Prayer Warriors
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Prayer Warriors


Band R&B Christian


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The best kept secret in music


"Free Times Magazine"

The Cleveland Free Times Magazine
Funk, soul, gospel, spoken word and R&B are all part of the repertoire of this fine local ensemble. Backed by the Thunder Band, the vocal group writes inspirational music with crossover appeal. Tracks such as “Holy Spirit” and “Teach Them Well” might ostensibly be Christian anthems, but in the hands of these capable vocalists and players, they’re powerful songs no matter what the content might be.
Jeff Niesel
- Jeff Niesel

"Sun Herald"

The Sun Hearld Newspaper
More times than not, when someone gives me unwanted advice, my pat answer is, “you’re preaching to the choir.” This time around, it appears the choir is preaching to me while the Prayer Warriors get set to release their “Alley Suites” CD. Using a mix of gospel with rock, pop and R&B, the fluctuating lineup can ratchet up to 25 voices depending on the venue, all under the direction of Herb Thomas.
- Peanuts

"Barking Spider Saloon"

“People like them right off the bat. It’s not a churchy kind of thing; it’s just a positive thing. It’s about feeling good about yourself, and about love. And they don’t try to convert you.”
- Martin Juredine, Owner


“Alley Suites is a powerful piece of music; this latest effort by the Prayer Warriors is their strongest work to date…”, “…we are fortunate to have a group like the Prayer Warriors to show us the way.”
- Margaret Daykin, Producer


Prayer Warriors have recently released their newest CD project entitled “Alley Suites” which yet again tells their story of taking their message beyond the stained glass windows. The spoken word in the monologue by Herb Thomas reflects the struggles in life and America today. Tracks are currently being played on local radio.


Feeling a bit camera shy


This very unique group, which has been in existence for well over a decade, continues to cross musical boundaries and stretches the limits to deliver the message of brotherhood, peace and understanding. Although rooted in the musical traditions of the church, Prayer Warriors speak a contemporary language in non-traditional places – nightclubs, festivals and fairs. Their approach is fresh and inspired, taking a cue from their obvious mentors the Staple Singers, Temptations, O’Jays and the Parliament Funkadelics. Inspired by all of these greats, any performance by the Prayer Warriors will be spellbinding. In any instance, the Warriors can sound like a small storefront congregation.

Prayer Warriors’ ability to capture the attention of diverse audiences is no doubt due to the group’s concept and broad musical base. Their repertoire runs the gamut from the traditional “Amazing Grace” to Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall”. Gospel music is the foundation of their show, but the music – gospel or not – aims to stir souls, with a rich blend of harmonies and inspired solos. The group has been the recipient of the Free Times Music Awards for 2002 and 2005 for best R&B Artists.

“We never go out preaching, but we do want to share a positive message through our music,” founder Herb Thomas says, “We want to remind people that we can all do a better job of living and working, if we do it together. That we need to be there for each other; that we can be better people, better parents. We can make life better in the world we live in.”

It’s easy to see the power these self-dubbed messenger angels have to move an audience. “When we can stand on stage and do everything from “Amazing Grace” to “Pink Floyd”, and have people in tears, coming up to us after the show and telling us, “I really wasn’t expecting that, that’s a great feeling,” says Thomas.

The group’s performances have included some thrilling moments in the spotlight, including being asked to perform back-up vocals for the Foreigner music video, “I Want To Know What Love Is.” The invitation came after delivering a performance at the 1993 National Rib Cook Off, doing back-up vocals for the rock group. “They gave me chills,” singer Lou Gramm said afterward. They also provided vocal support for Diana Ross’ Cleveland concert performance in 1995; opening a Cain Park concert for gospel recording artist Lynette Hawkins Stephens; and an unlikely but successful pairing as the opening act for a Buckwheat Zydeco show at Peabody’s DownUnder. Most recently backing up Josh Groban on his recent Cleveland, Ohio tour.

The group is backed by the Thunder Band which consists of founder, Herb Thomas on Percussions, Clifton Beasley, Music Director on Keyboards and Rod Reisman on Drums (an accomplished musician in his own right, and a former member of First Light). The Thunder Band can take and hold its own center stage with any group around. You can hear their powerful tones in the first cut on the Alley Suites CD. The band has served as backup for many local talents for concerts and events. Remember the name “Thunder Band”; you’ll be hearing it again.