Gospel Music

Essential Gospel – Classic Recordings: No. 132

“I’ve Tried”Mighty PilgrimsFinch 1102361971 This record is about as close to perfect as any gospel quartet record I’ve ever heard. Each vocal stanza, each achingly beautiful and tight harmony run, each fervent foray into the vocal stratosphere by the lead vocalist are performed with precision while maintaining a mood of easy, lazy informality. Although it was recorded in 1971, “I’ve Tried” by the Mighty Pilgrims sounds as if it was waxed ten years earlier. It’s a variation on the lyrics of the classic “When I’ve Done the Best I Can,” but without the original melody and performed in early 1960s ...

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CD Review: Austin Family & Friends

Experience the ImpossibleAustin Family & FriendsJCA Records 2005www.jamesaustinjr.com Experience the Impossible is a locally-produced album by the family and friends of Rev. James C. and Vernesta T. Austin, the pastor and first lady respectively of St. Luke Church of God in Christ in Chicago. Reading COGIC and music in the same sentence usually brings to mind an exuberant, frenetic style of gospel, but the Austin Family’s sound is different from that. It is quieter and more delicate, a musical cousin of the work of Andrae Crouch, also from a COGIC family. This fresh-faced project by the young Austin Family is ...

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Preaching to the Choir – New Film Featuring Gospel Music

The following comes to TBGB courtesy of ThinkTank Marketing in New York City. Incidentally, Nona Hendryx, member of LaBelle and attendee at last year’s Gospel Music Workshop of America/Gospel Announcers Guild sessions, wrote the musical score. LINK TO THE TRAILER FOR CAST BIOS, PRODUCTION STILLS AND MOREhttp://preachingtothechoirmovie.com/ SYNOPSISEstranged since the death of their parents years ago, twin brothers, Teshawn and Wesley Tucker, have taken radically different paths in life. Wes (Darien Sills-Evans) has become a minister in a Harlem gospel church while Te (Billoah Greene) perpetrates the gangster lifestyle as Hip Hop star Zulu. They are forced into reconciliation when ...

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CD Single Review: “Just Another Day” – Lisa McClendon

“Just Another Day”Lisa McClendonFrom the Integrity Gospel album Live From the House of BluesIntegrity Gospel 2005 In New Orleans, the city that witnessed the magical moment when young Louis Armstrong lifted the cornet to his lips for the first time, Lisa McClendon ladles her special gumbo of jazzy neo-soul gospel into “Just Another Day,” a song she says is based on a hymn “the old people used to sing.” Far from turning the hymn into a Nawlins workout, however, Lisa smoothes it into an after-church cool-down. “Just Another Day” is not as earth-shaking as her earlier single, “Move on Over,” ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: March 19, 2006

“Don’t Judge My Praise”Rodnie Bryant, featuring Wanda Nero-Butler and CCMCfrom the Tyscot album Change of SeasonsTyscot 2005www.tyscot.com “Don’t Judge My Praise” demonstrates why some of the most exciting music still comes from a gospel chorus in full sonic flight. It’s a church-wrecking workout with Indianapolis’ CCMC (Christian Community Mass Choir) hand clapping and singing the glory down for more than six minutes behind hard-singing lead vocalist Wanda Nero-Butler. By the end of the performance, Nero-Butler has just about sung herself into a musical frenzy. The CD from which this cut is taken, Change of Seasons, is worth a listen for ...

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Indie labels multiply in gospel realm

Ed. Note: A Billboard article reprinted in The Belle Report: NASHVILLE (Billboard) – Though mainstream corporations have become a major presence in Christian music as EMI, Warner Bros. and Sony BMG have staked claims on the Christian/gospel landscape during the past decade, independents manage still to enjoy a share of the pie. And even though the climate is difficult, new companies keep springing up. The Crabb Family recently launched a new imprint, Clear Cool Music, which will issue the group’s March 28 release, “Blur the Lines.” Another new venture recently bowed in Franklin, Tenn., Union Street Records, which is launching ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: March 12, 2006

Henry Green, featuring Melvin Williams“My Story”From the album Henry Green – Mr. Green’s SessionBlackberry 2006www.blackberryrecords.com Henry Green is an original member of the Williams Brothers, formed in 1960. After more than 45 years with the quartet, Green has released his first solo album: Mr. Green’s Session. On one of the tracks, “My Story,” Green is joined by a fellow member of the legendary quartet, the smooth crooning Melvin Williams. Together, they produce the traditional, funky, deep-South sound that we have come to love and expect from the good folks at Blackberry Records. The back-story of the singer’s testimony is heartbreaking, ...

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CD Review: Women of Integrity

Women of IntegrityGod is GoodGSP Records 2005 There is essentially nothing unpleasant on this eight-cut project by the Women of Integrity, but it’s not distinctive, either. The ensemble – Vicki Bright, Treva Jones, and Angela Moore – are obviously accomplished singers and pour their heart and soul into every song, but they don’t navigate any roads that haven’t already been traveled with greater aplomb and zeal by RiZen, Zi’el, Virtue, and a number of other contemporary gospel female groups. The only exception to the above is the first two minutes of the ladies’ version of “What a Friend We Have ...

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CD Review: Malcolm Williams and Great Faith

Malcolm Williams and Great FaithWalking in My DestinyUnivocal 2006www.univocalrecords.com Having been wowed by Malcolm Williams and Great Faith live at GMWA in Milwaukee last August, I was eager to hear how the ensemble would sound on disc. I was not at all disappointed. Walking in My Destiny offers a smorgasbord of songs, all but one written by the Chicago-based Williams, with a host of special guest soloists who lift the project a magnitude or two with their stellar contributions. The finest moment on the album is the title track, a “faith walk” which is underscored appropriately by a propulsive, tight ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: March 5, 2006

Vickie Winans“It’s Alright”From the forthcoming album Woman to Woman: Songs of LifeVerity 2006www.verityrecords.com It’s alright, indeed! Vickie Winans’ new single “It’s Alright” melds the musical excitement of a dance club with the lyrical ministry of a church service. The Winans Family has left an indelible mark on gospel music because of the vibrancy, effervescence, and personality of its performances and recordings. Whole hosts of gospel artists proudly proclaim through their music that they are card-carrying Winans disciples. “It’s Alright” is cut from the same sacred cloth as other Winans outings, particularly Vickie’s, which will make her fans happy and earn ...

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