The Gospel of 'Let It Be Known'
Gospel isn't the only genre to attempt to crossover. Women's Music artist Teresa Trull discusses her 1980 soul-gospel fusion album & the experience of taking Women's Music beyond its target audience.
I have to start by saying that there is only one Teresa Trull. When I first heard her sing in the documentary of Women’s Music herstory, Radical Harmonies, I was gobsmacked. Her voice is full-throated and spilling over with yearning…and, clearly, southern, gospel-soaked soul. Shortly afterwards, I found her 1977 debut, The Ways a Woman Can Be, at a record shop in Charlotte, North Carolina in my quest for Women’s Music and was captivated by the brew of soul, funk, country, gospel and folk cooked up in those eight songs. Her sophomore album, Let It Be Known, however, was the one that really blew my mind.
With session players that included Sheila E., Linda Tillery and Julie Homi, the album burns with feminist ideals and a fusion of funk, disco, soul and gospel fire. She transforms Sweet Honey in the Rock’s “Every Woman” into a Sunday morning welcome song and builds her own composition, “You’re My Home,” all the way from a sing-along into the Holiness groove, knowing that after all of that good singing, somebody needs to shout it out. And surely, I’m not the only one who thinks the title track (posted below) deserved a 12 inch extended version for the dance floor.
A conversation with Teresa, whose credits as a writer include The Whispers, Gwen McCrae amongst others, was on my bucket list and she graciously and generously spoke with me at length about her vision for and experience of Let It Be Known. I hope you all enjoy our conversation as much as I did.
To listen to Let It Be Known in its entirety, click here!
And for those who are just being introduced to the greatness of this singer-songwriter-producer, I’m sharing five of my favorite tunes from her catalog!
Let It Be Known (1980)
2. Woman-Loving Women (1977)
3. Carry It On (1980)
4. Tell The Truth (1983)
5. Flow (2012)