Contemporary Gospel

Ann Nesby: Straight from the Heart…About the Heart

In an interview with JGM‘s Bob Marovich, two-time Grammy Award winner Ann Nesby (Sounds of Blackness) talks about her musical upbringing, her new album, a persistent rumor that needs cleaning up, and why she is a spokesperson for the American Heart Association. Essential listening for Ann Nesby and Sounds of Blackness fans, as well as for anyone who wants to get and stay healthy.

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“The Wonder of You” – Jenise La Vonne

“The Wonder of You” Jenise La Vonne www.lovejeniselavonne.com Although the wispy classical-and-acoustic-guitar intro of “The Wonder of You” reveals the marvel that Jenise La Vonne feels in the presence of the Lord, her penetrating vocals offer a more dramatic scenario: she’s actually drifted away and is looking to reclaim that time “when I first believed.” Nominated for four 2015 Rhythm of Gospel Awards, indie artist Jenise is a PK who has literally grown up in church. She’s fervent in her delivery, a singer navigating the deceptively complex demands of a gospel song. The innocence that “The Wonder of You” exudes will likely appeal ...

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Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago – Any Given Sunday

Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago Any Given Sunday Inspired People/Motown Gospel (release date: March 17, 2015) www.motowngospel.com By Bob Marovich Any artist will tell you how difficult it is to repeat the magic of a debut album, especially if the debut shot upward through the charts like a rocket, topped the charts, stayed on the charts, and earned five Stellar Awards. That is the situation Pastor Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago find themselves in with their sophomore release, Any Given Sunday. Given the meteoric rise and success of the choir’s debut, The Best of Both Worlds, which produced the smash hit ...

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Damien Sneed on the Links Between Classical and Gospel Music

JGM‘s Bob Marovich talks with the multi-talented Damien Sneed about his new CD, Broken to Minister – Deluxe Edition (release date: March 3), his appearance with Wynton Marsalis on the PBS program, “Everyone Has a Place,” spotlighting the Abyssinian Mass, his directorial debut at Carnegie Hall, and the relationship of classical and gospel music. Damien provides a music workshop in fifteen minutes!

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Various Artists – Divine Voices: Pastors of Praise

Various Artists Divine Voices: Pastors of Praise Rendezvous Music (release date: January 27, 2015) www.mackavenue.com By Bob Marovich There are preachers who sing and singers who preach.  Divine Voices: Pastors of Praise includes some of both. This new various artists compilation comes from Mack Avenue Records, a label which features gospel jazz on its Rendezvous imprint and last year released two similar compilation discs: Gospel Praise Duets and Christmas Goes Gospel. Divine Voices reprises a dozen recent selections, mostly from individuals who began as singers and added ministry to their resumes later. Many of the contemporary biggies are present; the ...

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The 57th GRAMMY Results for Gospel Music

Congratulations to the following 57th GRAMMY Award recipients: Best Gospel Performance/Song: “No Greater Love” – Smokie Norful Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song: “Messengers” – Lecrae feat. For King & Country Best Gospel Album: Help – Erica Campbell Best Contemporary Christian Music Album: Run Wild. Live Free. Live Strong. – For King & Country Best Roots Gospel Album: Shine For All the People – Mike Farris For more information, visit www.grammy.com.

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A Family That Sings Together: Meet The Showers

By Bob Marovich When Regina Showers was born, her father asked God to give his baby daughter the gift of song. His prayer was answered tenfold. Not only did Regina rise up singing but so did her siblings Angela, Tiffany, Ciara, Tabitha, Melody, Bobby, Timothy, Titus, and Thaddeus. Known as The Showers, the family gospel group has earned En-Sound and Rhythm of Gospel Awards and sang on BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel, the gospel music equivalent of appearing on Soul Train or American Bandstand. In the wake of the group’s new single, “Better,” JGM’s Bob Marovich talked with Regina Showers about the group’s evolution ...

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L. Spenser Smith – Unstoppable

L. Spenser Smith Unstoppable Smithworx/eOne (2014) www.lspensersmith.com By Bob Marovich Recorded live on September 21, 2012, to an aurally appreciative audience at Northview Christian Church in Montgomery, Alabama, Unstoppable is singer-songwriter Bishop L. Spenser Smith’s debut as a solo artist.  It’s a strong debut, too. Smith is among the new generation of gospel male crooners, a group that includes Earnest Pugh, Brian Courtney Wilson, Micah Stampley, Keith Williams, and Jonathan Nelson. His tenor is as flexible as a gymnast.  Given such vocal elasticity, it is no surprise that the ballads and hymns on Unstoppable best showcase Smith’s skills. His falsetto flights, ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: January 26, 2015

“Storms” Donald Malloy From LIVE. . .Finally Home www.donaldmalloyministries.com Recorded live a couple of years ago in Donald Malloy’s hometown of Cheraw, South Carolina, “Storms” leads the audience down the “don’t be discouraged” path about the storms of life. Just when you anticipate that Malloy will follow with, “but God will see you through,” he sings instead about the internal strength and character that storms bring to our lives. Now released as a single, “Storms” is a fine contemporary gospel performance that Malloy builds in dynamic intensity from husky, handsome crooning to preacher-like hard singing.

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Noreen Crayton – Divine Radiance

Noreen Crayton Divine Radiance Angel Star Music (release date: January 2015) www.noreencrayton.com By Bob Marovich Divine Radiance is the third sacred music album from New York-native Noreen Crayton. While her career includes significant musical stage work in the U.S. and overseas, Crayton has gospel roots and sings with the praise and worship team at Convent Avenue Baptist Church in Harlem. Crayton nearly plays all the bases on Divine Radiance—from writer and arranger to performer and executive producer. She does employ a handful of musicians to assist her on some tracks. Musically, the album offers a sample of everything from an ...

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