A vehicle for powerful vocalist Tre Williams, the Revelations are a New York-based group whose music combines the grit of vintage Southern soul, the cool edge of East Coast R&B, and the emotional gravity of the blues. Born in Daytona Beach, Florida, Williams started singing in church as a youngster, and after a few years of study at Daytona Beach's Bethune-Cookman University, he moved to New York in hopes of making a name for himself in the music business.
In 2001, Williams made an appearance on the television talent contest Showtime at the Apollo, which led to him appearing on Petey Pablo's album Diary of a Sinner: 1st Entry, lending his vocals to the title track. After making guest appearances with several other hip-hop acts (most notably on "I-95" by Styles P of the LOX), Williams found a supporter in Nas, who invited him to sing on the song "Let There Be Light" (from the album Hip Hop Is Dead) and signed him to his Ill Will Records label. However, while Williams cut an album for Ill Will in 2007, The Depth of My Soul, it was never released, and he and the label parted ways.
Williams became friendly with producer and A&R man Bob Perry, a veteran of the hip-hop scene who also had a taste for classic soul, and through Perry Williams teamed up with singer and lyricist Rell Gaddis, another R&B vocalist who had become a fixture in the hip-hop community. Gaddis had appeared on records by Kanye West, Mary J. Blige, and Raphael Saadiq, written songs for Usher, and cut an album for Roc-A-Fella that went unreleased. Williams and Gaddis brought together their songwriting talents, Gaddis demonstrated his abilities as a vocal foil for Williams, and Perry teamed them up with a powerhouse live band featuring Wes Mingus on guitar, Borahm Lee on keyboards, John Werner on bass, and Gintus Janusonis on drums.
The new group was dubbed the Revelations, and they released their debut EP, Deep Soul, in 2009. Their first full-length album, The Bleeding Edge, followed a few months later, and the band supported its release with plenty of road work, headlining clubs and sharing bills with soul and blues legends such as Bobby "Blue" Bland, Swamp Dogg, Bobby Rush, Otis Clay, and Denise LaSalle. In 2011, the Revelations traveled to Memphis, Tennessee to make their second full-length album, Concrete Blues; Lawrence "Boo" Mitchell, son of legendary producer Willie Mitchell, co-produced the recordings with Bob Perry, and fabled Memphis session men Teenie Hodges, Charles Hodges, and James Alexander lent their talents to the project. ~ Mark Deming