Gospel Music

2007 Stellar Awards Nominees

Here are the nominees for the 2007 Stellar Awards. The Stellars will be awarded during a special televised ceremony at the Grand Ole Opry, Nashville, TN, January 13, 2007. Special thanks to Tammy Taylor for passing the list on to TBGB. Artist of the YearKirk Franklin; Hero; Fo Yo Soul EntertainmentDonald Lawrence presents The Tri-City Singers; Finale: Act One; EMI GospelMartha Munizzi; No Limits… Live; Integrity GospelTye Tribbett & G.A.; Kingdom University presents Tye Tribbett & G.A., Victory LIVE!; Sony Gospel Song of the Year (Songwriter; Song; Label)Myron Butler; “Set Me Free”; EMI GospelKirk Franklin, Patrice Rushen, C. Sims, S. ...

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CD Single Review: Neal Roberson – “It’s On the Way”

CD Single Review:“It’s On the Way”Neal RobersonFrom the CD Awesome GodBlackberry Records 2006http://www.blackberryrecords.com/ Everybody loves Neal, and his bubbling-over personality is once again the driving force on his latest hit, “It’s On the Way.” Accompanied by a tambourine-driven rhythm that sounds straight from the musical Stomp, Neal announces that he’s “hangin’ out at the Blackberry camp” (gospel music camp – now THERE’s an idea!). The stomp transitions to a mid-tempo quartet strut as Neal performs call-and-response with the choir. Hitting the homestretch, the ensemble breaks into full vocal gallop. “It’s On the Way” is three performances in one, each section ...

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CD Single Review: Fred Martin & the Levite Camp

CD Single Review:“Crossroads/Until I Found the Lord”Fred Martin & the Levite CampFrom the CD Some BridgesConcord Records 2006www.concordmusicgroup.com If you believe the folktale that Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil so he could become a blues guitar prodigy, you will find it improbable that anyone would dare mix Johnson’s down and dirty “Crossroads Blues” with the sacred staple, “Until I Found the Lord.” Fred Martin & the Levite Camp accepted the dare, got Jackson Browne to co-produce, and the amalgam came out delightfully well. The combination offers a powerful message, too. The musical vibe of Fred Martin’s “Crossroads” ...

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CD Review: The Man From Nazareth – Edward Boatner

The Man From Nazareth (Edward Boatner)Boatner Spiritual ChoraleHeller Recordings 2006www.themanfromnazareth.com The first sentence of the narrative that opens The Man From Nazareth says it all: “This is the story of Jesus told by American Blacks as they related it to their own lives and hopes.” In 1971, Edward Boatner (1898 – 1981) stitched together 21 spirituals of his own arrangement, prefacing most of them with a short narrative in the style of the Wings over Jordan. The spirituals and narrations that comprise The Man From Nazareth recant in chronological order the story of Jesus from birth to resurrection. Each spiritual, ...

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CD Single Review: Clarissa Smith — “Tis So Sweet”

“Tis So Sweet”Clarissa SmithFrom the CD God Has Got Your BackHeaven Sent Records 2005www.gospelswap.com/clarissasmith The fact that Clarissa Smith is the sister of jazz/blues diva Dinah Washington unfairly overshadows her own accomplishments as a music educator at Chicago’s Calumet High School, where she taught gospel luminaries such as Walt Whitman and Rev. Walter Butts how to sing. Now it’s Clarissa’s turn in the spotlight, and on God Has Got Your Back she offers up a dignified rendition of “Tis So Sweet.” The simple piety of her reading fits the hymn perfectly, and the accompanist’s cascading runs on the keyboard give ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: October 9, 2006

“Tell the Lord Thank You”Min. Theodore Gilmore, Jr. & Friends Music MinistryProduced by Montage Pheloan for J.R. Murray Group2006 “This is my little quartet song,” remarks Min. Theodore Gilmore, Jr., as his group launches into “Tell the Lord Thank You,” an uptempo gospel blues complete with the classic I-IV-V verse structure. Gilmore employs the verses to remind us to thank God for a number of blessings (e.g., new job, new house) and hooks an explosive gospel shout to the end of nearly every one as if to hammer home his point. If I hadn’t heard this song performed live, I ...

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CD Single Review — Henry Green feat. John P. Kee

“There’s Been a Change”Henry Green, feat. John P. KeeFrom the Blackberry album Mr. Green’s Session2006www.blackberryrecords.com Williams Brothers alumnus Henry Green gets top billing on the solid “There’s Been a Change,” but the song really belongs to special guest John P. Kee, who shouts his testimony as if he were a Williams Brothers alum. Kee is so emphatic about his testimony that at the end, he suggests that if you don’t believe him, just call his wife. Kee punctuates his section with good old gospel hollers that sound part sanctified, part Jay Hawkins diabolic, as if every shout were an attempt ...

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The Caravans on National Public Radio

From D.A. Johnson of Malaco Records: While The Caravans were in Los Angeles last week, they had the opportunity to sit down with award winning journalist Mr. Tony Cox at the NPR studios which aired nationally on their stations, Tuesday, October 3, 2006. If you didn’t get an opportunity to hear The Caravans’ interview on News & Notes with Tony Cox, just click on the link below: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6187186

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TBGB Pick of the Week: October 2, 2006

“He’s Here”Niyoki2006From the D2G Records CD My Everythingwww.niyoki.com Niyoki’s RnB-soaked gospel track “He’s Here” reminds me of the medium-tempo dance songs I used to enjoy on “Soul Train”: it possesses an easy, loping, hypnotic beat that more than makes up for the lack of a clever hook or memorable melody. Niyoki has a musical biography that starts at early childhood, when she traveled and recorded with her gospel-singing family. Along the way, she spent time as a back-up singer for Prince and opened, with her sisters, for A-list RnB acts such as Boys II Men and R. Kelly. She’s come ...

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CD Single Review: Elder Jimmy Hicks and the V.O.I.

“This Kind by Fasting and Prayer”Elder Jimmy Hicks and the Voices of IntegrityWorldwide Music, Inc.2005 “This Kind by Fasting and Prayer” is a similar sounding follow-up to the group’s enjoyable hit, “Born Blessed,” and on the same CD as the latter, but in Elder Hicks’ case, sound-alike is a good thing. Once again, the 43 year-old Elder Hicks tells a musical story with that old Louis Jordan-esque twinkle in his eye as he calls out church people who diss one another to their faces. The V.O.I. serve as head-shaking empathizers, a gospel version of a Greek chorus pointing out the ...

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