Author Archives: Bob Marovich

Richard Davis – Christ the Lord (EP)

Richard DavisChrist the Lord (EP)R2D Music / Flaydo Music (release date: November 30, 2018)www.r2dmusic.com By Bob Marovich The title of Richard Davis’s Christmas EP comes from the reason for the season, from the album’s title track (and single), and from the lyrics of “O Come All Ye Faithful,” one of the songs in the “Christmas Rhapsody” instrumental medley that opens the four-track project. “Christmas Rhapsody” shifts from Trans-Siberian orchestral to funky as it sets the tone for a big production. And whether Davis is covering classic carols or rendering new songs, the constant is the fullness of the arrangements. The rhythm section fills all the ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: December 10, 2018

“Cycles” Jonathan McReynolds feat. DOE From the eOne Music album Make Room (2018) By Bob Marovich Jonathan McReynolds and DOE (Dominique Jones of Forever Jones) go together like bacon and eggs. Musically, they are the Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova of Christian music. Their duet on the delicately acoustic and introspective “Cycles” has the simplicity of a living room jam session, though the presence of a live and engaged audience places a larger frame around the presentation. Lyrically, it is part prayer, part mantra, both seeking strength to overcome whatever life challenges the devil tries to throw at them. This ...

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God’s Chosen (self-titled)

God’s ChosenGod’s ChosenDREAM Records (release date: June 22, 2018)www.GC3Music.com By Bob Marovich Zebrina Anderson, Nikeisha Whittier, and Sarah Benibo are God’s Chosen (GC3), a trio designed to appeal to a multicultural Christian audience through its evocation of female gospel groups like Witness and Virtue as well as of megachurch praise teams. Their latest release, a self-titled album, includes mostly new compositions written by the ladies and co-producer John Strandell (who cameos on “I Want You”). AyRon Lewis and Levi “Too” King also contribute their estimable production talents to the project. Songs such as the strong opener “We’re Ready,” as well ...

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61st Grammy Awards Nominees Announced

Congratulations to the nominees of the 61st Grammy Awards: Best Gospel Performance/Song “You Will Win” Jekalyn Carr; Allen Carr & Jekalyn Carr, songwriters “Won’t He Do It” Koryn Hawthorne “Never Alone” Tori Kelly Featuring Kirk Franklin; Kirk Franklin & Victoria Kelly, songwriters “Cycles” Jonathan McReynolds Featuring DOE; Jonathan McReynolds, songwriter “A Great Work” Brian Courtney Wilson; Aaron W. Lindsey, Alvin Richardson & Brian Courtney Wilson, songwriters Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song “Reckless Love” Cory Asbury; Cory Asbury, Caleb Culver & Ran Jackson, songwriters “You Say” Lauren Daigle; Lauren Daigle, Jason Ingram & Paul Mabury, songwriters “Joy.” for KING & COUNTRY; ...

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Troy Ramey, Popular Quartet Lead Singer, Passes Away

By Bob Marovich The Journal of Gospel Music learned that Troy Ramey, longtime lead singer for the Soul Searchers of Atlanta, Georgia, has passed away. More details will be forthcoming as they are made available. Formerly a house painter, Troy Ramey was first lead for the Soul Searchers since the early 1960s, when they would appear at Bro. Esmond Patterson’s WAOK Gospel Caravan programs. The group first recorded for the local Atlanta label Ziontone and later signed with Musicor, where their 1972 hit, “Great Change,” put the quartet on the national map. By 1976, the group was recording albums and singles for ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: December 3, 2018

“Working for My Good” Brandon Mitchell & S.W.A.P. feat. Lisa Knowles-Smith From the BAMSWAP Music album Amazing By Bob Marovich Once again, an AyRon Lewis production makes our list: “Working For My Good,” by Brandon Mitchell & S.W.A.P. (Singers With A Purpose). This selection, rendered in the 12/8 “rocking chair” time signature, belongs as much to the effervescent Lisa Knowles-Smith as to the Mitchell group. Like Dorinda Clark-Cole, Lisa turns the temperature up anytime she is a featured vocalist. She doesn’t just recommend faith in God as the ultimate balm, she demands it. When Mitchell shouts, “Let’s take it to Mississippi,” ...

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Lady Beatrice Ward & Angelic Voices: Lord Help Me

Lady Beatrice Ward & Angelic Voices Lord Help Me Independent (release date: March 25, 2018) By Bob Marovich From the lead guitar riffs that open “When Trouble Rise,” and the song’s incessantly chugging rhythm, you know that Lady Beatrice Ward and the Angelic Voices’ Lord Help Me is going to be deliciously old-school. Although a synth is tucked in there, the instrumentation is traditional and suitably supports the female quartet. And when the ladies are not singing at drive tempo, they favor deep southern soul tempos and arrangements. Some selections are quartet standards that the ladies tweak and twist. For example, “It’s ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: November 27, 2018

“The Great I Am” Shree Isabell Kamasia Music (release date: September 28, 2018) www.shreeisabell.com By Bob Marovich “The Great I Am” is an explosive new single from Evangelist Shree Isabell, a member of Dr. Bobby Jones’ Nashville Super Choir. Through the retelling of biblical stories about freeing the Israelites and God’s appearance to Moses, Shree and her BGVs offer examples of God as way maker.  Shree’s point is that if God made a way years ago, he will make one for you today. The musicians match Shree’s vocal strength with eight cylinders of their own muscle. Together, the team functions like an engine without ...

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Brent Jones – Open Your Mouth and Say Something

Brent Jones Open Your Mouth and Say Something JDI Records (release date: September 14, 2018) By Bob Marovich “Don’t you dare walk away from gospel music!” Brent Jones exhorts in the midst of his delightful new project, Open Your Mouth and Say Something. He certainly provides an excellent role model for sticking with gospel. On his new project, the former leader of T. P. Mobb and the architect of the Easter Sunday favorite “He Rose” offers nine selections, many rendered with the talented Waco (Texas) Community Choir. What distinguishes this project among others in rotation today is Jones’ honest and humorous repartee with his ...

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“Silent Night” – Eddie Ruth Bradford

“Silent Night” Eddie Ruth Bradford Eddie Ruth Bradford Music (2018) By Bob Marovich Eddie Ruth Bradford could sing Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus and it would sound carved out of the Mississippi hills. So it’s no surprise that the Clarksdale, Mississippi, native turns the Christmas classic “Silent Night” into a slice of southern soul as sticky as peach cobbler and just as tasty. She’s assisted by a vocal harmony group and a band with an organ that peeks out of the rhythm section to toss warbled notes like pixie dust. Another win for the “Delta Breeze.”

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