Author Archives: Bob Marovich

“Come Back” – Elain Thomas

“Come Back” Elain Thomas From the EP Transformations Independent (release date: October 6, 2020) www.reverbnation.com/elainthomas By Robert M. Marovich Anchored by bold and insistent Brazilian percussion, “Come Back” is Elain Thomas’s finest single to date. It’s a rhythmic rumination on God’s constancy, a conversation between the self-styled jazz psalmist and her Savior. In her resonant contralto, Thomas delivers the Lord’s declaration, “Backslider, you belong to me,” not as a command but as a given. Many songs lasting two-and-a-half minutes are fine where they are, but “Come Back” could have gone on much longer without any loss of listener interest.

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Young Men 4 Christ – Elevation (EP)

Young Men 4 Christ Elevation (EP) Independent (release date: September 11, 2020) www.youngmen4christ.com By Bob Marovich Formed in 2012, Young Men 4 Christ is a contemporary male quartet from Detroit that offers the churchy turns and pulpit-honed declarations for which their hometown is famous. On the six-track EP Elevation, the nine-man group (five singers and four musicians) shifts between traditional and modern gospel quartet styles. For example, “He’s Able” and an extended version of the group’s single “Testimony” are buoyant aisle-walkers, and “Everything to God in Prayer” is a faithful reading of “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” with ...

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“It’s Gonna Be Alright” – Mie’L & Company

“It’s Gonna Be Alright” Mie’L & Company Shekaycie Music (release date: September 5, 2019) https://www.thebash.com/gospel-band/mie-l-company By Robert M. Marovich From its name, pronounced My-L, Mie’L & Company sounds like a male-led small choir. From the cover of its EP, Another Chance, with its photo of group leader Richie Irby, it appears to be a solo act. But listening to the EP, one discovers that this Roebuck, South Carolina, troupe sings with the downhome passion of a quartet. “It’s Gonna Be Alright” is by far the best of the EP’s three cuts. It is straight-ahead Sunday morning service gospel quartet singing, ...

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“Thank You Lord” – Pastor Mack Mason

“Thank You Lord” Pastor Mack Mason Independent (release date: October 17, 2020) By Robert M. Marovich Fronting a team of smooth female vocalists, Pastor Mack Mason doesn’t hold back as he testifies with gushes of gratitude on “Thank You Lord.” The robust-voiced Mason sings at the upper edge of his baritone range, revving up in the song’s vamp, which apexes in the song’s finest moment—an ad libbed shout of joy and relief: “You’re the best friend that I’ve ever had – whoooo!” A veteran radio announcer, author, and publisher, Pastor Mason now helms his grandfather’s church, Greater Prayer Garden Church ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: November 9, 2020

“9 Makes Us 1” Legacy Five & the Wardlaw Brothers Daywind Records (release date: October 16, 2020) By Robert M. Marovich Sung by a combination of two quartets, one representing southern gospel and the other gospel music, the smooth ballad “9 Makes Us 1” underscores the significance and necessity of racial amity. The nine singers meet in the musical middle, blending the best of their respective styles into one meaty mélange that evokes a 1990s pop ballad. Despite music marketing categories based on race, white and black quartets have historically emulated one another. Groups like the Jordanaires and Blackwood Brothers ...

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“Help Them Out” – Charles Jerkins

“Help Them Out”Charles Jerkinswww.charlesjerkinsmusic.com By Robert M. Marovich Charles Jerkins’ “Help Them Out” is an R&B-infused ballad about extending compassion to the ones who need it most. But the aid goes beyond basic human needs, Charles sings, because extending a helping hand or words of encouragement—“showing the love of Jesus”—can also lead to that person’s soul salvation. By the song’s vamp, Charles abandons balladeering for pulpiteering, extemporizing in a blue tonality as the BGVs coo “help them out” behind him. Charles is uncle to producers and songwriters Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins and “Uncle Freddie” Jerkins III. In fact, Freddie co-wrote “Help ...

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RIP: Louise McCord-Williams, Soloist, Member of Voices of Tabernacle and Roberta Martin Singers

By Robert M. Marovich Marcel West of Detroit informed JGM that gospel singer Louise McCord-Williams passed away on November 3, 2020. For many years, McCord was a member of, and frequent soloist with, Detroit’s famed Voices of Tabernacle Choir, under the direction of Rev. James Cleveland. Among the songs she led or helped lead were “Down by the Riverside” (with Hulah Gene Hurley), “Yes God is Real,” “Jesus Be a Fence Around Me” and, with Rev. Cleveland, “There is No Greater Love,” “He’ll See You Through,” and “Plenty Good Room.” In 1966, McCord, a mezzo-soprano, was invited to join the ...

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JGM Music Hour – Episode 148

Episode 148 Playlist: One more time – Cynthia Adams Testimony – Young Men 4 Christ Take your burdens – Shirley McNeil & Singers of Faith Precious Lord, take my hand – Dr. Henry Jackson What a friend – Elder Randall Ogans Sr. Wade in the water – Miss Freddye This little light of mine – David Billingsley Never give up – Tasha Cobbs Leonard Speak to me – Koryn Hawthorne Your love is – People of the Earth Trouble don’t last – P.U.S.H. Glory – Detroit Youth Choir, feat. IndigoYaj Oh Jesus (remix) – Dorothy Norwood feat. Dorinda Clark-Cole

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Bishop Bobby Ingram & the Legendary Trenton Allstars

Bishop Bobby Ingram & the Legendary Trenton AllstarsBlessings Keep Coming1 Sound Music Group (release date: September 11, 2018) By Bob Marovich With five tracks and a bonus selection, Blessings Keep Coming by Bishop Bobby Ingram and the Legendary Trenton Allstars is technically an EP, but the North Carolina-based male quartet ekes out as much utility as it can from the limited disc time. The title track is a hard-charging celebration of continual blessings for not just basic necessities but also the grander goodness of peace and happiness. “Praise His Name” sets the Biblical Gospel Singers’ classic congregation favorite “I Came ...

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