*After four decades as one of the most popular Gospel artists in the genre, Richard Smallwood remains a vital and vibrant fixture in Gospel music.

With the upcoming July 19th release of his 15th album “Promises,” Smallwood showcases his timeless gifts as songwriter and pianist and delivers a body of work that is at once refreshing and reflective.

Recorded live in a small studio setting, “Promises” is Smallwood’s first album since the 2005 passing of his mother, who was the artist’s biggest fan and motivator.

“I had not written a song since my mom died,” he says, “I thought the gift had dried up.  I would try to write and nothing would come.”

Inspired by the events in his life and other artists, he’s ready to get back in there and encourage someone else.

On the album, fans can expect a collaboration with Donald Lawrence and Lalah Hathaway.

“I was going through some of the songs I had written in the ‘70s and many had the same theme as this song,” Smallwood recalls. “Back then it was the Vietnam War, so we’re going through the very same thing because there’s always been fighting, there’s always been war. But now racism has reared its ugly head in a way that I haven’t seen since I was a little boy. I wanted to write something that everyone could identify with globally, which is that we need peace.”