Gospel Music

“Never Would Have Made It” Tops AP Best Songs List

TBGB congratulates Pastor Marvin Sapp. His “Never Would Have Made It” tops the Associated Press’ best songs list of 2008. Writes AP Music Writer Nekesa Mumbi Moody (Dec. 12, 2008): “If you want to create a mix-tape of the year’s best songs, here are the must-haves for 2008. “1. “Never Would Have Made It,” Marvin Sapp: Of course, a gospel tome is inspirational — that’s the whole point, hello! — but Sapp’s stirring song was more than that. It moved the listener to the core, which few songs, even gospel tunes, have the power to do.”

Read More »

Awesome – The Voices of Promise (IMOK Gospel Music 2008)

AwesomeThe Voices of PromiseIMOK Gospel Music 2008www.imokgospelmusic.com The Voices of Promise. It’s a perfect name for a youth choir. But they could also have been dubbed the Voices of Surprise. The youth choir, which hails from The St. Mary Church of God in Christ in Brooklyn, New York, was a concept conceived by Elder Jonathan Hall to surprise their Pastor, David A. Butler. The participants kept the secret from the pastor despite numerous rehearsals and preparations for a recording. The surprise was unveiled when the group entered its first recording date in November, 2006. Pastor Butler was “shocked,” surely, but ...

Read More »

Just Love – Brian Courtney Wilson (Spirit Rising 2008)

Brian Courtney WilsonJust LoveSpirit Rising Music/Music World Entertainment 2008www.musicworldentertainment.com From Matthew Knowles, father and manager of world-famous daughters Beyonce and Solange, and producer of gospel superstars Trin-I-Tee 5:7, comes Just Love, the debut album by soulful gospel balladeer Brian Courtney Wilson. Wilson, a Chicagoan now living in Houston, and not to be confused with Bryan Wilson (A Second Coming) is set to release Just Love on Knowles’ Spirit Rising Music imprint in January 2009. From the title track and first song, which showcases the church as a welcoming center of community and forgiveness, Just Love has an autobiographical feeling. The ...

Read More »

Bishop Paul S. Morton Presents…the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship Mass Choir: Cry Your Last Tear

Bishop Paul S. Morton presents the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship Mass Choir Cry Your Last Tear Tehillah Music Group/Light Records 2008 www.lightrecords.com Browsing through the music bins, one might think Cry Your Last Tear, with a photo of Bishop Paul S. Morton dominating the front cover, is a new release by the pastor’s Greater St. Stephen Choir of New Orleans, but it’s not. It’s much bigger. The Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship Mass Choir is comprised of members from the denomination’s Southern, Southern Atlantic and Central Regions. The group has a smooth, comfortable, well-rehearsed sound accompanied by sweeping string ...

Read More »

More Gospel Artists Doing Good: Pastor Gregg Patrick & The Bridge Project

Pastor Gregg Patrick (currently moving up the charts with his hit single “I Am A Witness”), celebrates at his home with friends Clifton Davis, Felicia Young (Tennesse Titans Quarterback Vince Young’s mom) and Shawn McLemore. Earlier in the day, Patrick made a large donation to the NFL Mother’s Association to feed the nation’s homeless for Thanksgiving. McLemore wrote three of the songs on the CD CrossOver, which debuted at #9 on Billboard.

Read More »

TBGB Pick of the Week: December 8, 2008

“Did It All For Me”Aaron SledgeFrom the CD Da LightSky High Entertainment 2007www.myspace.com/skyhighdalight As I mentioned in my review of Chicagoan Aaron Sledge’s full project Da Light, “Did It All For Me” is a fine piece of pop-gospel songwriting. It’s so good, you’ll swear you’ve heard it before…a sure sign of a hit. Sledge gives the melodically simple praise ballad a gorgeous reading, and his recording ought to get radio play, but “Did It All For Me” also has a future in the repertories of gospel, pop, country and Christian singers alike. It’s like a Diane Warren love song with ...

Read More »

Kersten Stevens – The Gift

Kersten StevensThe Giftwww.kerstenstevens.com All I had to hear was that gospel/hip hop/jazz violinist Kersten Stevens was putting out a Christmas album, and I knew it would be superb. Sometimes you just know these things. And of course I was right. On The Gift, the versatile Kersten brandishes her bow like a magic wand, transforming a handful of Holiday classics into marvelous jazz performances. A combo featuring Mark Brown, Miki Hayama, Ulysses Owens and Tony Cimorosi provides energetic backup, giving Kersten free rein over the melodic theme and variations as the spirit moved her. Tracks include a modern “Hark the Herald ...

Read More »

“Arise Medley” – Arise (Stile Records 2008)

“Arise Medley”AriseFrom the CD God’s Got My BackStile Records 2008 While “God’s Got My Back” is very likely the plug song on Arise’s CD of the same name, to my ears “Arise Medley” is the real treat. Electrifying Afro-Caribbean handclap rhythms and a Latin acoustic guitar propel the group’s sweet harmonies and a charming melody. The lyrics sound hand-picked from an island folksong, and for all I know, they may well be: “Me, I will not suffer, no/I will not beg for bread. He is my daddy-o/I’m going to praise him so.” Arise is Dwight Schroeter, Keith Marrett, Christopher Simms ...

Read More »

Aaron Sledge – Da Light (Sky High Entertainment 2007)

Aaron SledgeDa LightSky High Entertainment 2007http://www.myspace.com/skyhighdalight At first blush, Chicago’s Aaron Sledge seems a contradiction: an urban inspirational artist whose album is covered in photos of the singer in street-smart clothes, posing tough next to a Lexus, showing off a top-shelf shoe collection, and hanging out on Chicago streets. But listen to the vignettes on Sledge’s CD Da Light, and you realize that the contradiction is not only deliberate, it’s his main point. The outward manifestations of style and success – fashionable clothes and cars – are not necessarily inconsistent with life on the straight and narrow. In other words, ...

Read More »

Folk Singer, Civil Rights Activist Odetta Dead at 77

Odetta (Holmes) Gordon, known to the world as simply “Odetta,” died of a heart attack in New York yesterday, December 2. She was 77 years old. Odetta sang folk songs, ballads, blues, Civil Rights anthems, spirituals, showtunes, gospel…really just about any style of music was fodder for her straightforward delivery. Her booming contralto could cut through the densest of fog. Artists such as Tracy Chapman, Alicia Keys, and Bernice Johnson Reagon all have traces of Odetta’s style in their voice. Spirituals historian Lyvonne Chrisman of San Francisco had alerted me to Odetta’s flagging health a couple of weeks ago. She ...

Read More »