Gospel Music

Maverick City x Kirk Franklin – Kingdom Book One

Maverick City x Kirk Franklin Kingdom Book One Tribl Records / Fo Yo Soul / RCA Inspiration (release date: June 17, 2022) By Robert M. Marovich Maverick City Music, gospel’s current “it” group, joined with the venerable Kirk Franklin, no stranger to special event gospel projects, to bring music and ministry to 1,300 Florida inmates. Kingdom Book One is the result. Recorded at the Everglades Correctional Institution in Miami, the album showcases MCM / Chandler Moore compositions and Franklin classics, a weary-sounding Franklin punctuating the communal singing and worship with exhortations, preaching moments, and Biblical lessons. Talented vocalists like Naomi ...

Read More »

Gospel, Vol. 6: Female Gospel Groups 1940 – 1962

Various Artists Gospel, Vol. 6: Female Gospel Groups 1940-1962 Fremeaux & Associes (2022) http://www.fremeaux.com By Robert M. Marovich If it weren’t for women, there might not be gospel music as we know it today. A gutsy statement, but accurate. For every Thomas Dorsey, Theodore Frye, and James Cleveland, there were dozens of women who, denied access to the pulpit through denominational fiat, made sacred music their evangelistic outlet. Two of gospel’s first superstars, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Mahalia Jackson, were women. The history books brim with the names of female pioneers in gospel music, among them Sallie Martin, Roberta Martin ...

Read More »

JGM Music Hour – Episode 164

Episode 164 Playlist Power in the blood – Dr. Prince Yelder & Disciples for Christ He’ll do it again – Wright Family Singers Never give up – Del Harrison I’m encouraged – Claude Deuce Show some sign – Pastor Dewayne Charleston Everything will be alright – Harold Wade Sr. My brother – Angelo & Veronica Majestic one – Katy Weirich Never lost – Tribl Shake ‘em off – David E. Johnson Jr. ft. 1K Phew Here – Avalon Worship My everything – Min. Golanda Walton-Blackwell God said it – Canton Spirituals ft. Doug Williams and Darrel Petties I can’t forget ...

Read More »

Marvin Sapp – Substance

Marvin Sapp Substance Elev8 Media & Entertainment / Thirty Tigers (release date: June 10, 2022) www.marvinsapp.com By Robert M. Marovich “There is no failure in God” is an apt summation of the thematic content of Substance, Bishop Marvin Sapp’s 15th album and latest solo effort. Though varied in arrangement, the songs essentially come back around to messages of faith in God as the rock in a weary land. Examples of the album’s varied musical palette include “Serve the Lord,” which Sapp calls a song “for my mother.” It has a smooth modern quartet sound with the classic kick drum backbeat, ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week – June 6, 2022

“Majestic One” Katy Weirich Independent (release date: January 14, 2022) https://katyweirich.com/ By Robert M. Marovich A life filled with ups and downs, joys and sorrows, depression and happiness informs the songs and singing of Katy Weirich. A young vocalist and worship leader who evokes Lauren Daigle and Hillsong’s Brooke Fraser, Weirich offers the praise power ballad “Majestic One.” Set to a panoramic arrangement and grounded by pounding drums, “Majestic One” is an anthem that articulates, in twenty-first century musical language, the gushing litany of Isaiah 9:7. More to come from Weirich, as her EP, Out of the Blue, is slated ...

Read More »

Pastor Dewayne Charleston – Don’t Wait

Pastor Dewayne Charleston Don’t Wait JJ Music Media (release date: April 1, 2022) By Robert M. Marovich Although Pastor Dewayne Charleston’s Don’t Wait is a solo project, the soulful singing, the quartet harmonies, the wooden church spirituality, and the traditional-leaning arrangements endow it with the spirit of a quartet CD. In this case, the quartet harmonies supporting Charleston are handled by a duo, Jerome Larkin and Dion Bell. Assisting the singers is a team of steady-handed musicians led by Jerald “JJ” Griffin, who manages multiple duties on bass guitar, keys, horns, and strings. The album’s current single is the easy-loping ...

Read More »

Deborah McCrary of the McCrary Sisters Passes Away June 1, 2022

From a press release: The McCrary Sisters share the following on the loss of their sister, Deborah McCrary, yesterday, June 1, 2022: “It is with deep sorrow that we share the news of the passing of our beloved sister Deborah.” Deborah Person McCrary, born June 17, 1954 (age 67), was a member of the legendary McCrary Sisters, who have performed on countless recordings, television shows and live performances including Grammy, CMA, CMT, SNL, and others. Deborah’s smile and foundational tones graced the stage with her sisters Ann, Regina, and Alfreda on countless festivals in North America and Europe since 2011. ...

Read More »

Steven Curtis Chapman to be Named First BMI Icon at the 2022 BMI Christian Awards

Top Christian Songwriters and Publishers to be Honored at June 14 Event June 1, 2022 – Nashville, TN – Broadcast Music, Inc.® (BMI®) will celebrate the extraordinary and inspirational career of Steven Curtis Chapman by presenting him with the BMI Icon Award at the Company’s annual BMI Christian Awards, to be held at BMI’s Nashville office on June 14, 2022. Chapman will be the first Christian music artist to be honored with the prestigious BMI Icon Award. BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neill will host the ceremony with Leslie Roberts, BMI AVP, Creative, Nashville. The BMI Icon Award is presented ...

Read More »

“My Everything” – Min. Golanda Walton-Blackwell

“My Everything” Min. Golanda Walton-Blackwell SG&E Records (release date: April 16, 2022) By Robert M. Marovich Georgia gospel singer Min. Golanda Walton-Blackwell pulls out all the stops for her debut single, “My Everything.” The song’s message of praise and gratitude are set to a contemporary gospel slow-burner that resolves in a fiery vamp. Here, Min. Golanda lets loose like an evangelist with her testimony and as a result does her finest singing. She peppers lines with blue notes as the radio edit fades, leaving the listener wanting to hear the rest. Comforting and compelling.

Read More »

America: Do Not Let This Moment Pass…Again

By Robert M. Marovich Those of you who read the Journal of Gospel Music know I don’t use this forum to vent my political and social views. But I’m too outraged to let this moment pass. We Americans ought to be ashamed of ourselves. We allow mass shooting after mass shooting to take place with little, if any, consequence. The tragedy last week in Buffalo, New York, and this week in Uvalde, Texas, are beyond heartbreaking. Just like Sandy Hook and every other mass shooting in this country. I don’t have children, but it doesn’t mean I am not moved ...

Read More »