The Revelations feat. Tre Williams
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The Revelations feat. Tre Williams

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Blues Soul


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"SoulTracks Album Review"

It is good to hear a man be a man in song again. Not that all those feather weight male vocalists we've had of late aren't men; in some ways those guys' willingness to display fragility and vulnerability in tone and tenor make them more manly than an Otis Williams or Michael McCary. It's just for some time now soul has been missing the strong, aggressive voices that used to be its bedrock; voices that demanded you "close the door" and "don't look any further." Tre Williams, one of the two lead singers for The Revelations, brings back that sensibility on the band's first full-length project, The Bleeding Edge (Decision Records). Quizzical title aside (I'm told it's related to the release's jagged journey), Tre Williams' concrete blues vocals, Rell's from-the-groin pathos on co-leads and supporting vocals, and the accomplished musicians comprising The Revelations make The Bleeding Edge the Southern soul staple of the year.

The brainchild of Koch Records A&R guy turned producer, Bob Perry, The Revelations featuring Tre Williams does a fine job of tackling this smoothie of blues, rock, and Northern soul with enough charm and energy to light Times Square. Comparisons to the equally passionate Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings may be inevitable, but the old school feel of this material is not the textbook soul of that traditionalist apparatus. As the man from Daytona Beach belts, "they call it old school, but this is new love." The Revelations does something unique among soul revivalists by creating classic sounds without it sounding moldy. A debt is owed to singer/songerwriters Rell and Tre Williams for writing jams that are fresh and relevant, but still appeal to those who like heavy whiffs of the familiar. Beyond Williams' testosterone engorged baritone, The Revelations sound and approach to story is undeniably male on hard-driving cuts like "Heavy Metal," "He's A Hustler," and "Stay Free." So aggressive, in fact, that The Revelations could pick up a devoted following of neglected male R&B fans that have had to depend on thug crooner Jaheim to credibly hold down their fort and express their world.

Not that there isn't plenty here for the ladies. The Revelations know how to lay down the swag when they need to. Though the set is heavy with indigo songs of woe, conflict and infidelity, there are swooning ballads like "Remember The Last Time" and "I Won't Let Go" to steal a romantic's heart. Even tales of loss like Rell's wrenchingly resigned take on Carole King's "It's Too Late" is sure to touch a sweet spot. For his part, Williams is so clearly devastated by his own irresponsible betrayal of his best friend on the single "How Do I Tell Him," that he may garner more female sympathy than shaming. In truth, Rell and Williams play rascal as much as victim on these fifteen-tracks, singing like besieged Southern gentlemen even as they are escorting their ladies to the door or breaking their hearts on cut after cut. They largely pull off such "player, player" feats by truthfully singing about the internal struggle and situations of men on their best and worst behavior. If you're gonna be played, you can at least appreciate these brothers' honesty about the situation.

While Rell and Williams steal the show on both leads and supporting vocals, The Revelations band aren't anything to shake a stick at. A sucker for a good brass section, I found the horns on the Revelations to be on par with any band on the East Coast today. The rhythm sections are unobtrusive when they need to be, but make a mighty noise when funk is what's on the menu, which is often enough to keep things interesting for most of this set. The New York musicians of the Revelations do a fine job of emulating the Muscle Shoals sound without antiquation, with more than a bit of that live barroom feel that gives this nut its essential crunch.

High beams aside, The Revelations featuring Tre Williams is a new band with room to grow. There are a few snooze button tunes that deliver on feel, but lack that Popeye punch. "Graceful Bow" opens with a bumping Al Green baseline, but doesn't really do much more thereafter. "The Truth Sets You Free" may be a compelling title, but the keys that free this song still awaits us. Songs like these are consistently well penned, but underwhelming in arrangement. Importantly, these tunes are few and far between, and this is a young act with years to develop the fruitful promises of this debut LP.

I hope Rell and Williams allow The Revelations to live past one album to realize its potential. With both Rell and Williams independently working on solo projects, fulfilling leftover dreams from their days as signed hookmen from Jay-Z and Nas labels, respectively, the long term future of this little bit of magic remains uncertain.

For now, on the strength of The Bleeding Edge and its EP predecessor, Deep Soul, what The Revelations featuring Tre Williams will show is how soon "Everybody Knows" this amazing band, one that had the cajones to bring red-blooded, chest pounding soul back to its rightful place on the throne, where it belongs.

Highly recommended.

"Atlanta Creative Loafing Album Review 9/15/2009"

Finally, an LP from the band that dropped last year’s acclaimed EP, Deep Soul. Southern soul singer/songwriters Rell and Tré Williams create a roof-raising soul album less contrived than their throwback counterparts. More killer bar band with terrific leads than a spit-shined industry act, the NYC-based Revelations boast one of the best brass sections north of the Mason-Dixon. Deep Soul owners looking for unreleased material on producer Bob Perry’s 15-track set will enjoy Rell’s greasy, slow drag of Carole King’s “It’s Too Late,” Williams' ripping version of Latimore’s “Let’s Straighten It Out,” or the oh-you-dirty-dog single “How Do I Tell Him.” A growling baritone frontman, organic instrumentation and timeless tunes make the oddly titled project a keeper. Only a missing standout jam keeps this release shy of classic status. We’ll see if more good things come to soul fans who wait. (Decision Records/Traffic Entertainment) 4 stars out of 5 - Creative Loafing Atlanta

"Best Male Vocal Albums of 2009"

The Revelations feat. Tre Williams (The Bleeding Edge) When the hookmen from Jay-Z and Nas’s respective labels step out front, they do so with a Pretty Boy Floyd wallop. Delivering an astonishingly strong, full-length retro-soul project following their Deep Soul EP, songs like “Heavy Metal Blues,” “Stay Free” and “He’s A Hustler” brought gut bucket, foot-stomping blues back to soul. With such a pitch-perfect collection, swaggering belters Rell and Tre Williams prove their the new Southern soul men for the 2kteens generation. - BET / Centric Network

"World Cafe / NPR"

February 16, 2009 from WXPN - The Revelations' members, featuring singer Tre Williams, revive '60s and '70s soul, yet there's a modern quality to their sound that suggests they're not bound to the confines of a jukebox. Their debut record, Deep Soul, blends images of the bluesy South with the gritty streets of a bustling city into one contemporary view of life.

The raw-voiced Williams brings to mind a modern-day Otis Redding. With a background in church choirs and R&B, he's developed an impressive four-octave range that's lent itself to tracks by Nas and Petey Pablo. The sextet's mixture of soul, funk and hip-hop on Deep Soul creates a fusion of old standards with fresh ideas.
- World Cafe / National Public Radio

"NPR article/Live Performance"

April 17, 2009 from WXPN - The work of a six-man collective fusing hip-hop, funk and gritty soul, The Revelations' seven-song Deep Soul EP blends the sounds of the bluesy rural South and gritty urban streets. Led by Tre Williams, the group crafts a sound that's timeless and undeniably energetic. Click the link above to hear The Revelations perform live in concert from WXPN and World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.

Styled after a modern-day Otis Redding, Williams has used his church-choir and R&B background — not to mention his four-octave range — in high-profile contributions to records by the likes of Petey Pablo and Nas. His band's other five members are similarly experienced, with ties to names such as Mary J. Blige, Kanye West and Raphael Saadiq. - WXPN / National Public Radio

" Album Review 10/7/09"

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

CD Review: The Revelations featuring Tre Williams, “The Bleeding Edge”
by Ken Shane

Last year, the Revelations featuring Tre Williams released their Deep Soul EP, which was not only one of my favorite recordings of the year, but one that I voted for in the upcoming “Top Albums of the Decade” feature here at Popdose. For their debut full-length album, The Bleeding Edge (Decision Records / Traffic Entertainment), the Revelations have added an additional eight songs to the EP’s seven. Let me get this out of the way here, because if it’s true for the Avett Brothers, it’s true for the Revelations. Fifteen songs is too many for an album. The original seven were great. Three or four more would have been perfect for the album. As it is, not all of the new songs rise to the level of those on the EP, and a nearly perfect soul album could have been gleaned from a more judicious selection of songs. I intend to keep fighting this fight against extreme album length, so I hope you’ll give me some room on this.

Tre Williams is a force of nature. I would argue that he is one of the greatest male soul and R&B vocalists to emerge since the heyday of Teddy Pendergrass and Luther Vandross, though stylistically he reminds me more of the immortal David Ruffin. Williams is ably assisted by former Roc-a-Fella artist Rell, who is Williams’ co-lyricist and vocalist. The Revelations themselves sound like they were picked up on the street, and I mean that in the very best possible way. The truth is that the band is populated by musicians who have performed with Wyclef Jean, Lauren Hill, Matisyahu, Sly and Robbie, Erykah Badu, Branford Marsalis, and others.
The great news is that the great songs the drove the Deep Soul EP are here in all their glory, from the driving, Motown-like intensity of the opening track “Stay Free” to the Philly soul vibe of “Everybody Knows” and the pounding gospel feel of “Heavy Metal Blues.” Among the new songs, the adulterous tale “How Do I Tell Him” is currently making some noise at radio. Several of the new entries are of the slow burn variety, and of these my favorite is the bluesy “Let’s Straighten It Out.” The band is nicely showcased in the opening instrumental sequence, notably the playing of guitarist Wes Mingus, and keyboard player Borahm Lee. It’s also a good place to pick up on that Tre Williams vocal magic.

So here’s the deal; maybe you have the Deep Soul ep, but you probably don’t. If you don’t, The Bleeding Edge is a no-brainer for any fan of this genre. If you do, you’re still going to want the new songs. Either way, The Revelations featuring Tre Williams may just become your favorite new band.


"Soulbounce.Com Review 11/14/08"

If you're anything like us here at SoulBounce and wince each time a so-called soul singer surfaces with all the depth of a paper plate, you'll be happy to know that a new, true soul singer has emerged in the form of the Dirty South's Tré Williams and his band, The Revelations. Indeed, in this age of Auto-Tune and teenage whines, thankfully there's none of that once Tré opens his mouth and struts his stuff. Just a raw passion that will remind you of artists of yesteryear like David Ruffin, except without the reincarnated '60s stylings that have infiltrated soul music lately. With the release next week of their new EP, Deep Soul, The Revelations are out to prove that live instrumentation is, well, alive and kicking, with no need for rap solos or machine-altered vocals. The band, made up of a veritable who's who of musicians, include guitarist Wes Mingus (Bilal, Leela James), drummer Gintas Janusonis (Erykah Badu, Branford Marsalis), bassist Josh Werner (Matisyahu, Sly and Robbie), keyboardist Borahm Lee (Wyclef, Lauryn Hill) and legendary arranger and multi-instrumentalist Patrick Adams (Herbie Mann, Eddie Kendricks, The Main Ingredient, Black Ivory). And as a bonus, the co-lyricist of the crew is none other than former Roc-a-fella Records protegé Rell. (I know you were wondering where he's been. Wonder no more.)

The lead single from Deep Soul is the Southern-fried, slowed down "I Don't Want to Know," which finds Tré letting anyone who will listen know that whatever his girl may be doing on the side, they need not tell him. He's good. The album drops this coming Tuesday, November 18th on Decision Records / Traffic Entertainment and the band will be appearing the following night, November 19th, at SOB's Sol Village. For now, take a listen to this Bounce-Worthy track, and then, after the bounce, check out the live version. Enjoy. -

"RandB.About.Com Review 11/6/08"

In the humble opinion of yours truly, one of the best trends that's come along in awhile has been new Soul music that sounds like the classic stuff from the 1960s and '70s. Over the past couple of years, Raphael Saadiq, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Amy Winehouse and others have all found the future by going back to the past. Another group in that category is The Revelations featuring Tre' Williams, a six-man collective that evokes favorable comparisons to southern Soul and Blues artists of the '70s, yet at the same time has a sharp modern-day edge. The group's debut seven-song EP, Deep Soul, drops Nov. 18 via Decision Records/Traffic Entertainment, but in the meantime, you can stream their current single, "I Don't Want to Know," -

"BBQChickenRobot Review 10/28/08"

This is a great step away from the inflated "sounds" of hip hop these days and I'm glad these guys are doing it with so much style. Especially diggin' the no sampling unspoken rule here it's refreshing and all things real. Tre Williams and Rell and an amazing 4some of instrumentalists with piles of credits embark on a raw and powerful EP known as Deep Soul. The Revelations featuring Tre Williams are rollin' the 7-track EP on November 18th and you can catch them this Thursday at Nick's Pub in NY and also SOBs in NY on Nov. 19th. Of course we got a track for you and it's tons to get you hooked. Go here and hear Tre hit the highs. Good stuff. -

"Creative Loafing Atlanta Review 12/4/08"

Sometimes hip-hop's loss is soul's gain. Daytona Beach, Floridian Tré Williams traveled to New York to become an R&B star and found himself the hook boy on Nas' Ill Will Records. Tired of waiting for the release of his shelved solo album, Williams left hip-hop and landed a job as the frontman for the Revelations, an old-school soul band created and produced by Koch Records' Bob Perry. Fellow band member, Rell, who charted a parallel path at Roc-A-Fella Records, co-wrote with Tré a classic collection of red-dirt songs for the band's debut EP, Deep Soul. Live, organic and swaggering with rock and soul, Deep Soul leaves listeners hungry for more. Vinyl-crackling tunes like "Stay Free" and "Everybody Knows" offer a perfect introduction to the smoothed-out gravel of Williams' aching baritone. This is soaring Southern soul. Get into it. ****4 stars. - Creative Loafing Atlanta

"SonicBoomer Review 12/16/08"

It’s the sound of being three months late on the electric bill, high blood pressure prescriptions too expensive to refill, bad brakes you have to fake fixing by turning up the radio so you don’t hear them squeal, high school play tickets the kids have to give back to the teacher unsold, shoes with the beginnings of holes in the sole that can’t be replaced, gas heaters that won’t be turned on until the temperature hits 30 degrees and a hundred other signs that money is too tight to mention. That’s where soul music was born, and over four decades later continues to live. It’s a place where people play the corners to keep hope alive, and the music brings comfort that can’t be lived without. “I Don’t Wanna Know” is salvation because it captures the struggle like music rarely does anymore, letting listeners know they’re all in this together and maybe, just maybe, by staying close a better day is on the way. Tre’ Williams is a singer that comes from the Daytona Beach projects. He knows what it means to have nothing, and with the Revelations is determined not to go back there again. They play with the intensity of those who have nowhere to look but forward, and will fight to make sure that’s the direction they’re going. Williams’ voice is close to the bone but full of fire and longing, the kind that comes along once every generation if we’re lucky. This timeless song is like walking into a warm club on a cold Christmas night, knowing instantly there might be a world of pain right outside the door but with the twinkling lights over the bar and B.B. King’s “The Thrill is Gone” on the jukebox, all good things are still possible. Celebrate often. -


The Bleeding Edge (15 track album) Decision Records / Traffic Ent - 2009

Deep Soul (7 track EP) Decision Records / Traffic Ent - 2008



"'ll be happy to know that a new, true soul singer has emerged in the form of the Dirty South's Tré Williams and his band, The Revelations." --

"They play with the intensity of those who have nowhere to look but forward, and will fight to make sure that’s the direction they’re going. Williams’ voice is close to the bone but full of fire and longing, the kind that comes along once every generation if we’re lucky." --

"Live, organic and swaggering with rock and soul, Deep Soul leaves listeners hungry for more. Vinyl-crackling tunes like "Stay Free" and "Everybody Knows" offer a perfect introduction to the smoothed-out gravel of Williams' aching baritone. This is soaring Southern soul. Get into it. ****4 Stars" --


Welcome to The Revelations featuring Tré Williams (Decision Records/Traffic Entertainment). Here, there are no teenage whines, no auto tune, no samples: nothing but pure, unadulterated soul sung by a red dirt artist with the vocal chops of yesterday’s soul legends and played by a band with passion and talent. The Revelations featuring Tré Williams represents a renewed dawning in soul music, one that marries the concrete jungle grit of the streets with the midnight blues of the rural South. The rawness of Stax and propulsive drive of Motown has been re-imagined for contemporary listeners needing relief from timeless problems. Far from a historical artifact straining to use yesterday’s sound as tomorrow’s gimmick, the songs painstakingly crafted on the Revelations’ debut project, Deep Soul, are born from the pain, frustrations and experience of soul men struggling to give expression to their lives and loves through song. To cull the level of unabashed honesty present on these tunes requires a return to one’s roots to give them the proper weight, meaning and, most importantly, a resonance for the world.

Few voices resonate like that of baritone powerhouse Tré Williams. As bandmate and supporting vocalist, Rell, declared, “His voice fills a room.” One listen is all it takes to be hooked to his silk and gravel tone reminiscent of David Ruffin and Johnnie Taylor. But the awe and respect for Tré’s cavernous four-octave instrument is not limited to fellow vocalists. Ever since Tré first left the projects of Daytona Beach, Florida for New York, his church- honed artistry and searing sound has enraptured anyone who encounters it, from the ever-critical audience of Harlem, New York’s Amateur Night at the Apollo, to the rap game’s seasoned veterans up and down the east coast. His soul-shaking baritone landed him on Petey Pablo’s 2004 title track of Diary of a Sinner: 1st Entry; “I-95,” the 2005 track by Styles P of The L.O.X.; and into a record contract with hip-hop icon Nas’s Ill Will Records, who had Tré shining on the single “Let There Be Light” off Nas’s Hip-Hop Is Dead. Although years of hip-hop grind earned Tré industry praise and accolades, his much-anticipated 2007 debut, The Depths of My Soul, was never released.

Rell, Tré’s Deep Soul co-lyricist, has his own hip-hop story of glory and patience. The first R&B male singer signed to Roc-a-fella Records, the multi-talented Rell was a featured vocalist or lyricist on the label’s releases for nearly a decade. A self-professed team player, Rell has worked with a virtual “who’s who” of urban music, including: Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq, Kanye West, and Dr. Dre. While Rell released a few singles of his own—including the club anthem “Love For Free”—his much-anticipated album never materialized amidst the much-publicized devolution of the founding partnership of Roc-a-fella. Far from bitter, Rell moved on to greater success in founding an independent record label in his native South Carolina, writing the title track to Usher’s Here I Stand (2008) and several others for his forthcoming solo project, and, eventually combining forces with Tré to lend his refined tenor-baritone and proven pen to Deep Soul.

Both Tré and Rell have experienced the kind of rough times characteristic of hip hop lore. These hard knocks experiences, however, have brought a man’s man sensibilities to these vulnerable stories about love, loss and life. Both also agree that the organic magic they’ve created with The Revelations’ producer Bob Perry, an A&R man for Koch Records and former owner of Landspeed Records, could never have happened under their previous label deals.

Certainly independently releasing a sample- and rapper-free album sporting all live instrumentation from singer/songwriters best known for their hip hop contributions was an unconventional move in today’s skittish music business. It took the bold vision of hip hop producer Bob Perry (AZ, Dwele, Cormega), a crate-digging soul connoisseur with his own 15 year hip hop pedigree to look past the project’s obvious challenges to claim that rare opportunity to create that special