our neighbors, our co-workers, and our friends.

The word of God reminds us to “Love our Neighbor as we love ourselves.” The Bible compels us to want the best and do the best for one another.

What would you want if one of your family members were one of those 75 who had been shot and killed in the streets of Oakland? What would you want?

The answer is simple.

You would want someone to care!  To shout with outrage and do something to end this cycle of violence!

On July 27, a group of community activists met with Armstrong to discuss how they could come together organizing in a city-wide community coalition to bring holistic ideas to create a wrap-around approach to combating violence. Those ideas include a) mental wellness, b) community chaplaincy, c) ask the formerly incarcerated to mentor and encourage youth in crisis, d) job development, e) entrepreneurship opportunities, and – last but not least — address our ever-growing homeless issues.

For more information on how you can be a good neighbor, please call 510-688-7437

All for the Peace — “Shalom” — of our Great City.

Pastor Scott is the president of Pastors of Oakland and leader of Tree of Life Empowerment Ministries.

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