Gospel Music

Chicago Mass Choir Takes Hometown Honors for Best Gospel Entertainer of the Year at 39th Annual 2021 Chicago Music Awards

CHICAGO, IL —International ambassadors of gospel music Chicago Mass Choir were recently honored as Best Gospel Entertainer of the Year at the 39th Annual Chicago Music Awards, which honors the Windy City’s finest in musical and spoken word artistry across every genre. This is the third time they’ve received this prestigious award (2021, 2015, 2012) since the group’s inception in 1988. Officially renamed Chicago Mass Choir in 1990, their 17 Billboard-charting albums have garnered numerous Dove, Grammy, and Stellar Award nominations as well as a Stellar Award for Best Traditional Choir for their We Give You Praise project in 2017. ...

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“Thank You Lord” – The Cross Family

“Thank You Lord” The Cross Family By Robert M. Marovich The Cross Family of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, pays homage to their father, the late Gene Cross, by keeping the family group going strong. Their new single, “Thank You Lord,” is a rhythmic affirmation of gratitude steeped in call-and-response, a good old fashioned quartet vamp, and that you-know-it-when-you-hear-it quartet rhythm. In 2016, upon retiring as manager and lead singer of former Song Bird recording artists the Smiling Jubilaires, Gene Cross assembled his family into a singing aggregation. Gene passed in 2018, but the group, now under the tutelage of “Lil Gene” ...

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“It Won’t Be Long” – Dr. Waverly B. Bumbrey & Refuge Temple Cathedral Voices

“It Won’t Be Long” Dr. Waverly B. Bumbrey & Refuge Temple Cathedral Voices (release date: January 8, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Pandemic-wise, “It Won’t Be Long” feels more relevant today, in mid-March, than when it was released in early January by the award-winning choir Dr. Waverly B. Bumbrey & Refuge Temple Cathedral Voices. But “better days are coming,” the choir sings, and in the meantime they will shout and pray about it. Featured soloist Erica Lancaster improvises breathlessly on the theme as the Voices repeat the mantra, “It Won’t Be Long.” In his raw and craggy voice, Dr. Bumbrey ...

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63rd Annual GRAMMY Winners – Gospel and Christian

Congratulations to the following winners, announced during yesterday’s 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards celebrations: BEST ROOTS GOSPEL ALBUMCelebrating Fisk! (The 150th Anniversary Album)Fisk Jubilee Singers BEST CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC ALBUMJesus Is KingKanye West BEST GOSPEL ALBUMGospel According To PJPJ Morton BEST CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC PERFORMANCE/SONG“There Was Jesus”Zach Williams & Dolly Parton BEST GOSPEL PERFORMANCE/SONG“Movin’ On”Jonathan McReynolds & Mali Music Also a big congratulations to all the nominees!

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“The Ride” – Bryan Andrew Wilson

“The Ride”Bryan Andrew WilsonBryan’s Songs / The Orchard(release date: February 26, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Gospel music enthusiasts have heard Bryan Andrew Wilson grow up from  child soloist on the Mississippi Children’s Choir’s “His Eye is on the Sparrow” to the singer-songwriter cranking out mainstream gospel hits such as “Overflow” and JGM’s favorite, “Turning Away.” But as child stars from Shirley Temple to Michael Jackson could attest, fans tend to want to keep you forever young, permanently fixed as if in artistic amber. Wilson’s new single, “The Ride,” complete with Trap vibe, is his declaration of adulthood. It’s also ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: March 8, 2021

“We Need You”Titus ShowersA&P Records (release date: January 15, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Alternately balladic and rhythmic, Titus Showers’ new single “We Need You” is a passionate, moving entreaty to the Lord to help the world search for peace, regain its faith, and answer the most fundamental question during a time of turmoil: “why?” Midway through, Titus shifts his prayer from global to local, seeking a word from up above to help resolve the questions troubling his own heart. He recognizes that God is the answer, for him, for everyone. Co-written by Titus along with Ernest Vaughan and Owen ...

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“Residue” – Jason Nelson

“Residue” Jason Nelson Tyscot / Fair Trade (release date: March 5, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Those who know Jason Nelson for his gospel balladry will be interested to hear his musical shift on “Residue.” Nelson’s first single in three years is more rhythmic in arrangement and vocals than his trademark songs “Shifting the Atmosphere” and “Forever.” His voice, meaty and muscular, seems more so when fronting a rhythm section in which his own bass guitar work is front and center. To describe in contemporary terms how God cleanses the soul completely and sets it free, Nelson pulls on dual ...

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Katy Crawford – Dwell (EP)

Katy Crawford Dwell (EP) Devotion Music (release date: June 11, 2020) By Robert M. Marovich Dallas-based singer-songwriter Katy Crawford was inspired to read from Psalms every day and set some of the verses to music. Her EP Dwell is the first, but hopefully not the last, of her musical explorations of the ancient lyrical poems. Crawford gives the EP’s six psalms a dash of folk, country, and Celtic lilt. Their memorable melodies are supported by a delicate acoustic ambience, one that never overpowers Crawford’s earnest vocals, which are reminiscent of Sandra McCracken and Lauren Daigle. Although the rhythmic and engaging ...

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“Wait” – Kevan Peabody

“Wait” Kevan Peabody Twinkem Productions (release date: October 16, 2020) www.twinkemp.com By Robert M. Marovich Taking Proverbs 3:5-6 in part for his text, veteran gospel singer Kevan Peabody implores listeners on “Wait” not to despair but to trust and “wait on the Lord.” To a traditional-flavored but sonically robust arrangement featuring piano and warbling organ, Peabody croons his declarations in a mellow tenor peppered by blues notes. “Trust and never doubt,” he sings, “God will always bring you out.” The song, written by Steven Roberts, has the feel of a church solo augmented by a full studio backing. Bay Area ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: March 1, 2021

“You Kept Me” Rev. Luther Barnes & the Restoration Worship Center Choir Shanachie Entertainment / SRT Entertainment www.shanachie.com By Robert M. Marovich Like the title track of the Reverend Luther Barnes and the Restoration Worship Center Choir’s five-star album, Look to the Hills, the new single “You Kept Me” has traditional gospel roots but sufficient musical heft to garner the ear of today’s listeners. Barnes’ pleading lead (you can always count on a solid vocal from the veteran quartetter) is a gush of gratitude to a God who never gave up on him. On the album-length version, the assembly builds ...

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