Contemporary Gospel

“All Praise” – Anton Milton & Glorified

“All Praise” Anton Milton & Glorified Lunjeal Music Group/Malaco Music Group (2015) www.malaco.com South Carolina native Anton Milton, now working out of New Jersey, cites Israel Houghton, Fred Hammond, and John P. Kee among his inspirations. His single, “All Praise,” testifies to this with its energetic ensemble vibe. The kind of cheerful though somewhat conventional R&P selection that worship teams like to open the service with, “All Praise” features plenty of antiphonal vocal play between Milton and Glorified. The ensemble comes from Allen Carr’s Lunjeal Music Group, the Arkansas imprint that gave us Allen’s daughter, Jekalyn Carr. Lunjeal’s partnership with ...

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“Thank You” – Tonya Lewis-Taylor

“Thank You” Tonya Lewis-Taylor From the CD Delayed But Not Denied www.tonyalewistaylor.com “Thank You” is a contemporary gospel song delivered energetically by Tonya Lewis-Taylor, who seems to summon her estimable vocal strength from within several vital organs to offer a declaration of gratitude to God. The background vocalists urge her on as, together, they ascend to increasing levels of passion. The song, which is the lead single from Lewis-Taylor’s debut album, Delayed But Not Denied, was recorded live in New York City and landed on the Billboard Gospel National Airplay chart at #16, right between female vocal groups Zie’l and ...

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Perfection – “Totally”

Perfection “Totally” Malaco Music Group (2015) www.malaco.com On “Totally,” the members of contemporary quartet Perfection (“Word of God Speak”) declare that they are tired of fighting fate and henceforth give themselves over completely–hands, feet, and heart–to God’s will. “Less of me and more of you” is the new order, sing the group, to a robust modern arrangement. From Tennessee, Perfection is Steve Maples, Gerrod Allen, Christopher Williams, and Kelvin Lake. Tragedy struck the group this past February. Not long after the release of “Totally,” the group’s beloved manager, Barron “Baba” McGlothlin, passed away. Charles Winton Jr. is now managing the quartet.

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Various Artists – Connected 2 Calvary, Vol. IV

Various Artists Connected 2 Calvary Vol. IV www.connected2calvary.com By Bob Marovich At a recent panel discussion co-hosted by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and the Recording Academy, gospel artist Tye Tribbett joked that releasing music in today’s technological society means literally releasing it, setting it free to be streamed and downloaded for no charge.  Music can be gotten for free in so many ways, a recording has become nothing more than an aural business card to promote live performances. That is okay by Connected 2 Calvary. They recognize and understand the importance of samplers to showcase ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 18, 2015

“Hero” AsOne feat. Lamar Campbell & Spirit of Praise From the Capital Christian Music Group CD AsOne (release date: May 23, 2015) www.asoneofficial.com By Bob Marovich Lisa Wright and Theresa Bailey are AsOne, billed as the first interracial gospel duo. Backed by the estimable strength of Lamar Campbell & Spirit of Praise, “Hero” is the duo’s brisk, melodic paean to God as the ultimate warrior and superhero. Neither of the ladies is a stranger to gospel music. Wright has written songs for the likes of the Colorado Mass Choir and Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. Bailey, also a songwriter, is an experienced ...

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The Showers – (self titled)

The Showers The Showers A&P Records/Habakkuk Music/INgrooves (release date: April 21, 2015) www.theshowers.org By Bob Marovich The Showers is the national debut album for the Showers Family of Hammond, Louisiana, siblings who have been singing together since knee pants and recording since 2009. The octet pulled out all the stops, too, inking a distribution deal with Habakkuk Records and signing an all-star lineup of producers, notably Bruce Robinson, Deon Kipping, Myron Butler, and Dave Geeter. Robinson and Kipping also contributed many of the album’s songs, as did gospel singer Regina Skeeters. Butler assists with vocal production on the punchy “Praise ...

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Tracey McFadden – I Still Believe

Tracey McFadden I Still Believe www.traceymcfadden.org By Bob Marovich Chicagoan Tracey McFadden’s debut album, I Still Believe, was recorded live at her home church, Bread of Life Missionary Baptist Church. An intimate gathering of friends and congregants support their home girl as she moves through eight selections. The best thing McFadden did for the album was assemble a solid choir of background vocalists who support her thoroughly throughout. The musicians also offer powerful assistance without overpowering the vocals. While the album contains a mix of uptempo praisers and balladic works, the latter seem to be McFadden’s sweet spot. “There’s No ...

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Kendra Smith: Award Winning Singer Still in High School

SPONSORED POST By Bob Marovich She won a major music award in March. Received the key to her hometown in April. The State House of Representatives issued a congratulatory resolution to honor her achievements. And she is still in high school. No, this is not an old story about Taylor Swift but a new story about emerging gospel artist Kendra Smith. The Florence, South Carolina, teenager received the Stellar Award for Youth Project of the Year for her album, Something New, at the 30th Stellar Gospel Music Awards in March. A second semester senior at South Florence High School, Kendra ...

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“Something Big” – Jekalyn Carr

“Something Big” Jekalyn Carr Luneal Music Group/Malaco Music Group (2015) www.malaco.com By Bob Marovich Young singers and pop music go together like bacon and eggs. In the gospel music industry, however, it can be more difficult for a young person to gain traction. Even though churches offer a variety of singing opportunities for young people, gospel is an experiential music—the significant demands that gospel places on the voice require a great deal of practice and training. That’s what makes Jekalyn Carr’s rise even more striking. Her remarkable performance as a pre-teen in the 2011 gospel documentary Rejoice and Shout ultimately ...

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“Wanna Be” – Wincey

“Wanna Be” Wincey Winceyco Music (2015) www.winceycomusic.com Wincey Terry-Bryant’s “Wanna Be,” co-written with musician Ted Brancato, is an ironic play on the definition of a person who seeks the spotlight but lacks the talent to get there.  The kind of “wanna be” Wincey sings about is one who wants to live not only according to her God-given purpose but aspires to follow the tenets and precepts of a loving Jesus. The bridge of this delicate and breezy retro soul gospel could use more oomph, but the singing and production are so well done that it doesn’t get in the way ...

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