Created in the 1970s’, The Rance Allen Group celebrates more than 40 years in the music industry as one of the first to incorporate rock and soul into traditional gospel music. Brothers Rance, Tom and Steve went on to produce songs such as “Something About the Name Jesus,” “Do Your Will,” and “I Belong To You.” This is the group’s sixth project with Tyscot Music + Entertainment, an Indianapolis-based record label.
The group rests on the foundation of brotherhood and continued to let that belief spill into their new album “Celebrate.” The Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper sat down with Rance Allen, lead vocalist of the group, about what it’s like to be in the music business with family, what it was like to create their new album and what’s ahead in 2015.
Indianapolis Recorder: You created The Rance Allen Group more than 40 years ago. Being such as well-known vocalist, what made you want to form a group instead of going solo?
Rance Allen: That had to do with family. We were a very large family, 12 children. My father left at an early age, then my step father. Both were good to us but just were not in the picture. My mother taught us with no short stopping to stay together. She said “Even if one of you looks to be the headliner or the frontrunner, you need to always keep your family close to you.”
What type of challenges occur when working with family for several years?
Some of it revolves around you being the person who is the leader and you may want to do some things they may not feel is as good for the entire group and sometimes you’ll have to back up and say “OK, how can we approach this from another angle?” Things like that can cause a bit of a problem. The positive thing is with family, you have blood flowing from one person to the other. Even though you may have disagreements, because there is a bloodline there, you tend to work harder on working things out. That’s the one thing I love about myself and my brothers. We have been able to work things out.
Let’s talk about your new album “Celebrate.” What was it like to work on the project?
It was a lot of work but I mean it was a joy to do. Every time you came up with a song and you could feel your heart in that song, feel your soul in that song, it made you love the song even more and made you love the business that you’re in even more because you know that song in particular is going to bless somebody’s life.
If you had to choose one song from the album as your favorite, which would it be and why?
My favorite right now and I’m saying right now because I know it will change, but it’s the last song on the album called “Walking in the Sand.” It’s a song about when you’re walking in the rain and you’re making it because you felt you had the hand of God but all of a sudden you look and there is only one set of footprints in the sand. Your mind tells you that you’re all alone but the spirt of the Lord comes again and says ‘No you’re not alone. This is the point I’ve picked you up and carried you.’ That song has blessed me through sickness and a very rough time.
Was it difficult to choose the album single “A Little Louder” as the album debut?
No, not at all. It was brought to us by a couple of young men in Ft. Wayne, Ind. These young men were so instrumental in putting this music together. They gave us space to put in a couple of lines but this song is basically their baby, the Thomas Gang. It just said everything we wanted to say. Everybody has problems but we believe you can praise your problems away if you give them to the Lord. The music of the single is so perfectly put together. The first thing we notice when we do this song is young people, up to about 38, they have a great time.
Why do you believe the group has lasted this long in the music industry and continues to have a loyal fan base?
We do what we do for the sake of ministry or to put it another way, we do it for the Lord. So if he is pleased then we’re pleased. People need out be encouraged and every time we can come up with a song that brings a smile to somebody’s face we do. God is using The Rance Allen Group and allows us to keep our fingers on the pulse of what’s going on around us so that we do not become behind the times but were right there to fit in the puzzle.
Is there anything else you’d like our Recorder readers to know?
In 2015 we hope it brings us super success. Not just money but success. I want to meet more of the world’s people because everyone belongs to God. We want to share our testimonies and hear other testimonies.
For more information on The Rance Allen Group, visit TheRanceAllenGroup.com.