Contemporary Gospel

Jason Nelson Provides The Answer May 18

By Bob Marovich May 18 marks the day Bishop Jason Nelson will release his fifth album, The Answer (RCA Inspiration). Recorded live at Greater Bethlehem Temple Church in Randallstown, Maryland, the album marks Nelson’s tenth anniversary as pastor of Greater Bethlehem Temple, the church his father, Bishop James D. Nelson Sr., once shepherded. JGM asked the Stellar Award-winning singer and songwriter about a few of the songs on The Answer. Though the hymnbook-like “Jesus Is the Answer (For the World Today)” opens the album, it was not intended to be the lead-off song. “Originally, the song fell [in sequence] after ...

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Kendrick Evans – Live Therapy Session

Kendrick Evans Live Therapy Session Rock the Cause Records (release date: September 29, 2017) By Bob Marovich Appearing on the CW docu-drama My Last Days, award-winning gospel singer Kendrick Evans of Quincy, Florida, opened up about his acute sleep apnea that doctors said would give him about three more years to live. Eschewing the surgery that would probably have ruined his voice, Evans chose to find other remedies so he could sing. And sing he does. Evans uses his Live Therapy Session as a musical variant of the mental health counseling the title suggests. He puts all of his stuff out ...

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Various Artists: JDI Classics – Gospel Music for All Occasions

Various Artists JDI Classics: Gospel Music for All Occasions JDI Records (release date: April 6, 2018) By Bob Marovich JDI Records founder and CEO James Roberson has been doing some spring cleaning. In the case of The Essential Beverly Crawford, Vol. 2 as well as with this new JDI Classics release, Robertson has been reissuing items from the company’s estimable catalog. JDI Classics: Gospel Music for All Occasions is a clever repackaging conceit and something of a greatest hits collection for the Los Angeles-based label. Some of the songs are older. For example, Norman Hutchins’ “Emmanuel” (the Christmas choice) is ...

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Genesis of a Gospel Song: “You Deserve It”

By Bob Marovich This year’s Stellar Awards Song of the Year went to “You Deserve It.” Written by David Bloom and co-authored by Bishop Cortez Vaughn, Demond Reed, and JJ Hairston, the song also received a Grammy nomination for Best Gospel Performance/Song. Bloom explained to the Journal of Gospel Music how the song was birthed. *      *      * I was first exposed to gospel music as a child. My parents were pastors, so as soon as I was born and we left the hospital, we went straight to church! My mom was a musician and a praise and worship singer. ...

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Derek Dunn – I Will Sing

Derek Dunn I Will Sing In Season Music Group (release date: October 13, 2017) www.inseasonmusicgroup.com By Bob Marovich From the Tidewater area of Virginia comes Derek Dunn, whose latest CD, I Will Sing, is notable for offering more than the usual number of high-potential songs expected from an album of new compositions. Dunn’s muscular voice is reminiscent of Isaac Carree who, it turns out, is one of his influences. So is Fred Hammond, all of which explains why the single, “If It Had Not Been,” as well as “Got to Make It,” featuring Emory Diggs, bear more than passing resemblances to Commissioned and Men ...

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Dr. Tonya D. Armstrong – Blossoming Hope Companion

Dr. Tonya D. Armstrong Blossoming Hope Companion Overflowing Hope Media (2017) www.drtonyaarmstrong.com By Bob Marovich For many, confronting personal behavioral health issues constitutes an admission of weakness and failure. Some expect their faith communities to handle all of their healing. While faith communities can and do play an important role in wellness, some issues cannot be combatted without the help of psychiatric medicine. No one knows this better than Dr. Tonya Armstrong. The licensed psychologist, minister, seminary administrator, and founder of The Armstrong Center for Hope, puts her scientific and sacred training in the service of her sisters in Blossoming Hope: The ...

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Snoop Dogg – Snoop Dogg Presents Bible of Love

Snoop Dogg Snoop Dogg Presents Bible of Love RCA Inspiration / All The Time Entertainment (release date: March 16, 2018) www.rcainspiration.com By Bob Marovich Calvin Broadus Jr. assumes the pulpit. In soft tones, he looks the congregation in the eye and strongly recommends that those who point fingers at others should instead point them at themselves. Treat your neighbor right is the sermonette, in rhyme. The choir nods its collective head. The organist anticipates a praise break. The orator is better known to the world as Snoop Dogg, and the song, “Voices of Praise,” is on Snoop Dogg Presents Bible of Love. The two-CD album, ...

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Brent Jones – Joy Comin’

Brent Jones Joy Comin’ EchoPark JDI Entertainment (release date: August 12, 2014) https://www.facebook.com/JDIRecords/ By Bob Marovich With his 2014 album Joy Comin’, singer-songwriter Brent Jones took one giant leap from his days as leader of the gospel hip hop group T.P. Mobb. This album represented a new sound for Jones’s listeners, but not for him. “It was my Sunday morning sounds and some knew me for my urban sounds,” he told Waco Tribune reporter Carl Hoover last month. Indeed, with the accomplished Orange County [California] Gospel Choir on board, Jones’s Joy Comin’ is a choral workout. The title track (and opening song) ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: March 5, 2018

“Let the Healing Begin” Ernest J. Lee feat. Gerard Brooks From Anthems from the Vault, Vol. 1 David’s Dance Music/RedTape Ent. (release date: June 13, 2017) https://ernestjleemusic.org/ By Bob Marovich All of us have burdens, Ernest J. Lee states at the outset of “Let the Healing Begin,” and it’s time to shed them. Featured vocalist Gerard Brooks then joins Lee on this prayer asking God to “let your glory fall all over the world,” including on our jobs and on our schools. The poignant melody and arrangement, complete with chiming background vocalists, provide the foundation on which the two men emote.  ...

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Kimberly M. Kent – Blessed2beChosen

Kimberly M. Kent Blessed2beChosen (EP) (release date: November 11, 2017) www.kimberlymkent.com By Bob Marovich Last fall, Kimberly M. Kent, a worship leader, multi-instrumentalist, and singer-songwriter from Indianapolis, Indiana, followed her debut EP The Journey with a new EP, Blessed2beChosen. On this second release, Kent lends her burnished alto to a half-dozen self-penned songs containing biblically-based lyrics and appealing melodies. For example, the gently flowing opener, “I Am the Redeemed,” uses Psalms 107:2 to highlight the specialness of salvation (hence the album’s title). Christ’s death is the subject of “My Son I Give to You” and “The Debt I Owed.” Throughout the new EP, but particularly on these two ...

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