Vicki Yohe has been at the forefront of the praise and worship movement. On Tuesday, Sept 27, Yohe will release her new CD, I’m at Peace. The talented artist, who will be performing in the DC area next month, has put together a collection of songs that will certainly please old and new fans alike.
Her new eleven-song CD was recorded live at Bethel World Outreach in Brentwood, TN and it marks a new chapter in Yohe’s career as a songwriter. Vicki and James Stephens, who she met on the Radio One Gospel Cruise flew to Houston to meet with Yohe’s longtime music director, Ay’ron Lewis, who has produced dozens of artists such as Aretha Franklin and Shirley Caesar.
“We met for two days with Ay’ron and wrote two songs,” she recalls. “Then a month later, we got together again and wrote three more. I would come up with the hook, James is incredible with lyrics, and Ay’Ron is amazing on the keys. Our team together, I think it’s a God thing.”
The album opens with the easy to sing-a-long with “Somebody Worship.” Next up is the subtle funk of “Lord of All” which is a simple song of praise, while “Fill This Place” is a breezy, warm, mid-tempo track designed to invite the Holy Spirit into the building. The initial gospel radio single is “I’m At Peace,” one of the tracks composed by the new songwriting trinity. It shows Yohe’s powerful combination of torch singing with black gospel flavoring.
View the video for the single “I’m at Peace”
Those sorts of moments are frequent on the project, especially on “So Many Reasons,” a duet with Canton Jones, who is known for urban-flavored rap songs such as “Stay Saved” and “Window.” The duo met by chance when they shared a bill together at a church in Baltimore, MD. “He was singing and all I thought he did was rap,” says a surprised Yohe. “He did a praise and worship song and I went, `oh my Lord what a voice!’ The nearly nine-minute track is a soaring pop ballad of gratitude that they sing with reverential refinement until the reprise where they do some synchronized black gospel vocalizing.
“Heaven on Earth” is a pop-rock fueled anthem that Micah Stampley enjoyed a chart run with this year. On the aggressive declaration “Speak The Word,” she and the ensemble sing in unison as they proclaim that, “Prosperity is your’s! Life abundantly is your’s! You’re the head and not the tail, above and not beneath! Speak the Word with me, speak the Word! We decree, we can move mountains, We can raise valleys, We decree.”
“Higher” is hard-hitting praise, and “I’ve Been Redeemed” is a sassy old school, traditional handclapping choir romp. “Here I Am” is another track built to make the congregation sway as they wave their hands and spiritually surrender to their Savior. The album closes with the dramatic ballad, “Saturate.” On it, Yohe pleads to the heavens to “hide me close to thee” as the sultry choir eggs her on. “Every one of these songs I wanted to do,” she acknowledges. “I felt they were strong songs. There’s not one that we added because we said, ` oh, we need another song.’” Yohe couldn’t be happier with the project. “I feel it’s my best one yet,” she concedes.
One reason Yohe sings so passionately is children. She was never able to have children of her own, so she adopted her six year old, Walker, and her three year old, Adley, when they were babies. After adopting Walker, Yohe met a Ugandan woman and helped support she and her children until the woman died of AIDS. In 2005, Yohe opened New Destiny for Children, an orphanage in Jinja, Uganda where she supports three dozen children. The resourceful singer has developed a community of supporters who help with her initiatives.
“The economy has hit us hard because churches used to help sponsor the home and many of them can’t afford to anymore, so I just keep on singing. Most of my CD sales go to the kids. God told me to do this so that they will be empowered. I’ve been nominated for a Dove award, a Stellar award and I’ve stood in front of 2.8 million people at a Benny Hinn crusade in India but none of it feels as good as this.”
DC Area Tour Schedule
Oct 23 Evangel Assembly of God
Temple Hills, MD
Oct 26 Virtuous Women Conference International
Oct 27 Virtuous Women Conference International
Oct 30 Spirit of Faith Christian Center
Temple Hills, MD
Visit Vickie Yohe Ministries for additional tour details.