Gospel Music

Nikki “D” & the Browns – The Divine Treatment (EP)

Nikki “D” & the Browns The Divine Treatment EP Independent (release date: January 2020) By Bob Marovich Outside of the Campbell Brothers, it seems as if sacred steel music has been relegated to historic reissues. But lap steel is audible on The Divine Treatment, a new EP by Nikki “D” & the Browns of Toledo, Ohio. A member of Soul City House of God International in Toledo, which split from the Church of the Living God, Jewell Dominion—the denominational home of sacred steel—Nicole “Nikki” Brown has been playing steel guitar since age nine. She, her three sisters, and a niece, ...

Read More »

Reverend John Lee Hooker Jr. – Testify

Reverend John Lee Hooker Jr. Testify Steppin’ Stone Records (release date: February 14, 2020) By Bob Marovich “From the blues to the good news,” declares the Reverend John Lee Hooker Jr.’s website, though listening to his new album, Testify, blues has not left the building entirely. It’s just backing up lyrics of encouragement and warning instead of “Extramarital Affair” and “Pay the Rent.” Son of the legendary bluesman John Lee “Boogie Man” Hooker, Reverend John Lee Jr. received Grammy nominations for his blues albums. But a life of imprisonment, addiction, and having been being shot and stabbed forced him to ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: February 17, 2020

“Jehovah God (I Will Trust You)” Gospel Heritage 2.0 feat. Madelyn Berry From the Integrity Music & Tyscot Records CD Next Wave of Praise (single release date: January 24, 2020) By Bob Marovich Singer-songwriter Madelyn Berry leads her own P&W composition, “Jehovah God (I Will Trust You)” as a choir of worship leaders, assembled by fellow P&W singer-songwriter and producer VaShawn Mitchell, provides the melodic foundation that lets her improvise freely. Although the melody and lyrics are akin to other modern P&W ballads, this one is distinguished by Berry’s passionate delivery, which starts out with fiery intensity and never cools. ...

Read More »

For the Lord – I’m Gonna Do Your Will

For the Lord I’m Gonna Do Your Will Independent (2019) By Bob Marovich From the Soul Stirrers to Endurance, Houston, Texas, has a strong gospel quartet history. For the Lord is another quartet that hails from the 713. As demonstrated on its full-length release, I’m Gonna Do Your Will, the group possesses an easy, relaxed sound, pulling elements from the smooth-singing R&B male groups of the 1990s. That is not to say For the Lord doesn’t have drive tempo tracks up their sleeve. One of them, “Yes I Did,” opens the album. The song is led by Phillip Grant, who ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: February 10, 2020

“God Wants to Heal You” Earnest Pugh Black Smoke Music (from the 2017 album Survive) By Bob Marovich Recorded originally in 2006 by Apostle Kevin Davidson and the Voices, the Davidson-penned “God Wants to Heal You,” which was covered by Earnest Pugh as early as 2009, is being promoted as a single. Much shorter in its new go-around than Davidson’s original, the gospel ballad nevertheless receives a faithful treatment from Pugh, whose tenor voice is similar in texture to the composer’s own (both are from Memphis). Pugh also brings along an ensemble of background vocalists to assist as the choir. ...

Read More »

JGM Music Hour – Episode 141

Episode 141 Playlist Mighty long way – David Wright & NY Fellowship Choir feat. Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson Jesus will fix it – James Cutts feat. Floyd Mayweather Sr. Another blessing – Williams Brothers & Lee Williams and Spiritual QCs Talkin’ ‘bout Jesus – Gloria Gaynor feat. Yolanda Adams Standing at the gates – Erica Reed Tap into it – Renee Spearman Just as I am – Reba Rambo Let justice rain – The Many Once I get to Heaven – The Legendary Beyons Kingdom come – Churchppl & Sir the Baptist Saved – Chip Bailey Show me – Ms. Ruby ...

Read More »

Mighty Men of Faith – Live at Valley Christian

Mighty Men of Faith Live at Valley Christian N2L Records (release date: January 21, 2020) https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/mightymenoffaith15 By Bob Marovich Live at Valley Christian by the Mighty Men of Faith was recorded in front of 2,400 enthusiastic young students at the Valley Christian School in San Jose, California. Typically, there’s no more critical crowd of listeners than a group of young people, but the Mighty Men of Faith appear to have won them over. The smooth modern quartet brought their friendly and relaxed delivery to the school—they sound like the Dells singing gospel. The California-based quartet’s music is driven by a ...

Read More »

“I Hear Rain” – Edwrin Sutton & Kingdom Culture

“I Hear Rain” Edwrin Sutton & Kingdom Culture Blacksmoke Music Worldwide (release date: May 2, 2019) “I Hear Rain” is a song of encouragement in a time of despair. Its spoken call and sung response between Sutton and Kingdom Culture evokes James Fortune and Kirk Franklin’s own use of the technique. The coming storm is nothing to fear, the ensemble sings, because the rain means greater is coming. In anticipation of the gathering clouds and the eventual downpour of blessings, the group builds the song’s tension, though it ends before the sweet release. This is a case where the longer ...

Read More »

62nd Grammy Award Winners

By Bob Marovich The following are the winners in the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards’ Gospel and Contemporary Christian categories. Congratulations to them and to all the nominees! 36. Best Gospel Performance/Song LOVE THEORY Kirk Franklin; Kirk Franklin, songwriter 37. Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song GOD ONLY KNOWS for KING & COUNTRY & Dolly Parton; Josh Kerr, Jordan Reynolds, Joel Smallbone, Luke Smallbone & Tedd Tjornhom, songwriters 38. Best Gospel Album LONG LIVE LOVE Kirk Franklin 39. Best Contemporary Christian Music Album BURN THE SHIPS for KING & COUNTRY 40. Best Roots Gospel Album TESTIMONY Gloria Gaynor Also, PJ Morton won ...

Read More »

“The Blood” – Rev. R. L. Bush & the New Swan Silvertones

“The Blood” Rev. R. L. Bush and the New Swan Silvertones From the album Live and UpClose https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/revrlbtnss By Bob Marovich During more than 80 years of singing, the Swan Silvertones quartet has remained relevant by shifting its style to keep up with the times. From rhythmic jubilee singing to church-wrecking power to sweet harmonizing to contemporary quartet, the Swans have done it all. On “The Blood,” the New Swan Silvertones, featuring the Reverend R. L. Bush, keep it old school. With nothing but a drum beat to sing to and the bass singer imitating a stand-up bass  in his ...

Read More »