Gospel Music

What’s on your gPod?

Mp3 Player Recommendations…now on TBGB! Starting today, with the James Grear & Company review (below), TBGB will recommend specific song(s) to include on your iPod or mp3 player from the full-length albums it reviews. So scroll to the bottom of each review after October 6, 2009 to find out what to “put on your gPod!”

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Don’t Waste Another Day – James Grear & Company

James Grear & CompanyDon’t Waste Another DayHabakkuk Music 2009www.myspace.com/jamesgrearandcompany The Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota have a thriving gospel music community, and James Grear & Company is one of the reasons why. The group’s latest project, Don’t Waste Another Day, finds the hip ensemble rendering songs by top gospel writers, including Richard Smallwood, Carnell Murrell and VaShawn Mitchell. Although most of the songs and arrangements on Don’t Waste Another Day fall into a measured or mid-tempo groove, Grear’s cover of Sounds of Blackness’ “Hold On (Change is Coming),” the group’s current single, is buoyant. It reminds me of Grear’s ...

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R.I.P. – Dr. Wesley A. Boyd

Pianist Eric Scott Reed informed TBGB that composer and conductor Dr. Wesley A. Boyd, formerly of the Richard Smallwood Singers and founder of the Wesley Boyd Gospel Music Workshop, died Sunday, October 4, 2009. Funeral Arrangements for Dr. Boyd will be held Monday, October 12th at 10:00 am at the Union Temple Baptist Church, 1225 W. St. S.E., Washington DC. Cards and condolences can be sent c/o Becky Mays, 194A Joliet St., S.W., Washington, D. C. 20032 TBGB will pass along additional information as it learns more.

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Shirley Smith – In Hymn I Trust

Shirley SmithIn Hymn I TrustThe Sirens Records 2009www.thesirensrecords.com In Hymn I Trust, singer-pianist Shirley Smith’s debut recording for The Sirens Records, is a sweet album of sing-along hymns and congregational gospel songs straight from the proverbial little wooden church on the hill. Raised in Detroit, Smith can play and sing in a variety of shades. For example, she gives “O Magnify the Lord” and “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” a smidgen of a jazz lilt while maintaining the simple beauty of the original melodies. Songs such as “Because He Lives” and “Something About that Name” get a more reverent, old-line Protestant ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: October 5, 2009

“I Feel Like Going On”Marvin L. WinansFrom the World Wide Gospel albumThe Gospel Music Celebration, Part I: Tribute to Bishop G.E. Patterson www.gospeltruthmagazine.com After a grand flourish from a Hammond B3, Marvin Winans delivers “I Feel Like Going On,” a lovely and powerful traditional gospel song in memory of COGIC Bishop Gilbert Earl Patterson. Recorded live in Memphis, COGIC headquarters, Winans thrills the live audience with his tear-stained vocals, hard shouting and song-preaching. The full-throttle choir raises the temperature behind Winans as the song marches toward its dramatic conclusion. It’s a fitting tribute to Bishop Patterson who loved old-time gospel ...

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“People Get Ready” for Toledo’s First Creation

Gospel singer Jerry Boose took time from a busy schedule, including pastoring a Toledo, Ohio church and serving as a fireman, to tell TBGB about his gospel group, First Creation. Boose organized First Creation in Toledo during the mid-1980s. “I had been singing around Toledo all my life, in different choirs and ensembles,” Boose explained, “but I had a desire to start a male contemporary group. That was when the Winans and Commissioned, some of the top groups of the day, were singing a different style of gospel music. I pulled together four guys I knew and had sung with ...

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Micah Stampley – Ransomed

Micah StampleyRansomedInterface Entertainment/Central South Distribution 2009www.micahstampley.org I first became acquainted with praise and worship singer Micah Stampley when he crooned the soothing “Take My Life” on T.D. Jakes’ 2004 He-Motions project (EMI Gospel/Dexterity Sounds). The components of this single – silky smooth, warm and impassioned singing; lovely, uncomplicated melodies; and gently pulsing arrangements — can be heard in abundance on his latest album, Ransomed. Recorded live August 15, 2008 at the Greater Travelers Rest MB Church in Decatur, Georgia (Rev. E. Dewey Smith, Jr., Pastor), Ransomed is peppermint candy for the soul. Thematically, the album asserts that disease, pain, sin, ...

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Carl Whittaker & Exhortation – Afterwhile

Carl Whittaker & ExhortationAfterwhileBOG Records 2009www.bogrecords.biz “I am Elder Abraham Isaac Jacob Swanson the Twelfth.” Yes, it is THE Pastor Abraham Swanson XII who introduces Carl Whittaker and Exhortation during the opening moments of the group’s Afterwhile, a full-length live recording from Pastor Swanson’s historic Bibleway COGIC in Cincinnati, Ohio. Nearly fifty years ago, Bibleway was the setting for then “Little” Abraham Swanson’s own album on King Records, the no-holds-barred Let the Church Roll On. “Little Abraham’s Prayer,” culled from that November 1960 session, became a sensation, one that still generates requests on “oldies” gospel radio. Fast forward a couple ...

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Leah Smith – Beautifully Made EP

Leah SmithBeautifully Made EP (Release Date: October 21, 2009)www.myspace.com/leahsmithmusic1 Earlier this month, TBGB reviewed the title track of twenty year-old singer/songwriter Leah Smith’s forthcoming EP, Beautifully Made. We had a chance to hear the entire six-song project from the former Israel & New Breed vocalist, and find it every bit as eloquent and introspective as its namesake song. Throughout Beautifully Made, you feel as if you are listening in on Smith’s secret thoughts and prayers as she voices them sweetly and delicately, like a tranquil India.Arie or Corinne Bailey Rae. The instrumentation is appropriately light and piano-based, given the content, ...

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