Kirk Franklin x Maverick City Music Embody Old-Fashioned Revival in D.C. With Joint Album Recorded in Prison: Concert Review

Kirk Franklin is on a new tour and the gospel music icon is not alone. This time around, he’s collaborating with Maverick City Music for a holy-ghost-filled night of praise that surely resembles an old-school revival that Christians are used to. In addition to Maverick City Music and Franklin, Jonathan McReynolds and Housefires also give inspirational sets.

Kirk Franklin x Maverick City Music perform at 2022 BET Awards; Frankin and Maverick City Music have a new album and tour
Kirk Franklin performs with Maverick City Music members | Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

McReynolds performs alone, with help from background singers and the assistance of his guitar. While Franklin may appear to be the biggest name on the ticket, Maverick City Music members are the true stars. After attending the D.C. concert stop, here’s what to expect. 

5 star rating for Kirk Franklin x Maverick City Music's 'Kingdom Tour' in D.C.
5-star rating for Kirk Franklin x Maverick City Music’s ‘Kingdom Tour’ in D.C.

Who is Maverick City Music?

The Grammy-award-winning Christian contemporary collective has been around since its establishment in 2018.  There’s one distinct difference between Gospel and Christian contemporary. Gospel is defined as faith-based/inspirational music recorded by primarily Black artists. Christian contemporary is the same type of music performed by others, typically multi-cultural and uses less soul and blues in its undertone. 

Source: YouTube

Maverick City Music is made up of a group of talented individual musicians, singers, and songwriters. They joined forces after attending a writing workshop in 2018. There’s also a label of the same name. The members of the actual collective consist primarily of Chandler Moore, Naomi Raine, Dante Bowe, Brandon Lake, Maryanne J. George, Aaron Moses, Lizzie Morgan, and others. Moore, Raine, and Lake sing many of the leads. 

The group built its fan base via YouTube. They have managed to merge the two genres and have attracted a diverse fan base. 

Their new joint album was recorded in a prison

In addition to the tour, Franklin and Maverick City Music have a joint album also titled Kingdom. The album is currently available for purchase wherever music is sold. Fans can purchase it at tour stops, as well as promotional merchandise. If you think the Franklin and Fred Hammond Verzuz battle was great, the tour and album surely tops it. 

What’s unique about the album is that it was recorded live in a prison, Everglades Correctional Institution. The group visits prisons often to share the word and give hope to prisoners. It’s something personal for both Franklin and the group’s co-founder, Tony Brown. This project is one of the most meaningful for Franklin, despite him working with the likes of Yolanda Adams, Kanye West, and so many more.

Source: YouTube
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Brown, who would visit his mother behind bars in Staten Island as a child. “One of my first memories of being in New York was visiting my mother when I was nine years old,” Brown told Rolling Stone. “Me and the guys [in Maverick] have been impacted by mass incarceration and the issues concerning that for a long time, so this has been an important project for us.” Franklin also has direct experience with prisons as his sister was in and out of jail for years battling substance abuse. 

Franklin told Rolling Stone that he and the group received inspiration from the inmates in a special way. “Walking past these brothers who were singing my songs on the way to the performance was really, really humbling,” he explained. “To hear the hope and freedom in their voices even though they were in situations that are extremely challenging…that’s why we do what we do, and that’s what the music is for.”

Get ready to be filled with the spirit

Maverick City Music and Franklin interchanged between their catalogs, serving as background vocalists to one other in interchangeable sets. Some of Franklin’s hits performed feature “Melodies From Heaven,” “Smile,” and, “Brighter Day,” “Imagine Me.” 

In an unexpected interlude, members of Maverick City Music and Franklin sat in Church pews to resemble a traditional church service as Maverick City Music performed semi-acapella snippets of other Franklin classics such as “Something About the Name Jesus,” “Now Behold The Lamb,” “Silver & Gold,” “The Reason Why I Sing” while Franklin played the piano.

Maverick City Music sings some of their major hits. Attendees can expect to hear emotional renditions of “Jirah,” “Million Little Miracles,” “Promises,” “Refiner,” and “Wait On You.”