Coco Love Alcorn is another discovery from the ArtsWells Festival in 2015. Leanne and I first saw her at the Bear’s Paw and it was amazing. On top of being an incredible performer with an exceptional voice, she was personal, engaging, and funny. She was playing around with a looper that she used to great effect. We saw her a couple of more times that weekend and it was a great time. She was back again in 2016 and this time she co-led the traditional Sunday morning gospel session at the Tempest (an old church) with Bocephus King. She had just completed her album Wonderland which had a lot of gospel-type music on it so she was able to borrow material from that and lead a sing-a-long on many songs. Adding to it was that there were no mics being used and many of the songs were done acapella. Her powerful voice and the engagement of the audience as one voice nearly blew the roof off of that rickety old building. It was such an invigorating event that I still get goosebumps reminiscing about it.
Wonderland is an amazing album with many great songs generally in the gospel realm. Like I said, Coco has an amazingly powerful voice with great range and it shows on many of the songs. When combined with her use of the looper and instrumentation, you have a very enjoyable album to listen to – the songs are catchy without being sugary pop music or necessarily being ear worm material (i.e. a song that gets stuck in your head and you can’t get it out). This is one album that I can listen to and it actually lifts my mood. Coco has said she crafted these songs to be sung, not only be herself but by others and many of the songs have been adapted by choirs and acapella groups and she often sings with community choirs as back up singers for her live performances. Whatever the case, Wonderland is an amazing showcase for Coco’s talents.