Gospel Music

“Everytime” – Social Club Misfits

“Everytime” Social Club Misfits From the Capitol Christian Music Group EP MOOD (release date: April 12, 2019) www.socialclubmisfits.com By Bob Marovich Produced by Young Sidechain, “Everytime” by Christian hip hop duo Social Club Misfits is an autobiographical rap about their commitment to sharing the Word throughout the nation, regardless of the consequences. They proclaim what amounts to a gospel artist mission statement: “I do it for the people who got nothing left / And if I did it for the money, I would probably quit.” They also call out rappers who sell themselves short – “buyin’ chains with chains around ...

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We Are Messengers – Honest (EP)

We Are Messengers Honest (EP) Curb / Word (release date: March 29, 2019) www.wearemessengersmusic.com By Bob Marovich From the start, We Are Messengers minces no words. On the opening and title track of the new EP Honest, the Christian combo from Co. Monaghan, Ireland, expresses the age-old challenge of growing up. The transition from a childhood of innocence to an adult life brimming with grey areas is one that nobody wants to admit is personally difficult to navigate. We Are Messengers, on the other hand, instructs that transparency in this regard is not only important, it’s essential. “Raise up your ...

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Mighty Men of Faith – Undisputable is He

Mighty Men of Faith Undisputable is He N2L Records (release date: March 26, 2019) www.mightymenoffaith.com By Bob Marovich With a name that sounds like an alliance of Christian superheroes, the Mighty Men of Faith is a gospel quartet with shiny, sweet harmonies, a sacred redux of ‘90s R&B vocal groups like Boyz II Men, Shai, and Atlantic Starr. Their newest release, Undisputable is He, is chock-a-block with smooth ballads dripping with syrupy singing and chord changes plucked from modern R&B and soul. The Mighty Men of Faith are crooners, not shouters; their quiet storm vibe shifts gospel quartet into the ...

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Pastor Donald Gay – On a Glorious Day

Pastor Donald Gay On a Glorious Day The Sirens Records (release date: March 15, 2019) www.thesirensrecords.com By Bob Marovich Like amber, Pastor Donald Gay’s On a Glorious Day preserves the sounds and stories of Chicago’s traditional gospel music and church community. Pastor Gay has been in gospel music since knee pants (a photo on the back of the CD booklet depicts Donald as a tyke, sitting atop a piano and flanked by his older sisters Evelyn, Geraldine and Mildred). As the Gay Sisters, Donald’s female siblings posted a significant gospel hit in 1951 by modernizing the hymn, “God Will Take ...

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“What You Gonna Do” – Ruth Black and the Harmonettes

“What You Gonna Do” Ruth Black and the Harmonettes By Bob Marovich On their new single, “What You Gonna Do,” Ruth Black and the Harmonettes of Alexander City, Alabama, ask sinners to consider whether they will be ready when Jesus comes. They mince no words in calling sinners out, either. Peace breakers, drug addicts, “thief in the night,” backsliders, alcoholics lying on the barroom floor—all are summoned not for shaming but for reclaiming souls for Jesus. “What You Gonna Do” has that relentlessly bouncing southern soul quartet groove that moves seamlessly from verses into a vamp that finds the Harmonettes ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: April 29, 2019

“Won’t He Do It”Kim RuffSarahschild Records (release date: April 19, 2019) By Bob Marovich A bracing tempo with hard-charging musicians and background vocalists support Stellar Award winner Kim Ruff on her new single, “Won’t He Do It.” Ruff gives this simple song with a simple message an invigorating delivery. Exploding with gratitude over God’s intercession in her life and wanting to share it with the world, she shouts, scoops, and delivers staccato lines with gusto. Though one may be more familiar with Ruff’s smooth singing, such as on the ballad masterpiece “As Good as It Gets” from her 2009 Ready ...

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Janice Gaines – Lead Me

Janice Gaines Lead Me (release date: March 22, 2019) www.janicegaines.com By Bob Marovich Janice Gaines’ Lead Me is a brief but satisfying journey through the hymnbook. It is also a far better showcase for her affecting vocal delivery than Greatest Life Ever, her 2015 album for Motown Gospel. Whereas that album aimed to attract a mass audience by offering generous helpings of bumping bass and electronica, it seemed ill-fitted to Gaines’s more grounded talent. This album, on the other hand, employs the less is more philosophy, meaning it is more authentically rooted in gospel’s one foundation: the church. As if ...

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Elsa Harris – I Thank God

Elsa Harris I Thank God The Sirens (release date: March 15, 2019) www.thesirensrecords.com By Bob Marovich Chicago is the birthplace of gospel music and, in many respects, it’s also the home of the genre’s most ardent preservation efforts. In addition to the forthcoming National Museum of Gospel Music, the vitality of traditional gospel in the Windy City can be heard on veteran gospel artist Elsa Harris’s mostly instrumental CD, I Thank God. Harris’s piano proclivities, forged in the practice room as well as the church, recalls the jauntiness of traditional gospel, a distinctive sound too often obscured in the wake ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: April 23, 2019

“Hold My Hand Lord” Donny Pomerlee feat. Paul Porter BBG Entertainment, LLC (release date: February 24, 2019) www.wrightmusicgroup.org By Bob Marovich On “Hold My Hand Lord,” Donny Pomerlee’s lithe tenor and Paul Porter’s gritty growl are like sugar and salt, and are just as addictive together. A native of Chicago, Pomerlee honed his vocal and instrumental skills in city churches. He was named Praise and Worship Artist of the Year at the first Chicago Gospel Music Awards. In lyric and style, however, “Hold My Hand Lord” is about as far from P&W as you can get. Pomerlee’s fourth single has ...

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Lineup for 34th Chicago Gospel Music Festival

Check out the link below for a Chicago Sun-Times article that offers the lineup of artists for the 34th Chicago Gospel Music Festival, to be held at the Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park May 31 and June 1, 2019. The lineup was announced this past week by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Among the festival’s highlights this year are a tribute to the late Aretha Franklin and a collaboration with the Stellar Awards, which will honor Black Music Month and the National Museum of Gospel Music by bringing Stellar Award-winning artists to the main stage. ...

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