Contemporary Gospel

TBGB Pick of the Week: May 12, 2014

“Sunday A.M.” Karen Clark Sheard Karew Records (2014) www.karewrecords.com I knew “Sunday A.M.” had all the makings of a fine gospel single the minute I heard Karen Clark Sheard sing it at her September 2013 live recording session in Chicago.  Unlike Mary Mary’s 2012 “Sunday Morning,” which anticipates services with tambourine-shaking glee, “Sunday A.M.” is the quiescent yearning of a world-weary soul who looks forward to Sunday worship as a time for much-needed refilling and refreshing. The delicate choral touch of Donald Lawrence, who co-wrote the song with Rudy Currence and produced the session with Daniel Weatherspoon, is ever present.  ...

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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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TBGB Pick of the Week: July 1, 2013

“I Can Dance” Brent Jones feat. the Orange County Gospel Choir Available on iTunes (July 16, 2013) “You know, I’ve been in the church all my life and people have said worship is a slow song.  You’re WRONGGGG!” So declares Brent Jones, Grammy and Stellar Award nominated recording artist, producer, music, choir master, and former leader of the T.P. Mobb, as he and the Orange County Gospel Choir demonstrate how they worship with their feet.  The energetic tempo is appropriately aerobic and charismatic. “I can dance with Him all night,” they sing, then contribute a wordless melody line sure to ...

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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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