Author Archives: Bob Marovich

Dr. Mark Williams -When a Man Worships

Dr. Mark Williams When A Man Worships ATAP Music Group (released: August 2016) www.DrMarkWill.com By Bob Marovich Although Dr. Mark Williams is originally from Cincinnati and now lives in Nashville, his latest solo release, When A Man Worships, sounds straight outta Memphis. That’s because on most of the album’s dozen selections, the musicians (guitar, bass, drums, keys, organ, horns, even flute) support him with an easy-going patina of jazz and streaks of spicy soul a la Stax Records. I say “most,” because a few tracks vary from the album’s overall Quiet-Storm-meets-McLemore-Avenue vibe. “Free At Last,” for example, has a Caribbean touch, ...

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Hostyle Gospel – Hostyle Takeover

Hostyle Gospel Hostyle Takeover (release date: October 14, 2016) www.hostylegospel.com By Bob Marovich Hostyle Gospel, the Christian hip hop trio from Champaign, Illinois, is back with its fourth release, Hostyle Takeover. This fourteen-cut album finds the collective persistent in its quest to blot out evil, with the “takeover” being a call to overturn a world based on hierarchy, not the content of one’s character or God-given ability. If we didn’t know already, the album’s Travon Martin-themed “Skittles & Iced Tea” exposes a whole lot of contemporary evil in the guises of racism, discrimination, hatred, and murder, with African American males as ...

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Kirk Franklin Scores Another “Victory” at Soul Train Awards

Dallas, TX (November 29, 2016) – Gospel mega-star Kirk Franklin celebrated a win in the category of Best Gospel/Inspirational Song for his #1 hit “123 Victory” at this year’s Soul Train Awards, which recently aired on BET and CENTRIC. Marking his sixth Soul Train Award win, “123 Victory” is Franklin’s buoyant hit anthem from his chart-topping album LOSING MY RELIGION, which also features the smash single “Wanna Be Happy?” Franklin also released another version of the acclaimed anthem early this fall, topping the Gospel charts again with the creation of “123 Victory Remix” (feat. Pharrell Williams). LOSING MY RELIGION also ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: November 28, 2016

“Let It Be Done” Albert White Overboard Records (2016) www.cdbaby.com/cd/albertwhiteandavop From the opening moans and the gospel waltz tempo to the blue notes and the opening line, “I know sometimes life gets you down and it seems like there’s trouble all around,” everything about “Let It Be Done” shouts traditional gospel. Then there’s the warbling organ, and the path is set for a sure enough hand-waver from Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s Albert White. The lyric contains a fascinating curveball, though. After hearing White recount everything that might be going wrong, the listener expects him to offer a direct reassurance, something along the lines ...

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JGM Music Hour – Episode 109

          Click on the image above to begin streaming Episode 109: Playlist: Rock steady – Angela Bennett Devotion – Nate Bean & 4Given Give thanks – Doe Jones Be still – Riverside SDA Choir feat. Lecresia Campbell Hallelujah – The Stand Campaign feat. Joann Rosario-Condrey King of the broken – Rick Stephenson Escaped to tell – Blanche McAllister I’ve come too far – Faithful Connection I’m a winner – Tonya Lewis-Taylor Give me Jesus – Dawn Turner In due season – Jennifer Myles You are – Half Mile Home Sing Hallelujah to the king – Belle ...

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“Because of Who You Are” – Sounds of Imani

“Because of Who You Are” Sounds of Imani Heaven-Wings Records (release date: October 21, 2016) www.soundsofimani.com Recording as the Sounds of Imani, Gerald and Carol Ervin have released their debut single, “Because of Who You Are,” a tuneful praiser that features the husband-wife team’s fine solo and duet vocalizing. Carol’s soprano is so reminiscent of Stylistics lead singer Russell Thompkins Jr. that this song sounds decidedly Philly, although the Ervins are from Detroit. The single also has an early Hawkins Family feel in its soft R&B tones, light tempo, and breezy ensemble harmonies. This all makes sense when one considers that ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: November 23, 2016

“Excuse Me” Chrystal Rucker HBK Media (2016) Chrystal Rucker is one of the most gifted vocalists in gospel music today. Although some of her best work thus far has been on passionately rendered slow songs, “Excuse Me” gives her a chance to front a shoulder-shaking praiser. On “Excuse Me,” Rucker only hints at the reasons she shouts and lifts her hands in praise. She sings: “Wish I had the time to tell you, but you would not believe / All of the things God has done for me.” Just thinking about God’s goodness gets her all verklempt, which means more ...

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Dee Dee Sharp – Songs of Faith (reissue)

Dee Dee Sharp Songs of Faith Cameo Records / ABKCO Music and Records (originally released in 1962; reissued October 21, 2016) www.abkco.com By Bob Marovich Just before the Beatles all but changed the face of popular music, Cameo/Parkway Records was finding new ways to keep kids dancing. From Chubby Checker’s “The Twist” and the Orlons’ “The Wah Watusi” to the Dovells “Bristol Stomp” and Dee Dee Sharp’s “Mashed Potato Time,” the Philadephia label was doing what Motown was about to do: recalibrate R&B music by African American artists for a multicultural audience. Cameo producers Kal Mann and Dave Appell knew ...

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The Rance Allen Group – Live from San Francisco

The Rance Allen Group Live from San Francisco Tyscot Records (release date: October 28, 2016) www.tyscot.com By Bob Marovich “I’m loving me some of y’all,” gushed an obviously pleased Bishop Rance Allen to the audience gathered to hear the Rance Allen Group at the Second Annual Charles Reid Gospel Festival in Richmond, California, north of San Francisco. From the response of the audience, the love was mutual. The Bay Area program was recorded live by Tyscot Records and released as Live from San Francisco, the Rance Allen Group’s 25th album and third live project. They return for this live album ...

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Half Mile Home – Don’t Judge Me

Half Mile Home Don’t Judge Me Church Boy Musik / Blacksmoke Music Worldwide (release date: July 8, 2016) www.halfmilehome.com By Bob Marovich Oh, the irony in reviewing a CD called Don’t Judge Me. That’s the name of Half Mile Home’s fourth and latest full-length project, which repackages some of the Ohio trio’s earlier cuts, a couple of live performances, and six new songs that bear the group’s soul-funky “rhythm and light” brand of Christian pop music. The new songs are sandwiched in between mixes of former releases, presumably to give newly acquired fans an updated sample of retro HMH. The ...

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