Gospel Music

“You Deserve My Praise” – M’Renee

“You Deserve My Praise”M’ReneeFrom the EP You Deserve My Praise (2014)www.mreneemusik.com By Bob Marovich “Chosen” might be the single, but the title track of M’Renee’s EP You Deserve My Praise is more memorable.  It is an uncomplicated rhythm and praise offering that bristles with the sunny electronica and perky beat of today’s pop radio. That’s the way the Richmond, Virginia, songstress rolls. Her arrangements tend to be aerobic, the melodies and lyrics optimistic and encouraging. It’s worship and dance music blended into a ball of steady rolling energy. “You Deserve My Praise” is characteristic of her catalog.

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: March 11, 2019

“Haven’t Seen It Yet” Danny Gokey Sparrow / Capitol Christian Music Group (release date: January 11, 2019) www.dannygokeymusic.com By Bob Marovich After a two-year hiatus, American Idol finalist and CCM star Danny Gokey is back with a new single, “Haven’t Seen It Yet.” The single evokes in melody and arrangement the pop hits of Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran, while the lyrics about the force of faith have the kind of dance-ready beat that propelled Jamie Grace’s equally motivational 2014 single, “Do Life Big.” Gokey’s album of the same title is scheduled for release in April.

Read More »

“I Need You” – Jermane C. Milton

“I Need You” Jermane C. Milton Harmony House Ministries (release date: April 14, 2017) Available on Amazon By Bob Marovich It may be that Jermane C. Milton’s cover of Shirley Caesar’s “This Joy,” made over with slamming funk bass runs courtesy of James Coleman, is the artist’s single and what earned him a 2018 Rhythm of Gospel Award for Urban Contemporary Male Vocalist, but for my money, it’s his “I Need You” that deserves the attention. A simple, light, piano-led melodic praise ballad whose only fault is a more-than-five-minute length, “I Need You” starts undistinguished enough, but Milton and his ...

Read More »

The Golden Gate Quartet – Music Is ? ? ?

The Golden Gate Quartet Music Is ? ? ? Cristal Groupe 2019 www.artisticprod.com By Bob Marovich From the open-ended question that is the title of their new album to the opening track, “Change,” it’s clear that the Golden Gate Quartet is preparing the listener for a different experience. And that’s what the listener gets on the baker’s dozen of selections that comprise Music Is ? ? ?—from traditional quartet to smooth soul/R&B to vocal group harmony. Organized in 1934, the Golden Gate Quartet helped popularize the rhythmic jubilee quartet sound through its many recordings, national radio broadcasts, appearances in films, ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: March 4, 2019

“It’s All About You” Rev. Stef & Jubilation (independent, 2019) https://store.cdbaby.com/Artist/RevStefandJubilation By Bob Marovich The Reverend Dr. Stefanie Minatee, aka Rev. Stef, is back doing what she loves—directing Jubilation, the gospel choir that, among other achievements, backed Queen Latifah on the title track of the GRAMMY Award-winning various artists gospel compilation, Oh Happy Day (EMI, 2009). After recovering from an April 2015 stroke that severely impacted her mobility, Rev. Stef is now preparing the choir for a 20th anniversary performance in June at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.  It was there that the ensemble formed initially to accompany Evangelist ...

Read More »

RIP Gertrude Hicks, Member of the Lawrence Roberts Singers and Founding Member of the Angelic Choir

By Bob Marovich The Journal of Gospel Music is saddened to report that Sis. Gertrude Deadwyler Hicks passed away March 1, 2019. The Rev. Dr. Stefanie Minatee informed JGM of her transition. Gertrude Hicks was a member of the Gospel Chordettes / Lawrence Roberts Singers and a founding member of the Angelic Choir of the First Baptist Church of Nutley, New Jersey. She was born March 9, 1938, to Georgiana and Arvie Deadwyler in Brooklyn, New York. Her parents left Brooklyn to establish the Mount Olive Pentecostal Faith Church in Jersey City, New Jersey. Gertrude learned to play classical piano ...

Read More »

“A Carol for All Children” – His Love Singers

“A Carol for All Children”His Love SingersOpus One Studios (2018)www.opusonestudios.com By Bob Marovich Alan Salisbury and Whitney Parnell’s “A Carol for All Children” celebrates the religious differences that too often threaten to divide countries.  We are all God’s children, the song reminds, regardless of race or creed. Though the lyrics reference how cultures celebrate holidays differently, this simple, charming carol is not just for the holidays.  The four-track EP includes a gospel and choral version, directed and arranged by Charles Brown and rendered by the full-throated His Love Singers, an austere reading by the Harmony Interfaith Choir recorded live; and ...

Read More »

Phillip Carter – Live in Suwalki, Poland

Phillip Carter Featuring the Suwalki Workshop Choir and the Sounds of Victory Live in Suwalki, Poland SOV, Inc. (release date: January 25, 2019) www.phillipcartermusic.com By Bob Marovich The international popularity of gospel music has provided American choir directors and clinicians with opportunities to teach gospel vocal techniques to choirs in Europe, Scandinavia, Asia, and elsewhere around the world. Directors Norris Garner and Phillip Carter have found working in Poland, and specifically with talented conductor Szymon Markiewicz, to be particularly fruitful. Indeed, Carter’s collaboration with Markiewicz and the Suwalki Workshop Choir is the subject of his CD, Live in Suwalki, Poland. ...

Read More »

Jarred AllStar – Water and Wine

Jarred AllStar Water and Wine Independent (release date: December 25, 2018) www.jarredallstar.com By Bob Marovich What I find particularly interesting about Christian hip hop is that, like any type of poetry, the more you listen, the more you are rewarded with new insights. Of course, not every song or poem is deep, but enough are to warrant closer investigation. This is certainly the case with Jarred AllStar Haynes’ Water and Wine. While some selections gush with the unbridled joy of salvation, others have more incisive messages. Peppering his rhymes with humorous references to popular culture, Jarred, a licensed minister, finds meaning ...

Read More »

The Tommies Reunion (Live)

The Tommies Reunion Seven Legend Group / JMG Entertainment / Tyscot Records (release date: February 22, 2019) www.tyscot.com By Bob Marovich At their apex, Chicago’s Thompson Community Singers—known affectionately as the Tommies—were one of the most emulated gospel choirs in the country. Music ministers couldn’t wait for the next Tommies album to hit record stores so they could buy it and glean new gems to teach their own choirs. Having just surpassed the seventieth anniversary of their formation by the late Reverend Milton Brunson, the Tommies are back with their first new album in a decade. The Tommies Reunion choir ...

Read More »