Gospel Music

James Fortune & FIYA – Live Through It

James Fortune & FIYA Live Through It FIYAWorld Music/eOne Engertainment (2014) www.jamesfortunemusic.com By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog The two-disk Live Through It is James Fortune & FIYA’s first foray into live recording and a successful one. The title track and current single is classic James Fortune: an antiphonal ballad loaded with affirmations of encouragement and sung sweetly by FIYA while Fortune punctuates the melody with shouted exhortations.  “The Way You See Me,” about society’s cruel affronts, is another cut bearing the James Fortune “sugar-and-salt” trademark. Tasha Cobbs is one of eight gospel stars who join Fortune on ...

Read More »

Formal Announcement of the Passing of Dr. Edna Tatum, “The Voice”

From TBGB Friend Sande Rose: After a lifetime of dedicated service to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to the Gospel music industry, we sadly announce the passing of “The Voice,” Dr. Edna Tatum. Dr. Tatum peacefully made her transition from labor to reward on Friday, March 14, 2014 in Los Angeles, CA. Edna Tatum is widely known as a legendary commentator in the Gospel music arena. Her career began extending words of welcome, reading the Sunday morning church announcements and introducing choirs, groups and soloists at Zion Hill Baptist Church in Los Angeles, CA. Her ability to articulate ...

Read More »

Sean C. Johnson – Grateful (EP)

Sean C. Johnson Grateful EP (2014) www.seancjohnson.com/grateful By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog Employing street poetry and neo-soul jams, Sean C. Johnson gives listeners a nineteen-minute dose of reality on Grateful, a five-track EP he released in gratitude for his fans’ support. Johnson is best known for his three-volume Simply a Vessel collection of “neo-soul gospel” with messages that are insightful without being preachy.  The EP’s incisive “Shepherd Me” reprises the social commentary of Volume 3’s “MCMX,” but this time the targets of Johnson’s salvo are not badly behaved kids but superficial or false preachers “convincing me that ...

Read More »

TBGB Pick of the Week: March 17, 2014

“I Believe” Dr. Vera J. Goodman & Anointed Praise From the CD It’s Our Time (2014) Anointedpraise2011@yahoo.com “I Believe” is an inspirational song that sounds like an inspirational song. Anointed Praise’s dynamic phrasing and the infectious “Rise” vamp gain ample support from a melody that propels the message ever higher without changing the key. Lead vocalist Kevin Allen delivers the song’s premise: “Know that I am He / Who can change the ‘possible’ to ‘possibility’/ So Rise.”  Dr. Vera J. Goodman and Kizzy Walker add spice with their fervent solos. At nearly seven-and-a-half minutes, “I Believe” is just one skillful ...

Read More »

TBGB Goes to the NIGMA Industry Summit 2014

The Black Gospel Blog’s Bob Marovich attended the National and Independent Gospel Music Association (NIGMA) Industry Summit in Atlanta, Georgia this weekend (March 13-16).  He presented on “Establishing A Media Presence” Saturday morning. Congratulations to NIGMA President Pastor Kris Jackson, to the NIGMA Board and volunteers, to the artists and presenters, Dr. Mark Rogers and the Rhythm of Gospel Awards team, and the Village Church (host facility) for a fun and inspiring weekend uplifting independent gospel artists. Remember: every gospel artist was once an independent artist.  Next year’s Industry Summit will take place in Dallas, Texas. Some photo highlights: Coretta ...

Read More »

Jamarien Moore – I’ll Go

Jamarien MooreI’ll Go (EP)http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/jamarienmoore By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog I can understand why Jamarien Moore made it to the finals on BET’s Sunday Best.  He has a versatile, elastic tenor, an almost effortless delivery, and his display of melisma evokes Smokie Norful.  According to his website, Moore was influenced by Daryl Coley and the late James Moore, and he does have a touch of their musky soul in his spirit. I’ll Go, Moore’s debut six-selection EP, finds him dividing his time between traditional sounds and smooth, contemporary gospel with a boost of jazz.  On his interpretation of the ...

Read More »

Rev. Roy Reed & the Zion Jubilees – Let Him In

Rev. Roy Reed & the Zion Jubilees Let Him In Sharp Records (2014) By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog Crate diggers will know the Zion Jubilees from their 1970s singles on Stan Lewis’s Jewel label.  Others will simply know the quartet as the Zion Jubilees of Bryan, Texas who have been on the gospel highway for more than a half century. Let Him In is the quartet’s latest release for Sharp Records, an indie label out of Douglasville, Georgia.  With the exception of a prominent synth and sax, the album’s eight songs demonstrate that the group hasn’t strayed ...

Read More »

RIP: Willie Connell Johnson, Quartet Legend, Father of D.A. Johnson of Malaco

Jackson, MS – Quartet Pioneer and father of D.A. Johnson (Executive Director, Gospel Division Malaco Music Group), Willie Connell Johnson passed on Thursday March 6, 2014, at his home, surrounded by family in Jamaica, NY. Willie Connell Johnson, born in Sumter, SC, founder of The Mighty Brooklyn Skyways, a quartet that enjoyed such hits as, “Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven (But Nobody Really Wants To Die),” “May The Work I’ve Done Speak For Me,” and “Unbelievable Man,” all with Peacock Records. In the seventies, The Skyways recorded three albums with Savoy Records now wholly owned by the Malaco Music Group. Willie Johnson was honored when ...

Read More »