Author Archives: Bob Marovich

JGM Music Hour: Episode 137

Episode 137 Playlist: He’s coming back – Rev. Lawrence Thomison I’ll be alright – Larry Hill Don’t judge me – Kierra Sheard In my name – Ruth La’Ontra While I wait – Shara J Bless somebody else – Kurt Carr & Kurt Carr Singers I got Jesus – Keyondra Lockett God can do anything – VaShawn Mitchell I’m trying to be like Jesus – Camille Nelson feat. Kimberly Knighton & Britney Holman Way maker – Tonya Ware Give Him glory – Dr. LaTonya Earl The way I go – Vessel Mommy’s medley – Zak Williams & 1Akord

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: September 16, 2019

“I Can Do Anything” Joanna Hale-McGill McGill Music Group (release date: June 22, 2019) From the CD New Sound, Same God Vol. 1 www.JoannaHaleMcGill.com By Bob Marovich Singer-songwriter Joanna Hale-McGill has a keen ear for song hooks. On “I Can Do Anything,” the praise & worship leader of His Will Worship Center in Slidell, Louisiana, embeds memorable hooks in the lyrics, in the music, in the bits of electronica, in the overall arrangement, and sometimes even in the spaces between. The song is an anthem of heaven-bestowed empowerment bathed in a bubbly, shoulder-shaking vibe and driven by insistent eighth notes ...

Read More »

James Fortune – Dream Again

James Fortune Dream Again eOne Music / FIYA World Music (release date: August 23, 2019) www.entertainmentone.com By Bob Marovich I admit to having had significant misgivings when I was approached to review James Fortune’s new album, Dream Again. The gospel artist’s guilty pleadings to assaulting his wife Cheryl Fortune and earlier, to felony injury to his stepson, left me profoundly disappointed and angry. Why condone such behavior by acting as if it didn’t happen? My inkling was to never review his music again. Later, I read an article in which Fortune expressed remorse for what he had done and indicated ...

Read More »

Nikki Berry – Journey to Restoration

Nikki Berry Journey to Restoration Reviving Dreams Enterprises (release date: November 8, 2018) www.nikkiberrymusic.com By Bob Marovich Houston, Texas-based singer-songwriter Nikki Berry is one of the only gospel singers I know who also has a degree in mechanical engineering. I met Berry this summer at the Rhythm of Gospel Awards celebration in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she was crowned Ms. N.I.G.M.A. (National and Independent Gospel Music Awards). Journey to Restoration is her latest album. Striving and overcoming are the thematic strands that hold the project together and are, in her hands, the motive forces of achieving restoration. For example, “The ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: September 10, 2019

“Grateful” James Chappell III Independent (release date: October 5, 2018) aplazmanagementllc@gmail.com By Bob Marovich “Grateful” is a charming, smile-inducing song on its own, but add James Chappell III as lead vocalist, and it delights on two levels. In less than three minutes, Chappell channels the elastic yodels of Sam Cooke and Johnny Taylor, lofts falsetto notes like the Reverend Claude Jeter, adds a bit of Reverend Al Green southern twang, and delivers gut-wrenching growls like Joe Ligon. Backed by a quartet and with a rhythm section galloping along in mid-tempo, Chappell sounds as pleased with God’s intervention in his life ...

Read More »

Kanye West Brings His Sunday Service Experience To Fellowship Chicago

From a Press Release: Chicago welcomed hometown favorite, Kanye West, with open arms for his Sunday Service Experience this past weekend. Following a rousing performance on Chicago’s Northerly Island with an estimated 10,000 attendees, thousands of church goers packed into the historic Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church (led by senior pastor and gospel music sensation, Charles Jenkins) for Sunday Service: Part Two. When asked how this came about, Jenkins shared, “About 6 months ago I was talking to Kanye and he was saying how so many people are in so much pain and in need of hope. He said to me ...

Read More »

Who is Titus Showers? The Answer Is On His New EP

By Bob Marovich If the leaders of Hammond, Louisiana, ever decided to change the town’s name, one contender in the running would be Showers, Louisiana. This Tangipahoa Parish town with a census of about 21,000 residents boasts no less than seven businesses owned and operated by members of the Showers Family. Gospel fans also know the Showers as a popular family band. The singing group, which made its national recording debut in 2009, is but one example of the family’s commitment to religious ministry. Family patriarch Dr. Bobby R. Showers Sr. pastors Rose Valley Missionary Baptist Church in nearby Roseland. ...

Read More »

RIP: Dr. Jonathan Greer II, Organist, Choir Director, Church Leader

By Bob Marovich Dennis Bines informed the Journal of Gospel Music that Dr. Jonathan Greer II passed away on Saturday, August 31, 2019. Home going arrangements will be announced as soon as they are known. Meanwhile, here is a brief bio on Dr. Greer, written by me for the Malaco Music Group website and approved by the late Dr. Greer: A gospel organist, choir director and church leader, Dr. Jonathan Greer II was born June 4, 1941, to Bishop Jonathan Greer Sr. and Vanilla “Dear” Thompson. The young Jonathan grew up in his father’s Chicago church, Light of the World ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: September 2, 2019

“He Worked It Out” Leah Oduro-Kwarten Ok Productions (release date: June 22, 2018) By Bob Marovich A lead vocalist with the Illinois Midwest Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Choir under Dr. Cynthia Nunn, Leah Oduro-Kwarten, better known as Lady Flo, flexes her Chicago chops on this high energy aisle walker. Lady Flo lends her smoky alto to songwriter Angela Frazier’s double-time shout of hallelujah. An effervescent group of background vocalists serves as the choir to Lady Flo’s evangelistic declamations. The “work it out” vamp is reminiscent of Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer’s “He Can Work It Out,” but without the baby needing shoes. When ...

Read More »

Gene Moore – Tunnel Vision

Gene Moore Tunnel Vision Motown Gospel (release date: August 23, 2019) www.motowngospel.com By Bob Marovich The nine radio-sized songs on Tunnel Vision, Gene Moore’s second album for Motown Gospel, focus on the importance of keeping the faith and maintaining hope that things will get better. While faith is a staple of Christian belief, it is a mainstay of human life, regardless of religious belief or lack of belief. The opener and radio single, “Won’t Be Moved,” begins laying out the album’s message of personal encouragement by riffing on the lyric motive of “I Shall Not Be Moved,” the gospel hymn ...

Read More »