The McCrary Sisters
Gig Seeker Pro

The McCrary Sisters

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF | AFTRA

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF | AFTRA
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Americana Gospel


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



"Peter Cooper On Music: McCrary Sisters count blessings"

Things were fine, and even full-circle.

This was just a year ago. Singing sisters Ann, Regina, Deborah and Alfreda McCrary were on something of a roll, having released a debut album called “Our Journey.” Daughters of gospel legend/Nashville preacher Sam McCrary, the sisters had become known for their work with a bevy of respected singer-songwriters, including Buddy Miller, Patty Griffin and Mike Farris. They’d started headlining their own shows and were finally fulfilling their late father’s prayer that they would be together in life and in music.

“You grow up in the same house and sometimes you argue and fuss and you think, ‘I’ll be so glad when I can get away from here,’ ” says Ann McCrary. “But we’d come together, and it was feeling so good and normal and natural. It was the best we could have done.”

So it was fine and full-circle, and then it was all in peril.

Deborah McCrary, a self-employed, uninsured caretaker when she wasn’t on stage, suffered a debilitating stroke. She lost strength and mobility on the right side of her body, and vision in her right eye. She needed time and help, and even then there were no assurances. There was, however, a star-packed benefit show at 3rd & Lindsley, and that benefit helped pay for some relief and rehabilitation.

“Look at this,” she said, softly, to Ann one day. And then she slowly, cautiously and slightly raised her right arm.

“That’s when I knew there was hope,” Ann says. “And each day after that, she got a little better. And as sisters, we just pulled together so tight.”

As Deborah improved, the sisters’ vague plans to record together again solidified and sped up. Deborah would recover, it was decided, and each sister would write original material, and an album would come out and they would all be together in life and in music, just as Sam McCrary had prayed.

“After her stroke, Deborah began to write,” says Regina McCrary, who spent years on the road as a backing vocalist for Bob Dylan. “She got gutbucket honest, talked to God and turned it into a song.”

That song, “Hello, Jesus,” was another prayer, one that began with an admission:

“Hello, Jesus,” she wrote. “I’m the one who strayed away/ Stayed away so long/ I know I’ve done much wrong.”

The McCrary Sisters (photo: Sanford Myers/The Tennessean).
Deborah wasn’t the only sister who mined deeply experienced emotion for the album that would become “All the Way.”

Regina’s “You Can Make it Through the Night” is a ballad of empowerment, born in a time of loss and distress. Twelve years ago, Regina’s son was killed, and she wrote the first verse of “You Can Make it Through the Night” upon wondering out loud whether she would make it through a dark and wounded evening.

“I was crying, and told a friend, ‘I don’t think I’m going to be able to make it,’ ” she says. “He said, ‘All you’ve got to do is just make it through the night.’ I wrote a verse about that, and sang it over and over again, and then when we decided to do this album, I came up with three more verses. You never get over something like that, but you learn how to live with it. So each time I deal with an anniversary or a birthday, where I used to just ball up in a knot and cry, now I smile and think about wonderful things.”

All four sisters will be onstage at the preview celebration for “All the Way” on Tuesday at 3rd & Lindsley. For many audience members, that fact will seem as ordinary as the music will seem extraordinary. But for the sisters, standing and singing with each other is a joyful whirl of grace and destiny.

“To see Deborah up there moving at all, to hear her sing and to watch her laugh, that’s a miracle and a blessing,” Regina says.

The sisters are up for offering blessings as well as for receiving them. In their songs of faith and harmony, they examine life’s difficulties with an eye toward bright tomorrows.

“This is not just business,” Regina says. “This is our ministry. It’s how we give back and glorify God.”

It’s their message: Things are fine, and even full-circle. - The Tennessean

"The Black Gospel Blog"

The McCrary Sisters
All the Way
McC Records (released April 30, 2013)

By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog

The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree, as the saying goes.

In the McCrary Sisters’ case, the spark doesn’t travel far from the flame.

The sisters—Ann, Deborah, and Regina McCrary and Alfreda McCrary Lee—come from holy stock. Their father, the late Rev. Sam McCrary, was the incendiary lead singer for Nashville’s Fairfield Four during its golden era. The group’s sophomore CD, All the Way, continues the family tradition.

Produced by Tommy Sims and Kevin McKendree, All the Way sizzles with inspirational and message songs delivered with soulful, southern-fried grit. Individually and collectively, the ladies are on fire from the get go with “Come On,” a song with so much funkiness, you’d think the late James Brown loaned out his horn section.

The musicians provide ample backup, indeed. Depending on the song, one will hear trumpet and saxophone, harmonica, tambourine, and even a string section, along with the standard guitar, organ, piano, drums, and bass combo.

All but two of the album's songs are originals. Those two, however, are especially notable. “Skin Deep,” recorded previously by bluesman Buddy Guy, is a call for equal treatment, because “underneath, we’re all the same.” “You Can Make It” is a lovely inspirational ballad.

Of the originals, “Hello Jesus” is a bluesy plea from the prayer closet for forgiveness and strength, while “Talk to You,” a more conversational discussion with Jesus, contains vestiges of ‘50s R&B. Both benefit from Rob McNelley’s simmering guitar solos. The show stopper, however, is the title track, a tour de force of gritty soul steeped in a bluesy stew.

Despite all the work the McCrarys have done on various and sundry audio and video projects over the years, one credit surprised me most: Ann and Regina sang background vocals for Ray Stevens’ “Everything is Beautiful.” That song is seared in my memory because the first time I heard the 1970 original was on Top 40 AM radio, during a mid-afternoon tornado warning. Hearing that disc still brings back a subconscious mixture of satisfaction and primal fear.

Some portion of this CD was funded by a grassroots Kickstarter campaign. While the McCrary Sisters’ fans obviously came through for their favorites, one cannot help but wonder why talented groups such as this are not on a major label.

Nevertheless, gospel and roots music enthusiasts alike will enjoy the spirit-filled All the Way.

Four of Five Stars

Picks: “Skin Deep,” “Talk to You,” “All the Way.” - Robert Marovich

"CD Reviews 2013"

The McCrary Sisters
All the Way
McCrary Sisters Productions 27196
Singing from their youths The McCrary Sisters sing songs of praise with touches of soul, funk and R&BÖso says the press release and I agree. Ten of the disc's dozen tunes are McCrary originals. Beautifully orchestrated and sung with all the passion and power that a group of true believers can muster, All the Way is like a scalpel in the hands of a practiced surgeon, cutting through to the heart of the listener. Good gospel in the Southern tradition has always had elements of blues included and this one is no exception. I have always claimed that blues and gospel are separate sides of the same coin. All the Way drives that point home beautifully. The sisters never give it less than 100% and this recording shows no less. They give their all, opening their hearts to the world and the results are beautiful beyond compare. This release will touch your heart, making you examine your life and decisions. Most of all, it will lift you up and give you hope. Listening to this one will lighten your burdens and make even the darkest situations seem far less daunting. They deliver their message of hope and joy in such a manner that the most hardcore blues enthusiast will find it a pill easy to swallow. Having been an ordained minister I can say that from a gospel standpoint it is powerful and effective. From the blues lover in me I can say that this one is incredibly powerful, life changing and easy to listen to. For the skeptics in the crowd one look at their credentials should blow the clouds of doubt away. The sisters sang with Dr. John on his Grammy winning "Locked Down" CD and sang with Bob Dylan at his August 26, 2012 show in Cincinnati. Regina toured with Dylan for six years, appearing on "Slow Train Coming," "Saved" and "Shot of Love." She also sang with Elvis and Stevie Wonder. Deborah performed "Everything is Beautiful" with Ray Stevens, sang with Elvis and performed with Isaac Hayes on The Dinah Shore Show. Their credentials speak loud and clearÖthese women are the best in the business. If you are looking for something a bit inspirational this one may well be the ticket. Their blending of gospel, blues, funk, soul and R&B are, if nothing else, easy on the ears. It is easy to see why they are in such great demand. What they bring to the table is the difference between a good album and a great album. - Bill Wilson - Billtown Blues Assoc

"Album of the Week"

When Ann, Deborah, Regina and Alfreda McCrary sing, there is no way — no matter your religious bent — not to be moved. The sisters’ — four daughters of a reverend — second album All the Way combines gospel, R&B, blues, funk and a lot of soul on a number of strong originals as well as extraordinary covers such as “Skin Deep” and “Right Where You Are.” The sisters have years of music business experience, working with a number of artists over the years. Regina, who toured and recorded with Bob Dylan for six years, has also performed with Elvis and Stevie Wonder. It’s no wonder this album is so powerful. The sisters have music in their blood and you can hear it in their passionate voices. Note: The music is exceptional as well, not over-produced in the least as similar efforts tend to suffer from. — Jeff Schwachter - Atlantic City Weekly


Still working on that hot first release.



Nashville,TN - McC Records proudly announces the release of the McCRARY SISTERS (Ann, Deborah, Regina and Alfreda) "ALL THE WAY" on APRIL 30, 2013, the follow-up to their 2011 debut CD "Our Journey" . Produced by Kevin McKendree & Tommy Sims, the album's 12 tracks include 10 McCrary Sister originals plus stunning re-imaginings of Tom Hambridge/Gary Nicholson's "Skin Deep" and Bonnie Bishop/Jimmy Wallace's "Right Where You Are". Joining the McCRARY SISTERS on "ALL THE WAY" are Rob McNelley/Akil Thompson/Tommy Sims (lead guitar), Kevin McKendree/DeMarco Johnson/Jeremy Nixon (keyboards), Dwan Hill (organ), Quentin Ware (trumpet), Dana Robbins (saxophone), Steve Mackey/Anton Nesbitt/Tommy Sims (bass), Derrick Phillips (drums).

The songs on "ALL THE WAY" tell of the continuation of the McCrary Sisters' journey. Gospel/soul/funk/R&B, however you want to define it, the McCrary Sisters' songs "tell of loving & living life, and keeping a positive attitude through all that life brings. The opening track, 'COME ON', invites you to join us on this journey. Even when one is having a hard time, we can learn to 'LET IT GO', and live 'RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE', because 'YOU CAN MAKE IT', you've got 'VICTORY'. So get on this 'TRAIN' with us, and go 'ALL THE WAY." (Ann McCrary)

The McCrary Sisters' critically-acclaimed debut release "Our Journey" made many Top 10 lists -- "a varied set of originals and covers that serve up glorious gospel transcendence." (Nick Cristiano/Philadelphia Inquirer). In 2012, the Sisters performed with Dr. John & Dan Auerbach and appear on Dr. John's Grammy-winning "Locked Down" CD. They also sang with Bob Dylan at his August 26 Concert in Cincinnati.

For The McCrary Sisters, the daughters of the late Rev. Samuel McCrary -- one of the original members of the legendary gospel quartet The Fairfield Four, music is a birthright, a lifelong love affair, a sometimes career, an indescribable joy, and occasionally, a cross to bear.

Regina, Ann, and Alfreda have performed in musical theater as well, and recorded with country music greats like Johnny Cash, and Wynona Judd. The sisters' list of recording sessions, and long association with Bobby Jones TV show spans genres and generations. They have recently added their unique blend of vocals to recording projects for blues greats Robert Randolph and Jonny Lang and with country artists Eric Church for CMT 2012 Artist of the Year Awards Show. Other performances have included 2011,2012 Americana Music Festival shows as well as sessions for the hit TV show Nashville.

Like her sisters, Deborah has been singing her whole life. In her early teens, she sang in the multi-Grammy-nominated BCM Mass Choir, performed "Everything Is Beautiful" with Ray Stevens, at Madison Square Garden sang with Elvis Presley, and performed with Isaac Hayes on Dinah Shore's TV show. Recently, she's been focusing on performing with her sisters, both as backup singers in various sessions and headlining as the McCrary Sisters. Ann and Regina McCrary: were featured on "Universal United House of Prayer", by Buddy Miller, were featured vocalists on Patty Griffin's acclaimed gospel project "Downtown Church" recorded at Nashville's downtown Presbyterian Church, and sang background vocals on Ray Stevens' classic "Everything Is Beautiful."

While bloodlines and resumes are all well and good, nothing can prepare you for the experience of hearing the McCrary Sisters live, though "ALL THE WAY" may be the next best thing. No words can describe the power, and passion and pure soulfulness of the McCrary Sisters--Ann, Deborah, Regina, and Alfreda. Hear them once, and you will never be the same.

Band Members