Gospel Music

Hanson Asiedu – Stages (EP)

Hanson Asiedu Stages (EP) Independent (release date: October 3, 2018) https://hansonasiedu.bandcamp.com/ By Bob Marovich Thanks to a successful 2017 Kickstarter campaign, singer, songwriter, and musician Hanson Asiedu (formerly Kase Sounds [“Change the World”]) released a five-track EP called Stages, his debut recording under his own name. Asiedu has a brightness and flexibility to his voice, and a coolness to his musicianship, that bring to mind John Legend. While the songs on Stages traverse acres of musical territory, in general they combine the acoustic-style gospel of Jonathan McReynolds with the earthiness of Tracy Chapman. The opening track, “God of Your Word,” ...

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The New Christianaires – My Faith is Working. . .The Journey Continues

The New Christianaires My Faith is Working. . .The Journey Continues Carter Classic Creations (release date: July 31, 2018) www.thenewchristianaires.com By Bob Marovich I give ample credit to any group that starts their CD with an old hymn and sings it almost a cappella, as the New Christianaires do on My Faith is Working. . .The Journey Continues. In free time (i.e., no tempo) and with only an improvisatory electric guitar for support, the quartet harmonizes sweetly on “I Need Thee Every Hour.” After that auspicious opening, the New Christianaires put a contemporary spin on both traditional songs and newly-composed numbers ...

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Fred Williams – Do a New Thing

Fred Williams Do a New Thing (independent; release date: March 17, 2017) https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/fredwilliams32 By Bob Marovich Living the holy life appears to be the overriding theme of Fred Williams’ independently-produced Do a New Thing. On the title track, the Aiken, South Carolina, singer-songwriter and music minister references Isaiah 43:18-21 in showing gratitude for God’s plentiful blessings, as well as reminding us of our responsibility to do the right thing: pay the blessings forward. During “On this Journey,” he asks God to show him the way to holiness, a state of existence he examines in detail earlier in the CD on “A Holy Life.” Other songs, such ...

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“Won’t He Do It” – The Beard Sisters

“Won’t He Do It” The Beard Sisters DBJ Entertainment (release date: November 15, 2016) www.thebeardsisters.com By Bob Marovich The Beard Sisters of Memphis (Angela, Latonya, and April) are a harmony trio. They sound inspired by Chicago’s Brown Sisters, or a younger version of the Clark Sisters, because of their sassy vocals, multifaceted rhythms, complex vocal blend, and sunny songs of praise and worship. On their soulfully retro-sounding single, “Won’t He Do It,” the trio celebrates God’s willingness to do everything for His people. The song’s hook is the reiterative freefall from a frenetic chorus of “Won’t He Do It” into a breezy jazz ...

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“Reset” – Jonathan J. Wimbush

“Reset” Jonathan J. Wimbush From The Calling (EP) www.jonathanjwimbush.com By Bob Marovich Christian urban contemporary artist Jonathan J. Wimbush rode “Reset” and The Calling EP from which it came through the 2018 Rhythm of Gospel Awards this summer. He garnered three statues in the process. To a taffy-like gait of burbling electronica and background vocals, Wimbush rues on “Reset” that he wishes there were a magic button or magic potion to help him get his life back in order (he was inspired in part by the iconic Staples’ “Easy” button). In the bridge, he unveils what that reset is: prayer. Watching the ...

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Bonita Burney Simmons – This Time

Bonita Burney Simmons This Time Bursimslow Music (release date: August 6, 2016) www.bonitaburneysimmons.com By Bob Marovich Bonita Burney Simmons has been compared to Tramaine Hawkins, but I hear more than a touch of Gladys Knight in her voice on her most recent album, This Time. Especially on the opening track, the mid-tempo “God’s People Arise.” Simmons possesses a creamy voice that only moves into evangelist territory when the spirit hits her, as on “I Must Tell Jesus.” This track finds her singing at her most inspired as she shares how she almost gave up. When she became too tired to fight, ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: September 10, 2018

“You Say” Lauren Daigle From the Centricity Music album Look Up Child (release date: September 7, 2018) www.laurendaigle.com By Bob Marovich “You Say,” by multi-award-winning CCM songstress Lauren Daigle, is a stunning piano-led ballad about God’s positive response to every one of our doubts and insecurities. When we are lonely, God is there. When we feel weak, God is strong. Especially encouraging words in an era of anxiety and uncertainty. Daigle’s energetic, full-throated delivery on this selection falls somewhere between that of Adele and Lady Gaga. Its universal message gives the song plenty of crossover pop potential, especially if it ...

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“You Reign” – Deanna Ransom

“You Reign” Deanna Ransom LizaRan Music (release date: April 17, 2018) www.deannaransom.com By Bob Marovich Songstress Deanna Ransom hits “You Reign” out of the park. This praise song works because its simmering, repetitive four-chord foundation gives Ransom plenty of room to improvise, especially at the conclusion, where she runs up and down the stave with closed-eyes abandon, alive in the throes of worship. The Glassboro, New Jersey, native began her singing career as a five year-old member of her family’s group, the Heavenly Children. She was named Artist of the Year by the Rhythm of Gospel Awards in 2013.

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Damon Williams on #WeAreVerity: “Everyone has a Verity Story”

By Bob Marovich RCA Inspiration and Verity Records are going all out to promote Verity’s twenty-four-year legacy, and it’s starting with the #WeAreVerity campaign. The June campaign coincides with Black Music Month. “We want to honor one of the richest and most legacy-filled catalogs in gospel music,” Damon Williams, RCA Inspiration and Verity Records VP of Marketing, told the Journal of Gospel Music. “We also want to celebrate the place and position gospel music holds in people’s lives.” Williams, who joined RCA Inspiration at the end of last year, said the celebration will not only include artists, executives, and industry personnel, ...

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