Contemporary Gospel

JGM Pick of the Week: May 31, 2021

“I Am With You” Tameka Ferebee Tameka Ferebee Productions (release date: February 12, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Gospel singer-songwriter Tameka Ferebee’s “I Am With You” is a melodic evocation of the parental love that God has for each of us. The lyrics are written from God’s point of view, the ultimate parent who encourages and consoles his children, especially during the darkest times. Strings swirl dramatically around a delicate melody led by piano. Ferebee becomes more vocally confident as the song moves into the bridge, and explores her high soprano range en route to the big finish. The singer ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 25, 2021

“Nothin’ but the Spirit” Lisa Bellamy From the Nspyre Music Group International EP What Will it Take (release date: January 22, 2021) https://nspyremusicgroupinternational.com/ By Robert M. Marovich Lisa Bellamy’s self-penned single “Nothin’ but the Spirit” is a cross between gospel and quiet storm R&B. On this slow and thoughtful ballad, the singer-songwriter shares how the spirit of God led her to far greater heights than her own choices. The talented soprano singer’s delicate touch gives glimpses of the power behind it all. Among her accomplishments, Bellamy, a classically-trained vocalist, has done opera, was a finalist on the BET Gospel Diva ...

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“I’ve Got the Victory” – Na’kaja Reed

“I’ve Got the Victory” Na’kaja Reed DAF Entertainment Group (release date: April 30, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich This song has the goods not so much because of the song itself—a fairly conventional gush of gratitude for God’s goodness—as for the commanding delivery of gospel singer Na’kaja Reed. From Saginaw, Michigan, the twenty-one-year-old Na’Kaja Makayla-Roshell Reed has sassy chops. Her capacity to pull off shouts and evangelistic runs challenges singers twice her age. With ample support from background vocalists, Reed offers herself as an example of God’s movement in people’s lives. I can only imagine what she does with a ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 10, 2021

“He’s Way Ahead of You” Denita Gibbs DGW Entertainment (release date: March 6, 2021) www.denitagibbs.com By Robert M. Marovich Now THIS is the Denita Gibbs I remember from her 2013 CD, Without You. The Birmingham, Alabama, native’s declarative vocals on “He’s Way Ahead of You” are locked in from the very start when she sings: “This world is crazy / Spinning out of control / People do the wildest things / And try to rob you of hope.” Having painted the painful scene, Gibbs then reminds the listener to refrain from bitterness because God promised that He’ll never leave you ...

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“My Help” – Angela Moss Poole feat. Micah Stampley

“My Help” Angela Moss Poole feat. Micah Stampley 141st Lane Music/DarkChild Gospel www.angelamosspoole.com By Robert M. Marovich Singer-songwriter Angela Moss Poole puts one of her favorite Scriptures, Psalm 121, to music, and invites gospel crooner Micah Stampley along for the journey. The message is simple, the melody is appealing, and the arrangement fits the message. It blends gospel hymnody and contemporary sounds with skill. Angela and Micah duet through the entire selection, building the temperature to sizzling as they go along. They should do more songs together in the future. A native of Miami, Dr. Angela Moss Poole earned a Bachelor ...

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DeWayne Harvey Knows Firsthand “What the Lord Allows”

By Robert M. Marovich “He may not come when you want Him, but He’s always right on time.” This church aphorism could be Pastor DeWayne Harvey’s personal motto. The early 2010s were a busy time for the Tallahassee, Florida, minister, entrepreneur, singer, songwriter, and producer. His 2011 release, The Report of the Lord, featuring the praise team from his Greater Blessings Tabernacle of Faith Church, was doing well. The album’s singles, “Whose Report” and “Celebrate,” were burning up gospel radio. Harvey also wrote and produced Angela Spivey’s 2012 album, He Keeps His Promise, for his Innovative Records imprint. So by ...

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“He’ll Be There” – RiZen

“He’ll Be There” RiZen DAF Entertainment Group / Tyscot By Robert M. Marovich Although Adriann Lewis-Freeman has carved out a solo career, it’s been a few years since the Stellar Award-winning RiZen vocal group has come together to release a new single. The drought is over with “He’ll Be There.” Co-written by Adriann and her brother Ay’Ron Lewis (he also produced the track), “He’ll Be There” is a song of encouragement set to an outsized musical foundation, though with clearly discernable traditional leanings. The ladies harmonize first and then get downright evangelical on the vamp. After a recording hiatus of ...

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“Way-Maker” – Patrick Lundy & the Ministers of Music

“Way-Maker”Patrick Lundy & the Ministers of MusicFrom the CD Way-Maker 25th Anniversary Live Recording(CD release: March 5, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Recorded live as part of the choir’s 25th anniversary celebration and released as a single last August, “Way-Maker” showcases the full-bodied singing of Maestro Patrick Lundy’s Ministers of Music, with dynamic lead vocals courtesy of Roderick Giles and Jesse Williams. The ensemble—choir, leads, and musicians—makes the song to be more than the sum of its parts by providing a vigorous heft to the uncomplicated lyrics, message, and melody. You can visualize the choir swaying and the congregation clapping, ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: April 12, 2021

“Still Gon’ Trust” Joshua Rogers Mixed Bag Music Group, LLC (release date: March 19, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Joshua Rogers sums up the sentiments of most in the first few lines of his new single, “Still Gon’ Trust:” “It’s been quite a year / A test of my faith / I’ve seen some things that took my breath away.” On the chorus, however, Rogers responds with supreme confidence in the Creator: “I’m still gon’ trust in you.” The song’s simple but effective musical accompaniment, including slight blues turns on piano and strings soaring like seagulls over the sea, affirms ...

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