Gospel Music

RIP: Richard Wallace of the Mighty Clouds of Joy

By Bob Marovich JGM was saddened to learn from Debra Ligon and Libra Boyd’s post that singer and guitarist Richard Wallace of the Mighty Clouds of Joy passed away Monday, July 27, 2020. According to essays by Opal Nations, Richard Edward Wallace was born June 9, 1940, in Austin, Texas. He and his brother Lee O’Daniel migrated west to Los Angeles and, in 1956, joined the Stars of Bethel, a quartet that included cousins from Texas who had moved to LA ahead of them. The quartet later changed its name to the Stars of Bethlehem and cut an album for ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: July 27, 2020

“Jesus, Let Us Be One” Roscoe Robinson Savoy Records (original release date: March 1983, reissue 2020) By Bob Marovich “Problems all around us, everyone has an answer,” Roscoe Robinson rues. Seeking the true solution, the gospel and soul singing star not only reaches back for the Word, he also reaches back more than three decades into his own song catalog. On “Jesus, Let Us Be One,” originally released on his 1983 Savoy solo album He’s the One, Roscoe prays for unity in His name “and in your love.” Starting out slow and introspective, the song picks up steam courtesy of a ...

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“Love” – Donnell Russell & Free Worship

“Love” Donnell Russell & Free Worship feat. Jai Reed, Tonya Boyd Cannon, Cory Ricks & Caren Green The Rite Note Ent. (release date: June 5, 2020) www.donnellrussell.com By Bob Marovich Donnell Russell & Free Worship’s “Love” is a crossover single in lyric and melody. To a quiet storm R&B arrangement, the singers remind listeners that “when all hope is gone,” where there is “injustice and hatred,” love is the answer. The inevitable rap interlude portrays life without love. Short but smooth and brimming with talented featured soloists, “Love” is a song written with today’s problems in mind. It offers the ...

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“He’s Alive” – Tametre Lawrence (feat. Simply Praise)

“He’s Alive” Tametre Lawrence (featuring Simply Praise) From the EP He’s Alive (release date: May 2020) By Bob Marovich A dramatic piano introduction slips into a mid-tempo Latin beat and stays there on “He’s Alive,” a Holy Week song that compares Jesus’s rising from the dead to his living presence in Christian hearts. The minor-key piece is performed by Nashville singer-songwriter Tametre Lawrence and the Simply Praise Choir. Shifting back and forth from unison singing to harmony, the group delivers the song with the nervous energy of a young adult choir and the austerity of a senior choir. Of the ...

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RIP: Mother Rubenstein McClure

By Bob Marovich JGM was saddened to learn of the passing of Evangelist Mother Rubenstein McClure on July 18, 2020. Mother “Ruby” McClure was a member and lead soloist with the famous Radio Choir of Brooklyn’s Institutional Church of God in Christ, under the direction of J.C. White (“Stretch Out”). Her voice could be heard on the choir’s single, “Talk it Over with Jesus,” among other titles. She was also a prominent member of the J.C. White Singers, leading the single, “Someone to Lean On” (Zanzee, 1973). Her own solo album, Rubenstein, came out on Locus Records in 1979. On ...

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Nashville Life Music – Here for Jesus

Nashville Life Music Here for Jesus Integrity Music (release date: July 17, 2020) www.nashvillelifemusic.com By Bob Marovich Nashville Life Music follows up last year’s Taylor House Sessions EP with even more delightful selections on its debut full-length album, Here for Jesus. Nashville Life Music is a young multicultural choir/group out of Nashville Life Church, a congregation led by husband-and-wife team Alvin Love and multi award-winning gospel singer CeCe Winans Love. In its diversity and musical architecture, the troupe reflects the church’s mission. It offers hope that amity is not only preferable and possible, but is actually happening. This polished group ...

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“God Made It Beautiful” – Jason Clayborn & the Atmosphere Changers

“God Made It Beautiful” Jason Clayborn & the Atmosphere Changers Feat. Daria Raymore Tyscot Records (release date: June 26, 2020) www.tyscot.com By Bob Marovich Dense harmonies and heavy production amp up the drama of “God Made It Beautiful,” but the true power of the song comes from the lead vocalists Jason Clayborn and Daria Raymore, as well as Clayborn’s backing choir, the Atmosphere Changers. Employing the problem-resolution technique in the lyrics, Clayborn expresses how God can turn ashes “into something beautiful.” Daria Raymore joins on the second verse, floating in and around the melody, at turns crooning and shouting the ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: July 13, 2020

“Someday” Shirley Murdock feat. Beverly Crawford, Kelly Price and Regina Belle From Live: The Journey (initial release date: 2011; re-released as single: 2020) www.tyscot.com By Bob Marovich Back in 2011, when “Someday” was initially released as part of Shirley Murdock’s Tyscot album Live: The Journey, this is what I had to say: “Someday” features les quatre femmes – Murdock, Beverly Crawford, Kelly Price and Regina Belle – seeking world cooperation during these days of social ills. The four harmonizing on stage together provides enough energy to run a small town for one day, and suggests they take their gospel show ...

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Lawrence Hancock – Who I Am

Lawrence Hancock Who I Am Bishop Lawrence Hancock (release date: July 24, 2020) By Bob Marovich Amid a kaleidoscope of electronic beats and mostly introspective melodies, Christian hip hop artist Bishop Lawrence Hancock tells you who He is, and who you should be—a Child of God. That’s what you discover on the hypnotic title cut of the Toledo, Ohio, native’s sixth album. Who I Am is atmospheric and vulnerable, not aggressive or extroverted. With electronic puffs like asthmatic organ pipes, “Ride,” the album’s first (and finest) selection, gives the message of “Walk Around Heaven All Day” a twenty-first-century face lift. Hancock ...

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