Gospel Music

“A New Day” — More Than an Album Title to Paul Porter

Talk about a testimony. From 1996 to 2006, former Christianaires member Paul Porter fought the battle of his life. Developing a blood clot on his brain at age 34, the singer lost much of his physical functioning. “I lost my vision, I couldn’t walk,” Porter told The Black Gospel Blog. “I lost my speech and memory. I was paralyzed and in a wheelchair for three years.” Five surgeries and plenty of prayer later, Porter went “from the wheelchair to a walker to a cane.” This past June, he walked lighthearted and unassisted into a recording studio to begin work on ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: September 29, 2008

“Serve Nobody But You”Nathaniel & NecyFrom Truly Anointed (WOGG Records 2008)http://cdbaby.com/cd/nathanielnecy From Denver via Chicago, Minister Nathaniel and Evangelist Lucille “Necy” Drinkard are a singing couple known simply as Nathaniel & Necy. Their single, “Serve Nobody But You” from Truly Anointed, the duo’s debut CD on WOGG Records, sounds like it was recorded for Philadelphia International in the late 1970s and unfairly forgotten in a tape box until now. The song features wall-to-wall lush strings and a playful bass riff that support Nathaniel & Necy’s smiling vocals. Refreshing and fun in its retro take on the praise song. Necy, by ...

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Jai Reed – Anointed for Purpose (TLR/Fontana)

Anointed for PurposeJai ReedTLR/Fontana 2007www.myspace.com/jaireedtheartist It takes a really gusty artist to start a solo project with an acappella track. It’s the aural equivalent of the dreaded Hollywood close-up, exposing every imperfection. But Jai (Jabial) Reed has nothing to worry about. There are no imperfections on his exceptional album, Anointed for Purpose. And not only does “Sanctuary” showcase his expressive voice, but it also sets a marvelous tone for the remainder of the album. In fact, there’s not a weak track among the eleven on Anointed for Purpose, seven of which the Pensacola, Florida-based Reed had a hand in writing ...

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Heather Headley: “I Wish” is a Sure Hit

It’s no secret that former RCA artist and Broadway songstress Heather Headley has a gospel CD coming out this fall on EMI Gospel. She is a “PK,” after all! What is surprising is that an intrepid YouTuber caught the lovely Trinidadian performing one of the songs from the project, “I Wish,” at an August showcase sponsored by EMI Gospel. (I thought the song was called “I Wish You Enough,” but what do I know!) Regardless of the title, as an attendee of this showcase, I was blown away immediately by the song and Heather’s sumptous reading of it. “I Wish” ...

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Al “The Bishop” Hobbs: Q & A in Indy Star

[This article by David Lindquist appears on the website of the Indianapolis Star. Photo by Frank Espich of the Star.] Al Hobbs may be a household name in Indianapolis because of a high-profile tenure at radio station WTLC that began in 1970 and ended in 1993. Gospel music listeners know Hobbs for recordings he made leading the Indianapolis Mass Choir in the 1980s, plus dozens of albums other artists made for his Aleho label between 1992 and 2003. Hobbs — who graduated from Central High School in Louisville, Ky., as a classmate of Muhammad Ali — has been a key ...

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It’s Over – Sean Simmonds (Xist/Tyscot)

It’s OverSean SimmondsXist Records/Tyscot 2008www.tyscot.com On It’s Over, Toronto-born Sean Simmonds delivers ample helpings of energetic holy hip hop with snarling synth, explosive beats, aggressive blasts of sound, and a startling lyrical frankness, all of which makes for extremely riveting listening. Simmonds drapes the timeless messages of faith and hope in street-cred language and attitude. The theme of the album seems to center on the rhetorical question he asks on “Tonite:” “If the Lord came back tonight, would it be okay if he came tonight?” Successive tracks depicting a world defiled by spousal and child abuse (the chilling “Unheard Cries”) ...

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Adrian B. King & C.4.H.P. – You’re Awesome (JDI)

You’re AwesomeAdrian B. King & C.4.H.P. (Created for His Purpose)JDI Records 2008www.jdirecords.com What I’ve learned from reviewing dozens upon dozens of Praise & Worship projects over the past few years is that in most cases, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. That is, the Praise & Worship album, like the church service upon which it is based, is best enjoyed in one sitting instead of as a collection of interchangeable gospel tracks. This is obviously true when the project is a live performance, but even a P&W studio recording follows this simple production rule. Of course, ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: September 22, 2008

“You Are Not Alone”Kevin LeVar & One Sound From the Habakkuk Music CD Let’s Come Togetherwww.threefoldmusicgroup.com With Hurricane Ike ravaging the Texas coastline, torrential rains flooding the Midwest, train wrecks, airplane crashes, banks closing, homes foreclosed, bombings, and what-have-you, Kevin LaVar & One Sound’s “You Are Not Alone” couldn’t have come at a better time. This simple but effective (and well constructed) gospel power ballad offers collective comfort to the victims of tragedy, giving Charles Tindley’s “When the storms of life are raging” message a contemporary interpretation. To the backdrop of weeping and wailing electric guitars, LaVar sings, “When I ...

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In Conversation: Brian Courtney Wilson

On the rainiest weekend in Chicago history, gospel artist Brian Courtney Wilson made time to speak with The Black Gospel Blog. We sat in the city’s Hyde Park neighborhood (home of Barack Obama) and discussed Wilson’s music resume and new project. Wilson (not to be confused with the child star Bryan Wilson of A Second Coming) grew up in Chicago’s western suburbs and attended Fenwick High School, a private Catholic school in Oak Park. The family worshipped at Rock of Ages Baptist Church in Maywood, where the Rev. T.H. Way was pastor and Wilson’s father a deacon. The singer joined ...

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The Rahming Brothers – Acappella Gospel Quartet from the Bahamas

What Will I Leave Behind &Keep On WaitingThe Rahming Brotherswww.RahmingBrothers.com Located 325 miles southeast of Miami, Florida, Cat Island, Bahamas is a 150 square mile patch of beautiful sand beaches and lush tropical greenery. The sixth largest island in the Bahamas takes great pride in having that “undiscovered” feeling. Cat Island also has an acappella gospel quartet that sounds “undiscovered,” whose sincere harmonies will break your heart, bring a tear to your eye, and transport you back to the days “when we used to have church.” The Rahming Brothers (William, Christopher, James, Clarence Jr., Bennett and Prince) are from a ...

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