Contemporary Gospel

Two Finalists on “The Sing-Off” Have Roots in Church

UNIVERSAL CITY, CA – Dec. 2014 – NBC has announced the two final groups, TRACES and TIMOTHY’S GIFT, competing for a first-place prize of $50,000 on the two-hour special airing Wednesday, Dec. 17 (8 p.m. ET/PT) of the popular musical competition series “The Sing-Off.” Returning judges Jewel and Shawn Stockman will be joined by Fall Out Boy frontman Patrick Stump while Nick Lachey is once again set as host. From New York, Traces (left) are five spirit-filled divas who give gospel a modern twist with voices as big as their personalities. With their roots firmly entrenched in church, these women ...

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Marcel Anderson – Still Living

Marcel Anderson Still Living Marcel Anderson Music (2014) www.marcelanderson.com By Bob Marovich You’ve heard the saying, “I don’t look like what I’ve been through.” Marcel Anderson doesn’t look or sound like what he’s been through. The title of Anderson’s CD is not hyperbole. His story, starkly presented in the accompanying book of the same title, is one of surviving a brutal attack that included severe sexual abuse. Despite the scars, he does not dwell on the past but lofts hallelujahs, in a handsome, elastic baritone voice, for surviving, and focuses on moving forward in his personal and spiritual journey. Still ...

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Marquis Boone Enterprises, Tyscot to Partner on Casey J Debut Project

Atlanta, GA – Marquis Boone Enterprises (MBE) and Tyscot Music & Entertainment have formed a partnership to release MBE projects. The first one will be a live set by worship artist Casey J (pictured) who is currently #6 on Billboard’s Gospel Airplay chart. “Dreams and visions do come true,” says the singing educator. “Recently my dream of being on the Bobby Jones Gospel TV show was realized and today I wake up in the Top Ten on a Billboard chart. I know it has nothing to do with me as an individual. God is just creating another platform for Him ...

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Fred Hammond – I Will Trust

Fred Hammond I Will Trust RCA Inspiration (release date: November 17, 2014) www.rcainspiration.com By Bob Marovich One thing’s for sure: listen to Fred Hammond and you can’t help but have a good time praising the Lord. His latest album, I Will Trust, is packed to the CD’s brim with bracing musicianship, creative melodies and arrangements, rich singing, and demonstrative lyrics. The opening selection, “Festival of Praise,” could easily have been an alternate title for the CD, as the entire album is a musical festival, a cornucopia of praise and worship, Fred Hammond style. Hammond shifts effortlessly from an appropriately Brazilian ...

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JGM Christmas Pick of the Week: November 29, 2014

“Share Some Love” The North Carolina Community Choir From A Malaco Christmas (2014) Malaco Records www.malaco.com The irresistible North Carolina Community Choir offers this easygoing reminder of the real reason for the season. A team of tuneful soloists handles the verses, the choir harmonizes on the chorus, and a saxophone adds jazzy fills as well as a solo in the middle. What was supposed to be a one-time recording gig for a group of singers in 2010 became the genesis of the North Carolina Community Choir.  The ensemble produced an album, A Story To Tell, that garnered five of five stars ...

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Bishop Charles R. Lyles & the New John Howard Gospel Caravan – “According to the Power”

“According to the Power” Bishop Charles R. Lyles & the New John Howard Gospel Caravan From the EP Payday (released August 2014) www.JHGCaravaninc.org The musicians set the drum machine tempo to rapid-fire, then all instrumentalists (including the human drummer) and the singers join in on this church-wrecking selection. Bishop Charles R. Lyles, Pastor Wendy Mason-Harris, and Elder Ida Mae Graves take turns shouting on Ephesians 3:20, about being filled with the power of God, and in this context, filled with Holy Ghost fire. As with many songs about Holy Ghost fire, the song jumps with praise break furor. The group’s ...

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JGM Christmas Pick of the Week: November 19, 2014

“Christ Is Born” Maurice Griffin From the CD My Holiday (2014) www.MauriceGriffinOnline.com Maurice Griffin’s new single, “Christ Is Born,” is a Christmas hymn and Praise & Worship song all in one gift-wrapped package (though I have a friend who thinks all P&W songs sound like Christmas songs). A finalist on the second season of BET’s Sunday Best, Stellar Award nominee, and an entertaining program emcee, Griffin is in great tenor voice on this selection. He and the background vocalists lift hallelujahs and announce Christ’s natal day like a choir of angels. Griffin, who keeps getting better and better vocally, will take his ...

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KSE Sunshine Band – Children in Perfected Praise: Live From Kansas City

KSE Sunshine Band Children in Perfected Praise: Live from Kansas City (2013) Available from digital music retailers By Bob Marovich Early in Church of God in Christ history, founder Bishop Charles Harrison Mason tasked the denomination’s Women’s Division to establish sunshine bands, or choral groups, to provide COGIC children with a musical outlet steeped in religion. For the past century or so, tens of thousands of saints—from everyday people to sacred and secular music superstars—have come up through a sunshine band. The forty-member Kansas East Jurisdictional Sunshine Band Recording Choir, under the direction of Sis. Jean Henderson, is one of these ensembles. In addition ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: November 11, 2014

“Sanctified Circle” Roy Tyler & Raphael Saadiq www.reverbnation.com/roytyler (510) 839-2884 – call between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time Former Gospel Hummingbird Roy Tyler and former Tony! Toni! Toné! member Raphael Saadiq have been teaming up recently to keep the standard of R&B-flavored gospel uplifted. This includes a recently released single, “Sanctified Circle.” Evoking the ring shout tradition in spirit if not technically in rhythm, “Sanctified Circle” is an uptempo piece about “crossing the separating line,” entering “the sanctified circle,” and getting a new walk and new dance. In between verses, the musicians break into a ’60s twist riff ...

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