Gospel Music

“Won’t He Do It” – The Beard Sisters

“Won’t He Do It” The Beard Sisters DBJ Entertainment (release date: November 15, 2016) www.thebeardsisters.com By Bob Marovich The Beard Sisters of Memphis (Angela, Latonya, and April) are a harmony trio. They sound inspired by Chicago’s Brown Sisters, or a younger version of the Clark Sisters, because of their sassy vocals, multifaceted rhythms, complex vocal blend, and sunny songs of praise and worship. On their soulfully retro-sounding single, “Won’t He Do It,” the trio celebrates God’s willingness to do everything for His people. The song’s hook is the reiterative freefall from a frenetic chorus of “Won’t He Do It” into a breezy jazz ...

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“Reset” – Jonathan J. Wimbush

“Reset” Jonathan J. Wimbush From The Calling (EP) www.jonathanjwimbush.com By Bob Marovich Christian urban contemporary artist Jonathan J. Wimbush rode “Reset” and The Calling EP from which it came through the 2018 Rhythm of Gospel Awards this summer. He garnered three statues in the process. To a taffy-like gait of burbling electronica and background vocals, Wimbush rues on “Reset” that he wishes there were a magic button or magic potion to help him get his life back in order (he was inspired in part by the iconic Staples’ “Easy” button). In the bridge, he unveils what that reset is: prayer. Watching the ...

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Bonita Burney Simmons – This Time

Bonita Burney Simmons This Time Bursimslow Music (release date: August 6, 2016) www.bonitaburneysimmons.com By Bob Marovich Bonita Burney Simmons has been compared to Tramaine Hawkins, but I hear more than a touch of Gladys Knight in her voice on her most recent album, This Time. Especially on the opening track, the mid-tempo “God’s People Arise.” Simmons possesses a creamy voice that only moves into evangelist territory when the spirit hits her, as on “I Must Tell Jesus.” This track finds her singing at her most inspired as she shares how she almost gave up. When she became too tired to fight, ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: September 10, 2018

“You Say” Lauren Daigle From the Centricity Music album Look Up Child (release date: September 7, 2018) www.laurendaigle.com By Bob Marovich “You Say,” by multi-award-winning CCM songstress Lauren Daigle, is a stunning piano-led ballad about God’s positive response to every one of our doubts and insecurities. When we are lonely, God is there. When we feel weak, God is strong. Especially encouraging words in an era of anxiety and uncertainty. Daigle’s energetic, full-throated delivery on this selection falls somewhere between that of Adele and Lady Gaga. Its universal message gives the song plenty of crossover pop potential, especially if it ...

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“You Reign” – Deanna Ransom

“You Reign” Deanna Ransom LizaRan Music (release date: April 17, 2018) www.deannaransom.com By Bob Marovich Songstress Deanna Ransom hits “You Reign” out of the park. This praise song works because its simmering, repetitive four-chord foundation gives Ransom plenty of room to improvise, especially at the conclusion, where she runs up and down the stave with closed-eyes abandon, alive in the throes of worship. The Glassboro, New Jersey, native began her singing career as a five year-old member of her family’s group, the Heavenly Children. She was named Artist of the Year by the Rhythm of Gospel Awards in 2013.

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Damon Williams on #WeAreVerity: “Everyone has a Verity Story”

By Bob Marovich RCA Inspiration and Verity Records are going all out to promote Verity’s twenty-four-year legacy, and it’s starting with the #WeAreVerity campaign. The June campaign coincides with Black Music Month. “We want to honor one of the richest and most legacy-filled catalogs in gospel music,” Damon Williams, RCA Inspiration and Verity Records VP of Marketing, told the Journal of Gospel Music. “We also want to celebrate the place and position gospel music holds in people’s lives.” Williams, who joined RCA Inspiration at the end of last year, said the celebration will not only include artists, executives, and industry personnel, ...

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“Can’t Wait to See Mama” – Prez Blackmon

“Can’t Wait to See Mama” Prez Blackmon Pearl’s Son Music (originally released in 2017) By Bob Marovich Stellar Award-nominee Prez Blackmon may be the biggest fan of holidays. His prior single releases include songs about Christmas, his birthday, and Mother’s Day. The latter, a 2010 JDI Records selection called “Happy Mother’s Day,” finds Blackmon sharing vocals with songstress Renee Spearman. Blackmon’s new release, “Can’t Wait to See Mama,” is another Mother’s Day ballad, this time an a cappella ode to his mother and all she did for him. To a familiar hymn melody, Blackmon improvises as a backing choir of voices supports ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: April 16, 2018

“Just That Kind of God” Monica Lisa Stevenson feat. Keisha McFarland and Bishop Neal Roberson From the album KAINOS (The Acoustic Documentary) eOne Music / Puretonez Productions www.monicalisastevenson.com By Bob Marovich For “Just That Kind of God,” gospel songstress Monica Lisa Stevenson gathers like-minded traditional singers Keisha McFarland and Bishop Neal Roberson. Together, this powerhouse trio sings and shouts about the greatness of God. The single moves from delicate to evangelical without losing its bouncy, flirty beat. MLS’s 2016 release KAINOS proves that big things come in small packages. Up to now, a full half of the eight tracks on this EP ...

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The Essential Beverly Crawford, Volume 2

Beverly Crawford The Essential – Vol. 2 JDI Records (release date: February 2, 2018) By Bob Marovich Gainesville, Florida, gospel singer Beverly Crawford is a steadfast traditionalist, and God bless her for it. She is among the most popular of those singers who perpetuate the audience-rousing squalling and shouting characteristic of old time evangelism, and who still sings songs packed with church aphorisms and mother wit. As was the case with the first volume of The Essential Beverly Crawford (2005), neither “It’s About Time for a Miracle” nor “Sweeping Through the City” are included on The Essential – Volume 2, despite ...

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