Contemporary Gospel

Hanson Asiedu – Back to Life (EP)

Hanson Asiedu Back to Life (EP) Release date: October 18, 2020 www.hansonasiedu.com By Robert M. Marovich Formerly known as Kase Sounds, Hanson Asiedu is a Ghanian living in London whose responsibilities have included postman and police officer in addition to Christian singer-songwriter. His new EP, Back to Life, offers four songs that share sonic similarity but offer a variety of messages. Asiedu’s style, like many European gospel artists, is introspective and gentle, a Jonathan McReynolds feel with the acoustic guitar front and center. His voice is equally calming, sometimes fragile, but unremittingly pure, with little ornamentation. The mid-tempo “Holy Ghost ...

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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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“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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DOE – DOE (EP)

DOE DOE (EP) Life Room / RCA Inspiration (release date: October 30, 2020) www.rcainspiration.com By Robert M. Marovich Gospel music enthusiasts first heard DOE (Dominique Jones) as lead singer and composer of “He Wants It All,” the debut single by twice GRAMMY-nominated forever JONES, her family’s gospel music ensemble. Since then, the winsome singer has gone solo, earning a third GRAMMY nomination for her collaboration with Jonathan McReynolds on the single, “Cycles.” Not surprisingly, as their musical styles are similar, DOE’s first solo EP is on McReynolds’ newly-formed label, Life Room, in partnership with RCA Inspiration. Like McReynolds, DOE is ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: October 26, 2020

“Never Give Up” Tasha Cobbs Leonard From the Motown Gospel CD Royalty: Live at the Ryman www.motowngospel.com By Bob Marovich Although the gospel-meets-country selections on Tasha Cobbs Leonard’s new album, Royalty: Live at the Ryman, are the most fascinating, none of them surpasses the beautiful ballad, “Never Give Up.” Leonard moves from poignant to passionate, from vulnerable to victorious, as she relates how she had her doubts with “the walls closing in” and  while “so many others gave up on me,” but “you waited for me with your arms wide open.” “Never Give Up” offers some of Leonard’s most expansive singing ...

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Single by Charles Jerkins a “Contemporary Hymn for Today’s Times”

Sponsored Post: Gospel recording artist Charles Jerkins of the GRAMMY Award-winning Jerkins family of artists and producers brings listeners a contemporary hymn for today’s times, “Help Them Out.” Co-written by Charles with nephew Fred Jerkins III, the message relates to what is happening in our world today, from the pandemic to social uprisings. The elder Mr. Jerkins’ soothing yet firm husky baritone resonates throughout “Help Them Out,” as he advises listeners to keep the faith during these challenging moments we’re encountering. Watch the video: “Help Them Out”  Purchase or stream “Help Them Out” at this site: Charles Jerkins  Visit Charles’ ...

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Jekalyn Carr on New Album: “I Wanted to Do Something Different”

By Bob Marovich “I wanted to do something different.” That’s how multi-GRAMMY Award nominee and Stellar and Dove Awardee Jekalyn Carr describes Changing Your Story Live. Her new album is scheduled for release this Friday, October 23, on Lunjeal Music Group / The Orchard. The main difference between Changing Your Story Live and her previous releases, Jekalyn told the Journal of Gospel Music, was that it was recorded at an outdoor festival. “We were at Atlanta’s Praise in the Park, but it felt like we were in church. People came ready for church! I wanted to capture as much of ...

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Shirley Caesar – “Take Your Knee Off My Neck”

By Bob Marovich Give it up for Pastor Shirley Caesar. She stands once again, unafraid, and speaks her mind through music. Caesar, whose heart-wrenching “Mother Emanuel” honored the nine who lost their lives in the 2015 shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, is back with another protest anthem called “Take Your Knee Off My Neck.” The new song attacks the literal and figurative asphyxiation of African Americans at the hands of police and by the violence and apathy of white America. Declaring “Black Lives Matter,” she speaks their names, including George Floyd (“a lynching in broad daylight”), ...

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Jekalyn Carr – Changing Your Story Live!

Jekalyn Carr Changing Your Story Live! Lunjeal/The Orchard (release date: October 23, 2020) www.iamjekalyncarr.com By Bob Marovich Jekalyn Carr has achieved more by age 23 than most people will accomplish in a lifetime. With six Top 10 gospel singles under her belt, four hitting number one, plus several albums, a book, an e-course, acting credentials, Dove and Stellar awards, a GRAMMY nomination, and an endless stream of singing and speaking appearances, Carr is living proof of the power of her life-affirming messages. Recorded at Atlanta’s Praise in the Park event last October, Changing Your Story Live! is full of essentially ...

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Chosen Vessel – Marvin Sapp

Marvin Sapp Chosen Vessel RCA Inspiration / Verity (release date: October 9, 2020) www.rcainspiration.com By Bob Marovich Every successive Marvin Sapp solo album release after 2007’s Gold-certified Thirsty, with its blockbuster hit, “Never Would Have Made It,” has assumed something of Major Event status. Here I Am (2010), with its hit “The Best In Me;” I Win (2012); You Shall Live (2015); and Close (2017) received widespread attention and each ultimately hit number one. So no pressure on Chosen Vessel, Sapp’s twelfth solo release, dropped last Friday. Produced by Aaron Lindsey and Myron Butler, Chosen Vessel was recorded at Sapp’s ...

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