Author Archives: Bob Marovich

“Praying and Believing” – Erica Campbell

“Praying and Believing” Erica Campbell My Block Records (release date: August 25, 2019) By Bob Marovich On this quintessential “coming to Jesus” song, Mary Mary’s Erica Campbell recognizes that the problems and complications she’s experiencing (first verse) and society is facing (second verse) are ours to accept but not to fix. Rather than blaming God for all the troubles, Erica prays to God for healing and strength—for herself and everyone, including “the mother praying for her child to come home.” The arrangement, featuring dramatic percussion and an imploring choir, gives Erica plenty of room to improvise. By the end, she ...

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JGM Music Hour: Episode 138

Episode 138 Playlist: He worked it out – Leah Oduro-Kwarten Nobody like Jesus – James Fortune feat. Lisa Knowles Smith I can do anything – Joanna Hale-McGill I know He’s been good – Linda Sanders Grateful – James Chappell III Oh how good He is – Byron Cage He careth for you – John P. Kee I choose you – Marjane’ Stay – William McDowell Higher – Nikki Berry Take your burdens – Chrystal Rucker The Lord’s Prayer – Peg Luke Born for this – BeBe Winans

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Teenaged Daughter of Gospel Singer Micah Stampley Passes Away

(ATLANTA, GA) October 22, 2019 – It is with a heavy heart that the Stampley family would like to announce the passing of their 15 year old daughter, Mary Stampley, from complications with a seizure. Please keep their family in your prayers and respect their privacy as they deal with this traumatic event. #    # The Journal of Gospel Music sends its heartfelt sympathies to the Stampley family on the loss of Mary. Parents should never have to bury their children. Our heart breaks for you.

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JGM Pick of the Week: October 21, 2019

“All In His Plan” PJ Morton feat. Le’Andria Johnson and Mary Mary Morton Inspiration/Tyscot (release date: September 20, 2019) www.tyscot.com By Bob Marovich “All In His Plan” addresses the issue we all grapple with: why do bad or hurtful things happen to us when God has the power to wipe it all away? The song’s conclusion: it’s “all in His plan.” There is a reason for everything—we just can’t see it yet. As maddening as it feels sometimes, we have to put our trust in God “because He already worked it out, in the end.” PJ Morton gives the ballad ...

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Kirk Whalum – Humanite’

Kirk Whalum Humanite’ Mack Avenue Music Group (release date: October 11, 2019) www.mackavenue.com By Bob Marovich If music is a universal language, the jazz idiom seems particularly equipped to express the essence of every culture. In doing so, it has the power to unify the world. I suspect saxophonist Kirk Whalum would agree. His latest release, Humanite’, is a love poem to world harmony. While not overtly religious, the album contains themes like freedom, love, hope, and optimism that resonate throughout various religions. But rather than lean on a higher power to solve every problem, Humanite’ suggests that it is ...

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Daigle, Franklin, Leonard, Lecrae Among Big Winners at 50th Dove Awards Ceremony

LAUREN DAIGLE TAKES HOME THREE DOVES INCLUDING THE TOP AWARD “ARTIST OF THE YEAR” KIRK FRANKLIN, TASHA COBBS LEONARD AND LECRAE TAKE TWO NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 15, 2019) – The Gospel Music Association celebrated the 50th Annual Dove Awards with a sold out crowd in Nashville, TN. The special evening shined a light on Christian and Gospel music’s rich and diverse history and showcased the future of exceptional artistry. The awards will be televised on TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) on Sunday, October 20 at 8 p.m. EST / 5 p.m. PST. The big winners of the night were songwriter Jason ...

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Put the Whole Armour On: Female Black Gospel – The 1940s and 1950s

Various Artists Put the Whole Armour On: Female Black Gospel – The 1940s-1950s NarroWay (release date: October 18, 2019) www.gospelfriend.se By Bob Marovich (as originally featured in Living Blues) “If it wasn’t for the women, you wouldn’t have church.” This quote, which accompanies a vintage photograph of three African American women lifting their hands heavenward, is not only featured prominently in Put the Whole Armour On, a two-CD tribute to 1940s and 1950s female gospel artists, but it serves as an apt prelude to the collection. That is, notwithstanding the prominence of women in African American churches, most denominations did ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: October 14, 2019

“He Loves Me” Yael Hilton Light Records / eOne Music (release date: August 30, 2019) By Bob Marovich Light Records was very fortunate to sign Yael Hilton, one of the most talented female vocalists to emerge from today’s galaxy of independent gospel artists. Her newest single, “God Can,” released in September, is a singing tour de force, but it’s “He Loves Me” that has the greatest radio potential. To a brassy and infectious Motown swagger, Hilton dominates the vocal line like a seasoned soloist. She weaves blue notes and Le’Andria-like raves on this feel-good song that sounds at first blush ...

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Beverly Heath – Jesus Boulevard

Beverly Heath Jesus Boulevard BaCE Music (release date: July 8, 2018) www.beverlyheath.com By Bob Marovich The title track of singer-songwriter Beverly Heath’s CD, Jesus Boulevard, sounds like a road the Dixie Hummingbirds could take their “Christian’s Automobile” for a spin. There are blessings awaiting the believer on “Jesus Boulevard,” the Atlanta-based Heath sings. And along the way, one can make passage on “Righteous Way” and “Miracle Road.” All these roads lead to peace of mind. No pun intended, but Heath’s style is what you could call middle-of-the-road (MOR) gospel. It is neither sanctified nor atmospheric. MOR is, in fact, where ...

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“Revelation” – Keith Reed Jr.

“Revelation” Keith Reed Jr. (release date: August 28, 2019) www.newsoundmusicgroup.org By Bob Marovich Supported by his group, the New Sound of Worship, Keith Reed Jr. asks God in “Revelation” to reveal His life-giving light during an especially dark moment. But despite the stressful circumstances that inspired the song, including Reed finding himself out of work and almost homeless, “Revelation” is surprisingly unruffled and even-tempered. The smooth jazz arrangement, conventional melody, and easygoing vocals smooth over the drama. The Columbus, Ohio, native currently serves as minister of music for Destiny Church International under the pastorate of Apostle Theodore Caesar. “Revelation” was ...

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