Gospel Music

TBGB Reviews…The Willie Harris Gospel Singers

Got a HealingThe Willie Harris Gospel SingersOphir 2007 Listening to Got a Healing by the Willie Harris Gospel Singers is an aural trip back to the 1970s and 1980s. It is reminiscent of the bass guitar-heavy male quartet recordings released by local groups on southern labels such as Hoyt Sullivan’s Su-Ann and HSE, Don Logan’s Memorial, and Stan Lewis’ Jewel and Lewis. Soulful and bluesy, laced with mother wit, the songs on Got a Healing cover an array of topics, such as religion as an antidote to substance abuse and addiction, and the eternal woes of backsliding. The quartet’s songs ...

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2007 Inductees to the International Gospel Music Hall of Fame

Evelyn Turentine-Agee, The Christianaires, Marie Knight, Bishop Kenneth Moales, Bishop G.E. Patterson, Norma Jean Pender, Ernestine Rundless & The Meditation Singers and The Staples Singers are this year’s inductees to the International Gospel Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The 2007 inductees, nominated from around the world and selected by the IGMHFM board, were announced by founder David Gough. This year marks the eleventh anniversary of the International Gospel Music Hall of Fame and Museum Induction Celebration and Fund Raiser. This year’s induction and awards celebration will be held at the Max M. Fisher Music Center on Saturday, October 27. ...

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TBGB Reviews…Joann Rosario

Joyous SalvationJoann RosarioVerity Records 2007www.myspace.com/joannrosario In early 2003, the lovely, petite Joann Rosario was hit with the granddaddy of all ailments for a vocalist: nodules on her vocal cords. Such things are so serious they are spoken of in only the most respectful and hushed of tones in music departments coast to coast. But Joann has made a remarkable recovery, because on her latest project, Joyous Salvation, her voice is flawless: lithe, soulful, and her delivery dramatic and controlled, with no indication whatsoever of career-threatening nodes. Props go out also to the powerful band backing the Chicago-based artist. Their high-energy ...

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TBGB Reviews…Dexter Walker & Zion Movement

MoveDexter Walker & Zion MovementFound Sound Music 2007www.zionmovement.org I first heard the Zion Movement Chorale two years ago, at Chicago’s Southside Neighborhood Gospel Festival. Even though the program was filled to the brim with national and local talent, Zion Movement outshined, outsang, and outperformed everyone else. Dexter Walker’s Zion Movement combines that quintessentially Chicago full-throttle choir sound – open-throated and in your face – with clever choreography. At a recent performance for the Chicago Area Gospel Announcers Guild, Zion Movement sang while toppling like dominoes with ballet-like athleticism and precision. If you think it’s easy to sing — and sing ...

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Jessie Mae Hemphill Headstone Dedication Ceremony

From Beale Street legend Richard Johnston: On July 30 a headstone will be dedicated at the grave of blues and gospel artist Jessie Mae Hemphill, who died on July 22, 2006 and was buried a week later, on July 30. Hemphill, who was born October 18, 1923, was best known as a blues guitarist, songwriter and vocalist, and in this capacity toured widely in Europe and won several W.C. Handy Awards for her recordings. For many years she also performed as drummer in fife and drum bands, a long-established musical tradition in her native north Mississippi. Her grandfather was Sid ...

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CD Single Review: “Magnify” – Pastor Rudolph McKissick, Jr. and the Word & Worship Mass Choir

“Magnify”Pastor Rudolph McKissick, Jr.and the Word & Worship Mass Choirfrom the forthcoming CD Intimate WorshipEmtro Gospelwww.emtro.com “Magnify,” the first single from Pastor McKissick and the Word & Worship Mass Choir’s new release, Intimate Worship (due out August 28, 2007), has plenty of mid-tempo vocal and instrumental energy, but the composition and arrangement are formulaic and indistinguishable from the thousands of high-octane praise songs already recorded by leader/vocalist-and-choir combos. “Magnify” could have outshined the competition had the instrumentation dropped out two-thirds of the way through so the choir could do an a cappella minute, but it was not to be. Perhaps ...

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Essential Gospel – Classic Recordings: No. 143

“I Stretch My Hands to Thee”The Trumpet-lettsBilesse 00061960s Bill Moss may be gone, but his legacy remains strong. In addition to his own work with wife Essie as innovative gospel group Bill Moss and the Celestials, Bill ran a record label (also with Essie) called Bilesse, an obvious elision of their first names. Bilesse’s main claim to fame is being one of the first to capture on vinyl some of the second generation Moss/Clark Family members, all (or most all) who have become household names in gospel. For example, J Moss’ first record, recorded when he was five years old, ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: July 23, 2007

“No Limit”From the CD With Praises from the HeartDana MackeyDDM Music, LLC 2007www.danamackey.com I know that “With Praises” is the radio single, but to my ears, “No Limit” is the finest track on Dana Mackey’s ultra-modern debut CD, With Praises from the Heart. Polyrhythmic and with rich, multi-layered vocals, “No Limit” is infectious and gospel dance-club ready. The combination of Mackey’s pleasant mid-range voice and the exuberant energy of her musicians blends to perfection here. Dana Mackey serves in the music ministry of Grace World Outreach Center in Brooksville, Florida, under the leadership of Pastors David and Nellie Garcia.

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CD Reviews….G. Mayes & Nu Era

Diary of a Strong SouljahG. Mayes & Nu EraLight 2007www.lightrecords.com I continue to be impressed by the tough hip-hop gospel sounds pouring forth from Light Records these days. Another such selection hits the streets next week: Diary of a Strong Souljah, Houston-based Gary Mayes and Nu Era’s third project. There’s so much music packed on Diary that it takes two CDs to contain it all. And you have to love CDs bedecked in camouflage, and a press packet that includes a dog tag, but it makes sense, because the project turns time and again to the “I’m a Soldier in ...

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Essential Gospel – Classic Recordings: No. 142

“In A City Where Sun Will Never Go Down”Bishop P.H. Passon and the Evening Light SingersLance 1026ca. 1950 “In a City Where Sun Will Never Go Down” (sic) is enthusiastic female group singing, hand clapping, and delightful barrelhouse piano that guides the singers while throwing its own holy shapes in the way Thomas Dorsey and Arizona Dranes intended. The performance is simple, infectious and timeless. A Pentecostal lost treasure. The flipside of the 78 is an impassioned sermon by Bishop Passon (spelled ‘Passion’ on the label): “Living in an Insane World.” And getting more insane by the minute, it seems. ...

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