Contemporary Gospel

The Mckee Choir – What Shall It Take

The Mckee Choir What Shall It Take Sharp Records (2014) http://themckeechoir.bandcamp.com/album/what-shall-it-take By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog Named for Rev. James E. Mckee, the Mckee Choir was organized several years ago by Ulannie “Link” Brewer.  The choir’s album, What Shall It Take, was recorded at its home church of Dunham Temple CME in Greenwood, South Carolina, where Rev. Mckee is pastor. The album is reminiscent of the self-produced church choir recordings that proliferated in the 1970s and 1980s.  The 36-member Mckee Choir is a decent group with an above average, albeit uncredited, female lead vocalist whose intense vocal ...

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Chicago Choirs Rouse Audience at Allstate Gospel SuperFest

By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog Maybe I’m biased, too much of a choir geek, or maybe it was simply home court advantage, but for all the star power at yesterday’s Allstate Gospel SuperFest in Chicago, and there was much, the hometown choirs provided the evening’s most noteworthy performances. That’s not saying there weren’t many outstanding presentations during yesterday’s television taping of Allstate’s fifteenth annual Gospel SuperFest, held at Pastor James Meeks’ auditorium-sized House of Hope.  There were.  From Tye Tribbett, Desmond Pringle, and James Fortune & FIYA, to Micah Stampley, Michelle Williams, Vicki Farrie, Joshua’s Troop, JJ ...

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Arnetta Murrill-Crooms (Self-Titled)

Arnetta Murrill-Crooms (Self-titled) On The Beat Entertainment (2013) www.OnTheBeatEntertainment.com By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog Arnetta Murrill-Crooms hails from the talented Murrill Family of North Carolina.  Alumni of Donald Lawrence’s Tri-City Singers, the Murrill siblings released their own album, the Lawrence-produced Family Prayer, in 2008.  It featured Arnetta leading the single, “There’s a Healing.”  The album garnered Stellar and Grammy nominations. Arnetta, who recently received the Best Female Gospel Artist honor at the 2013 Queen City Awards, has released her debut solo CD.  In a genre known for distinctive voices, Arnetta’s voice stands out for its musky texture ...

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Geneatha Wright – Just As I Am

Geneatha Wright Just As I Am Godfather Records (2013) www.godfathergospel.com By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog Just As I Am is the solo debut album of Geneatha Wright, a praise and worship singer from South Florida.  Her style falls within the Florida multicultural P&W sound made popular by the likes of William McDowell, Javen, Madelyn Berry, and sisters Martha Munizzi and Mary Alessi. The album was recorded live at the Bible Church of God in Boynton Beach, Florida, where seven-year-old Geneatha Daughtry started her music ministry by joining the Little Singing Angels Children’s Choir.  She went on to ...

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North Carolina Community Choir – A Story To Tell

North Carolina Community Choir A Story To Tell Malaco Records (2013) www.malaco.com By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog If there’s a choir to give the Mississippi and Chicago Mass Choirs a run for their money, it’s the North Carolina Community Choir. Formed initially to back the Sensational Nightingales on “Every Promise in the Book is Mine,” and Rev. F.C. Barnes and Darrell Luster on “(God Is God) He Won’t Change,” the group decided to become permanent.  Their debut album, A Story To Tell, is a masterful expression of the gospel choral sound. The album is loaded with traditional-style ...

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“Praise Your Way Through” – The Showers

“Praise Your Way Through” The Showers Aquila and Priscilla Records (2013) From Hammond, Louisiana, the Showers, a family gospel group, garnered national attention in 2009 for its debut album, Hear My Prayer.  The single, “Jesus You Died,” earned a Rhythm of Gospel Award in 2011 for Best Traditional Song of the Year. The Showers are back with “Praise Your Way Through,” the lead single from their sophomore project to be released later this year. Possessing somewhat of an early Mary Mary groove, “Praise Your Way Through” is a rhythmically charged but stylistically smooth contemporary song about breaking through the detritus ...

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Donald Malloy – Live: Finally Home

Donald Malloy Live: Finally Home (2012) www.donaldmalloyministries.com By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog. There’s something about old-fashioned, good-time gospel music that alleviates troubles by its very presence.  It does not need complex, mind-altering, or heavy riffing to ease the burdens. That’s what Donald Malloy’s sixth CD, Live: Finally Home, is about.  Offering a live performance in his hometown of Cheraw, South Carolina, Malloy gives traditional gospel just enough of a beat to keep in step with the times.  Stellar Award-winning Isaiah D. Thomas produced the album and wrote and arranged some of the songs. Malloy gets the audience ...

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Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago – The Best of Both Worlds

Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago The Best of Both Worlds EMI Gospel/Inspired People (2012) www.emigospel.com By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog. It could not have been easy for Charles Jenkins to succeed the iconic Rev. Dr. Clay Evans as Pastor of Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago. Evans, a Civil Rights leader and founder of “The Ship,” had taken his church from very humble roots to one of the nation’s most significant religious institutions. Fellowship’s radio choir was no less celebrated than the church it represented. Directed at the beginning by Willie Webb and later by Evans’ sister, ...

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“I Remember” – Wincey

  “I Remember” Wincey From the CD Time to Say (2012) www.winceycomusic.com “I Remember” is an uncomplicated, smooth-as-caramel contemporary gospel song with cheerful vocals by Wincey Terry-Bryant. The Newark native sings praises to the one who has “always been there for me,” in good times and bad, for the hurt and for experiences “too good to be true.” Wincey brings to the table a professional and eclectic vocal resume that includes the church choir as well as work with Grover Washington, Jr. and Sesame Street.  In 1988, she founded a performing arts troupe called WinceyCo that educates audiences about serious ...

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The Sounds of Blackness (Malaco, 2011)

The Sounds of Blackness (self-titled) Malaco Records 2011 http://www.malaco.com/ By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog. On its latest, self-titled CD, the Sounds of Blackness underscores its optimistic message of healing, unity and hope with dramatic flourishes of theatricality. The sound is so tight, the theme so on point, and the melodies so compelling, the album stands out as one of the group’s best. Even more than the quality of the individual tracks is the album’s overall motive and emotive force, its rhythmic complexity echoing Michael Jackson’s later work. Sounds of Blackness could easily develop an effective stage musical ...

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