Gospel Music

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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JGM Pick of the Week: April 2, 2018

“Trouble Won’t Last” Apostle James Alston & Fellowship https://apostlejamesalston.com/ By Bob Marovich By their name, Apostle James Alston & Fellowship sounds like a P&W group, but they are actually a quartet, complete with Alston’s gravelly lead vocal delivery and gospel chuckle. For “Trouble Won’t Last,” Alston & Fellowship delivers the reassuring message of Psalm 30:5, like so many decades of quartets before them, in the language of the spiritual, “I’m so glad trouble don’t last always.” Of course, the melody and lyrics are different from the spiritual, and the quartet gives their song a bounce appropriate for the joyful sentiment. ...

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Keith Reed Jr. & New Sound of Worship – True Worship

Keith Reed Jr. & New Sound of Worship True Worship New Sound Music Group (release date: February 25, 2018) www.newsoundofworship.com By Bob Marovich Last fall, JGM reviewed Bless the Lord, an EP from Keith Reed Jr. & New Sound of Worship. It heralded the Ohio-based Rhythm & Praise ensemble’s soon-to-be-released full project, True Worship. True Worship made its debut last month and, as promised, it riffs on the musical style demonstrated on the EP. If the lyrics are conventional P&W (an exception is the empowering “Moving Towards Destiny”), and the song titles telegraph the theme, the melodies and arrangements take intriguing turns ...

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33rd Stellar Gospel Music Awards in Las Vegas Saturday, March 24

(CHICAGO) – Feb. 27, 2018 – Central City Productions announces a dazzling line-up of performers for the 2018 Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards, including the reunion of contemporary gospel music’s favorite sister act, Mary Mary (Erica Campbell and Tina Campbell), and the Stellar Award’s debut of rapper, actor, and television personality Snoop Dogg, performing songs from his new gospel album “Songs of Love” at this year’s show. Celebrated as a “transcendent night of gospel music,” the 33rd Annual Stellar Awards promises to surpass its ‘stellar’ reputation, featuring performances by the genre’s hottest acts. Performers scheduled to appear include: Tasha Cobbs ...

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RIP: Dr. James C. McLean of the Bethlehem Gospel Singers

Angelo Breeden and Archie Swindell Jr. informed JGM that Dr. James C. McLean, a founding member of the Bethlehem Gospel Singers, passed away in a Charlotte, North Carolina, hospital yesterday evening, February 5, 2018. Hailing from Laurinburg, North Carolina, the Bethlehem Gospel Singers were organized in the late 1950s by Dr. McLean and Archie Swindell Sr. The group enjoyed recording success on Hoyt Sullivan’s HSE label starting in 1969, making noise in 1972 with their two-part “My Bible is Right.” Listen to the track below and please keep Dr. McLean’s family, friends, and fans in prayer.

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