Author Archives: Bob Marovich

JGM Pick of the Week: November 5, 2018

“Waiting on Jesus” True Believers 4 Winds Records (release date: October 23, 2018) www.malaco.com By Bob Marovich On “Waiting on Jesus,” Castro Coleman and the True Believers exude gobs of enthusiasm about the coming of the Lord. Using the tried-and-true call-and-response format, the group sings about fasting and praying until the great day comes. The song moves with that slow-strutting tempo and the crashing drum backbeat characteristic of deep southern soul gospel quartet singing. The lyrics and music are ready-made for extroverted physical movement by audience and quartet alike. Coleman is no stranger to gospel music. He traces his roots back ...

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“So Good” – Not Easily Broken (NEBS)

“So Good” Not Easily Broken (NEBS) https://www.facebook.com/NEBSisters/ By Bob Marovich The Not Easily Broken Sisters (NEBS) is a cross between a female quartet and a gospel group. On “So Good,” from their self-titled EP, the sisters are effusive about God’s goodness to them. God removed their chains, gave them grace, eliminated cloudy days, and put a smile on their face. Even when they lost their faith, God directed them to get on their knees and proceeded to provide his amazing grace. By the vamp, the four offer a litany of other ways God has demonstrated his goodness: as a doctor, lawyer, ...

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“Thirst 4 U” – Richard Davis

“Thirst 4 U” Richard Davis R2D Music / 9585 Records (release date: April 28, 2017) www.r2dmusic.com By Bob Marovich Water has been, and continues to be, a popular metaphor in spirituals and gospel music. From the Jordan River to the baptismal pool to a manifestation in rain, water represents rebirth and renewal. So it is with Richard Davis’s “Thirst 4 U,” where rain showers down an overflow of blessings. The song is enhanced by an energetic arrangement punctuated by flourishes of brass and smooth jazz overtones. The radio edit leaves out a good portion of the intro section, though for my money, I’d add ...

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A&P Records Inks Partnership and Distribution Deal with United Alliance Music Group

Hammond, Louisiana (Tuesday, October 23, 2018) – Hammond, Louisiana based independent gospel record label A&P Records has inked a partnership deal with Nashville-based company United Alliance Music Group (UAMG), it was announced today by A&P Records Founder and CEO Regina Showers-Gordon. Under the terms of this new strategic partnership effective October 23, 2018, UAMG will provide, utilizing a “conception to completion” model, world-class A&R, consulting, marketing, mastering, publishing assistance and radio promotion. Regina Showers-Gordon states, “As an independent label executive, it has always been my goal to partner with like minded individuals who could assist in taking our label and ...

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Braxton D. Shelley & Testimony – Sermons in Song

Braxton D. Shelley & Testimony Sermons in Song Independent (release date: August 16, 2018) Available on Amazon and CD Baby By Bob Marovich On Sermons in Song, Braxton D. Shelley & Testimony blend the austerity of a concert choir with the swagger of a gospel choir.  The result is a five-star project that deserves major label attention. As musician, songwriter, musicologist, and the album’s narrator, Dr. Shelley puts in practice the techniques of such top-shelf artists as Kurt Carr, Richard Smallwood, and Patrick Lundy to create a lushly textured choir project. Reminiscent of the annual Gospel Music Workshop of America ...

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Hanson Asiedu – Stages (EP)

Hanson Asiedu Stages (EP) Independent (release date: October 3, 2018) https://hansonasiedu.bandcamp.com/ By Bob Marovich Thanks to a successful 2017 Kickstarter campaign, singer, songwriter, and musician Hanson Asiedu (formerly Kase Sounds [“Change the World”]) released a five-track EP called Stages, his debut recording under his own name. Asiedu has a brightness and flexibility to his voice, and a coolness to his musicianship, that bring to mind John Legend. While the songs on Stages traverse acres of musical territory, in general they combine the acoustic-style gospel of Jonathan McReynolds with the earthiness of Tracy Chapman. The opening track, “God of Your Word,” ...

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The New Christianaires – My Faith is Working. . .The Journey Continues

The New Christianaires My Faith is Working. . .The Journey Continues Carter Classic Creations (release date: July 31, 2018) www.thenewchristianaires.com By Bob Marovich I give ample credit to any group that starts their CD with an old hymn and sings it almost a cappella, as the New Christianaires do on My Faith is Working. . .The Journey Continues. In free time (i.e., no tempo) and with only an improvisatory electric guitar for support, the quartet harmonizes sweetly on “I Need Thee Every Hour.” After that auspicious opening, the New Christianaires put a contemporary spin on both traditional songs and newly-composed numbers ...

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Fred Williams – Do a New Thing

Fred Williams Do a New Thing (independent; release date: March 17, 2017) https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/fredwilliams32 By Bob Marovich Living the holy life appears to be the overriding theme of Fred Williams’ independently-produced Do a New Thing. On the title track, the Aiken, South Carolina, singer-songwriter and music minister references Isaiah 43:18-21 in showing gratitude for God’s plentiful blessings, as well as reminding us of our responsibility to do the right thing: pay the blessings forward. During “On this Journey,” he asks God to show him the way to holiness, a state of existence he examines in detail earlier in the CD on “A Holy Life.” Other songs, such ...

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Christon Gray Wants to Clear the Air with “Interim” Album

By Bob Marovich After the release of his Billboard-charting School of Roses in 2014, Christon Gray had no idea what was coming. “I didn’t know that I would be going through a separation and then a divorce,” Gray told the Journal of Gospel Music. “I didn’t know that I would be moving. I didn’t know that I’d be in a new relationship. I didn’t know that I’d be leaving a record label. All of that happened and more.” On his latest release, Clear the Heir (Fo Yo Soul Recordings / RCA Inspiration), Gray uses lyric poetry and music to describe ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: October 22, 2018

“Blue” Juliana Schnee (release date: October 5, 2018) Available on iTunes By Bob Marovich With her soaring tones accented by endearing yodels, twenty-two-year-old singer Juliana Schnee sounds like a young LeAnn Rimes. Her inspirational song “Blue” is made all the more effective by the understated small jazz combo and strings that accompany her winsome urging to not let life get you down.  “Blue” blends jazz and inspirational lyrics in a way that dignifies both. A self-described lover of “Jesus and Jazz,” Schnee is from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. As a child, she taught herself to play piano and ukulele and wrote ...

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