Gospel Music

The Best is Yet to Come – James C. Birdsong Jr.

The Best is Yet to Come: A Testimony of One Young Man’s Redemption. By James C. Birdsong Jr. T & J Publishers, 2017. 362pp. (softcover). ISBN 978-0-9994121-7-6 By Bob Marovich Too often, memoirs written by members of famous families paint a rosy portrait of their lives. Not so in James C. Birdsong Jr.’s earnest The Best is Yet to Come. He is unashamed to talk about the travails he and his family have endured. Indeed, he hopes his tale will help inspire others struggling under similar circumstances. James comes from the Birdsong family that has provided the world such luminaries ...

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Leo V. – Best Love

Leo V. Best Love Independent (release date: 2009) https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/leov By Bob Marovich Singer-songwriter and musician Leo Valladares, aka Leo V., brings the musical richness of his Latino culture to bear on some of the Christian songs packaged on his 2009 debut CD, Best Love. Teeing up a Latin beat for “Come Away with Me” and “Lost in Love,” Leo twangs notes on the electric guitar in earnest emulation of Carlos Santana. But as a vocalist, Leo evokes a garage band rocker from the 1960s. The team of musicians, which includes Sam Valladares on classical guitar, Eric Robert on keyboards (set ...

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Avalon – Called

Avalon Called Red Street Records (release date: February 14, 2020) www.redstreetrecords.net By Bob Marovich Called is Christian power group Avalon’s fourteenth album but its first in a decade. It is also the group’s debut CD for the Red Street imprint, an enterprise formed several months ago by Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts and Don Koch, both of whom produce the new album. If the lyrics are laser-focused on the universal themes of praise, worship, and encouragement, the musical foundation shifts from song to song in a well-crafted sequence. The title track is a high-energy ballad about discipleship. The current single, ...

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Sheltering in Place? Watch Episodes of “Jubilee Showcase”

By Bob Marovich On Sunday mornings from 1963 to 1984, Jubilee Showcase treated television viewers in Chicagoland with 30 minutes of gospel music programming featuring local and national artists. Before BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel, Jubilee Showcase was the longest-running gospel television show. Steven Ordower, whose father Sid Ordower was the show’s host and producer, provides three ways to enjoy this historic Emmy Award-winning program from your home: 1. YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCe1QRZ2XvcfU8OTJ77OOeg You can also go to YouTube and search: Jubilee Showcase 2. The Jubilee Showcase DVD is available on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Classic-Moments-Jubilee-Showcase-Andrae/dp/B00KPPHGKW/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=jubilee+showcase+DVD&qid=1584392303&sr=8-1 The DVD has four full episodes plus several bonus short-documentary ...

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“Good God” – Benita Jones

“Good God” Benita Jones Tyscot / Integrity (release date: March 6, 2020) By Bob Marovich As Benita Washington, the P&W singer from Selma, Alabama, captured national attention in 2003 after winning the “Gospel Dream” talent search competition in its inaugural season. Her subsequent albums included Hold On (Light/Intersound, 2004), Renaissance: Live in Nashville (ReddApple Seed Ent., 2007), and The Word Remains (Shanachie, 2020). Now, as Benita Jones, she delivers “Good God,” the first single from her forthcoming album. Her full-throttle rendition, backed by a band of musicians pounding out an uncompromising march tempo, turns an unassuming call-and-response worship piece into ...

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Isaac Carree – No Risk No Reward

Isaac Carree No Risk No Reward Shanachie Entertainment Group (release date: March 20, 2020) www.shanachie.com By Bob Marovich Isaac Carree has bestowed upon his first solo album in seven years a very accurate title. And in so doing, he has scored his best solo recording to date. No Risk No Reward finds Carree, former member of the genre-bending Men of Standard, pushing the boundaries of what constitutes a gospel album. In fact, the CD is two albums in one. The first part comprises an extended quiet storm expression of love to Carree’s earthly love, wife Dietra. As with Kim Burrell’s ...

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We Are Heirs – Awaken Me (EP)

We Are Heirs Awaken Me (EP) (release date: January 22, 2020) https://weareheirsmusic.com/ By Bob Marovich Not to be confused with the Irish group We Are Messengers, We Are Heirs is comprised of American songwriter Eric Defend and vocalist Ben Bylsma. Nevertheless, the two Christian pop groups share a musical foundation of dramatic rock with electro-symphonic overtones. We Are Heirs demonstrates its Coldplay-meets-Hillsong United vibe on an earnest three-track EP titled Awaken Me. Featuring a liquidy electronic backdrop fronted by a persistent piano riff, the title track is a melodic prayer of thanksgiving for being rescued from a metaphoric sleep and ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: March 9, 2020

“Keep Holding On” Denita Gibbs Intersound / distributed by IndieBlu Music (release date: October 19, 2018) www.denitagibbs.com By Bob Marovich Denita Gibbs of Birmingham, Alabama, entered the national consciousness in 2013 with her five-star sophomore release, Without You. She’s back with “Keep Holding On,” a finger-popping single distinguished by a husky chromatic riff on electric guitar. In a confident, convincing, pop-inflected voice, Gibbs instructs that God will see you through the dark times. Though the single is more than a year old, Gibbs still promotes it in her appearances. A member of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc., a ...

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JGM Music Hour: Episode 142

Episode 142 Playlist Come see about me – Exciting Holy Sons Power – Nikki D & the Browns My God is holy – Rev. John Lee Hooker Jr. Big – Pastor Mike Jr. God wants to heal you – Earnest Pugh Look to the hills – Rev. Luther Barnes & Restoration Worship Center Choir Been good – Torry Dulaney Jehovah God – Gospel Heritage 2.0 feat. Madelyn Berry I hear rain – Edwrin Sutton & Kingdom Culture Look at God – Darrell Luster presents the Legends of Quartet The blood – Rev. R. L. Bush & New Swan Silvertones Clean ...

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“Unbelief” – Stephen King

“Unbelief” Stephen King From the CD No Secrets (release date: April 28, 2018) By Bob Marovich Not the best-selling author of horror and suspense novels, this Stephen King is a Christian rap artist from Battle Creek, Michigan, who now calls New Orleans home. “Unbelief” is from King’s debut album, 2018’s No Secrets. It’s an anguished prayer for divine assistance during a time of supreme doubt. By the end, he turns the moral of faith into a message of hope for those still trapped in anguish. If you listen hard, you will hear a recurring sample from B. B. King’s classic ...

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