Vetrea Slack Ruffin and the Ruffin Family
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Vetrea Slack Ruffin and the Ruffin Family

Harvest, Alabama, United States | INDIE

Harvest, Alabama, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

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Vetrea (pron. VEE-tree-ah) Slack Ruffin & the Ruffin Family is a mother-daughter trio who combine the sweet traditional harmonies of the Simmons-Akers Trio with the sassiness of the Clark Sisters and the Anointed Pace Sisters. The result is nothing less than extraordinary. This gospel group from Huntsville, Alabama is splendid and deserves much greater attention.

On their album, House of Worship, the Ruffin trio (the daughters are Lacretia and Angel) use their COGIC music experience to transform even the most uncomplicated praise and worship songs into something special. Just listen to the third track, “The Place I Need You,” and you will know that this group is trained, talented and the real deal.

The outstanding selection on the album is also the current single, “That’s Why I Call His Name.” Here the ladies trade their Clark Sisters sound for an Afro-Caribbean gospel style that I haven’t heard since Arise’s “Arise Medley” two years ago. At the end of the song, one of Vetrea’s grandchildren begs them not to stop singing. She says aloud what we are thinking.

“Victorious, More than a Conqueror” is a fine example of the trio’s clear-as-a-bell harmonies, while “God Is Good” shows they are equally capable of delivering a handclapping, full-throttle church song. On “Lord, I Wanna Thank You," the Ruffins handle quartet with the same confidence, with Thomas Holman, Sr. providing an authentic shouting lead.

The ladies tag on a hymn to the conclusion of “Lord I Need You,” forming an ending so heartwarming and pure, it takes your breath away.

A celebrity sighting: gospel promoter Ms. Willie McClendon has a speaking role on “Fill This Place.”

Singer-songwriter Vetrea is no newcomer to gospel music. Years ago, her mother formed The Slack Family Singers, a traditional gospel group, when the family was based in the St. Louis area. Vetrea is active in the COGIC church, and serves as First Lady of Forge Temple COGIC in Birmingham (husband Dr. Paul B. Ruffin contributes a sermon to the project). Clearly the Slack musical gene has traveled down through the generations.

To the many individual contributors who provided the financial support for House of Worship – they are listed on the inside jacket – your investment was well worth it.

Five of Five Stars

gPod Picks: “That’s Why I Call His Name,” “God Is Good,” “The Place I Need You.”
- The Black Gospel Blog (Bob Marovich


Discography

House of Worship, 2010, Album
Help Me Render Completely, 2000, Album

That's Why I Call His Name (Radio Airplay/Streaming)
Lord, I Need You (Radio Airplay/Streaming)
Lord, I Wanna Thank You (Radio Airplay/Streaming)
We Were on His Mind (Radio Airplay/Streaming)
Fill this Place (Radio Airplay/Streaming)
God is Good (Radio Airplay)

Yes He Cares (Radio Airplay)
Help Me Render Completely (Radio Airplay)
Then Came the Word (Radio Airplay)
I Will Bless You (Radio Airplay)
The Anointing (Radio Airplay)
Callin' on Jesus (Radio Airplay)

Photos

Bio

Evangelist Vetrea Slack Ruffin is a national recording artist, songwriter, workshop conductor, and vocal instructor. She was born to Frederick Slack and her late mother, Vetrea Davidson Slack. in St. Louis, MO and reared in East St. Louis, IL. She attended Lincoln Senior High School; Alabama A&M University; the University of Alabama in Huntsville; and C.H. Mason Bible College.

When Vetrea was very young, her mom, who was a musician in her own right, formed a family gospel group, "The Slack Family." The Slack Family was very popular in the Missouri and Illinois areas, singing traditional gospel music. Vetrea's mother was her inspiration, both musically and spiritually. She credits her mother for her acceptance of Christ at the age of 13. Vetrea organized her first youth choir at her church in St. Louis at the age of 14 she served as the youth choir president and director. After her marriage in 1977, she moved to Huntsville, AL where she soon became instrumental in aiding many churches in organizing and reorganizing their church choirs.

The Lord has gifted her to write songs through the medium of dreams. In her earlier years, she felt incompetent to finish the songs that the Lord would give her through dreams, until she received a prophesy from a spiritual mentor, Supt. Joe Mack Bankhead, confirming that God would use her to write songs. Today, Vetrea is a very accomplished songwriter.

Through the godly inspiration and encouragement of her husband, she formed the national recording group, "Vetrea Slack Ruffin and the Ruffin Family," which consists of Vetrea and her daughters. In 1999, they completed their first album, "Help Me Render Completely."