Contemporary Gospel

JGM Pick of the Week: September 20, 2021

“Jesus Christ is Lord” Carmella Green Cloud Records (release date: December 18, 2020) www.cloudrecordsllc.com By Robert M. Marovich “Jesus Christ is Lord” by Carmella Green is another outstanding sacred single from Cloud Records, an emerging label with a small but mighty roster of accomplished vocalists. Despite being a soprano, Carmella Green delivers this song in a deep, dramatic voice, like a trained senior choir soloist. She does toss in a few vocal flowers, mostly at the end, but in general, she sings the worship opus in an operatic style. With its text drawn from Philippians 2:10-11 (“every knee shall bow, ...

Read More »

“Making Angels” – Tracy Worth

“Making Angels” Tracy Worth Independent (release date: September 10, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich It’s been a minute since we’ve heard from Tracy Worth, but the South Suburban Chicago singer sounds as if her voice hasn’t changed one day from her 2010 video “Christ Is All” or, for that matter, her 2005 radio hit, “I’ll Follow You,” featuring Melvin Williams. Despite the angelic title, the plaintive song is a plea for a stoppage of the violence that too often takes the youngest among us. “God don’t need no help making angels,” Worth declares, and she’s right. “We’re gonna lose a ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: September 13, 2021

“I Am Strong” Capathia Jenkins Cloud Records (release date: June 11, 2021) http://www.cloudrecordsllc.com/ By Robert M. Marovich “I Am Strong” by Capathia Jenkins is an excellent song, marvelously sung, perfectly arranged and produced, and with a message about courage that transcends the purely spiritual. The Brooklyn-born singer has performed with several orchestras and has a list of acting credits as long as your arm. These include creating the character of Harriet Jackson in the vastly underrated Broadway musical, The Civil War, and the character of The Washing Machine in Caroline, or Change. She was nominated for a Drama Desk Award ...

Read More »

“I Will Call Upon the Lord” – Dr. E. LaQuint Weaver II & the Hallelujah Singers

“I Will Call Upon the Lord” Dr. E. LaQuint Weaver II & the Hallelujah Singers (release date: September 1, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Whenever I hear “I Will Call Upon the Lord,” the latest single from Detroit choir Dr. E. LaQuint Weaver & the Hallelujah Singers, I am reminded of the city’s iconic Joe Louis Fist sculpture. The song exemplifies in lyric and arrangement the majestic might of that fist. The song’s testimony to resilience “during these perilous times” and the choir’s steadfast faith in the Lord in the midst of their enemies are manifested in thunderous staccato singing ...

Read More »

“I’m Yours” – Leah Oduro-Kwarten

“I’m Yours” Leah Oduro-Kwarten Independent (release date: August 13, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Like Leah Oduro-Kwarten’s 2018 single “He Worked It Out,” her new outing, “I’m Yours,” is expansive in production and extroverted in delivery. Unlike her previous single, it moves with a more contemporary strut. Leah delivers the song’s premise—a request for conversion from an old life to a new and more fulfilling one—with the same outpouring of passion she showed while leading 2016’s “All Power” for Dr. Cynthia Nunn and the Illinois Midwest Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Mass Choir. While Leah’s sweet spot is churchy traditional gospel, with “I’m ...

Read More »

Pastor David Wright & NY Fellowship Mass Choir – Miracles

Pastor David Wright & NY Fellowship Mass Choir Miracles Godfather Records (release date: July 15, 2021) www.gracetabernacle.info By Robert M. Marovich For fans of contemporary gospel choirs, and especially for those who wonder where the choir went (it hasn’t gone anywhere) Pastor David Wright & NY Fellowship Mass Choir’s new release, Miracles, will delight. Although the audience is mostly inaudible, Miracles was recorded live in Brooklyn’s Christ Fellowship Baptist Church. The husky-voiced Wright, son of the late Reverend Timothy and Betty Wright, has loaded his new album with feature vocalists. For example, the opener, “Justified,” written and led by David ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week August 16, 2021

“Fear is Not Welcome” Brian Courtney Wilson feat. Hilary Scott From the Motown Gospel CD Still (Deluxe) (single release date: July 9, 2021) www.motowngospel.com By Robert M. Marovich While the original version of Brian Courtney Wilson’s “Fear is Not Welcome” was potent enough, for the Deluxe edition of Still, he duets with Hilary Scott, co-lead singer of Lady A (formerly Lady Antebellum) and who, as Hillary Scott & the Scott Family, released the Grammy Award-winning Christian music album, Love Remains. Together, the two declare holy war on fear, but not without a call for assistance from on high. Echoes of Psalm ...

Read More »

Jason Nelson – Close

Jason Nelson Close Jaelyn Song Music /Tyscot / FairTrade (release date: August 6, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich The mark of an excellent gospel album is not just the superiority of the singing or the talent of the musicians but the solidness of the songs. Especially the songs. Jason Nelson’s Close contains enough new songs for gospel artists to draw upon for the better part of a year. It’s been three years since The Answer (RCA Inspiration), but it is clear that Jason Nelson, twin brother of Jonathan Nelson, hasn’t tarried. His sixth album, Close, was written during the pandemic ...

Read More »

52ND ANNUAL GMA DOVE AWARD NOMINEES ANNOUNCED

ELEVATION WORSHIP, FOR KING & COUNTRY, BRANDON LAKE, CECE WINANS AND ZACH WILLIAMS LEAD NOMINATIONS The GMA Dove Awards in-person Nashville event will be held October 19th and will air exclusively on TBN, Friday, October 22nd, 2021 8:00p.m. ET and 10:00p.m. ET Nashville, Tenn. (August 11, 2021) – The Gospel Music Association is pleased to announce nominees for the 52nd Annual GMA Dove Awards. Top nominations include Steven Furtick with ten (10) nominations, Chris Brown with nine (9), Wayne Haun with eight (8), seven (7) nominations each for Elevation Worship and Brandon Lake, six (6) to for KING & COUNTRY ...

Read More »

Kisha Grandy – Epitome

Kisha Grandy Epitome K.J. Productions (release date: June 22, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Epitome is a solo album by actor and singer Kisha Grandy, an alumna of Kirk Franklin and the Family going back to the group’s debut album in 1993. Indeed, it’s a Kirk Franklin reunion of sorts, as the album’s solitary churchy track, Jessy Dixon’s “God is Standing By” (popularized by Walter Hawkins), finds Grandy in a fiery duet with Family alumna “Mother” Sheila Brice. The background vocalists support the two on the drive-tempo vamp that could have kept on going. “More Than Ever,” featuring Family member ...

Read More »