Gospel Music

Journal of Gospel Music’s Best of 2016 Lists

By Bob Marovich As is our custom for this time of year, the Journal of Gospel Music presents its “best of” lists in the category of CDs, songs, and historical releases. The recordings were not necessarily chosen as “Best of 2016” based on sales, chart status, promotion, voting, fan popularity, number of likes or retweets, committee decisions, throwing darts, reading tea leaves, arm twisting, flipping coins, or anything other than 1) JGM was serviced with the music for review and 2) JGM believes the selections best represent gospel/sacred music as an art form. The top selections in Best CDs and ...

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“Let It Go” – Evangelist Brenda Whitt-Abney & Bones of Fire

“Let It Go” Evangelist Brenda Whitt-Abney & Bones of Fire (private release, 2016) djjmusicmedia@yahoo.com Many sing about God as a doctor in a sickroom.  In the case of “Let It Go,” His intercession can prevent an ulcer. Aiken, South Carolina’s Evangelist Brenda Whitt-Abney & Bones of Fire (a great group name!) recommend that listeners let go of the hating and the disagreements, the trouble that churns up all those stomach acids that can lead to an ulcer, and give it to God, who will fix it. Whitt-Abney leads this mixed group in a husky voice that leaves no doubt of ...

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“You Were There” – Henry Hall and New Dimension Worshippers

“You Were There” Henry Hall and New Dimension Worshippers Rebel Hill Music “You Were There,” a graceful ode of gratitude to God for His constancy, is a slow burning single by Henry Hall and New Dimension Worshippers.  The choral harmonies are reminiscent of the Hawkins Family, Thomas Whitfield, John P. Kee, and other 1970s/1980s gospel ensembles. Hall’s high tenor expresses both humble gratefulness and vulnerability as he sings about how the Savior “Dried my tear-stained eyes / Held me when I cried.” Henry Hall scored a Newsome Award and a Stellar Award nomination nearly a decade ago for his vocal ...

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59th Annual GRAMMY Nominations Announced

Yesterday, the Recording Academy announced the nominees for the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards.  Here are the nominees in the Gospel and Contemporary Christian Music categories: Best Gospel Performance/Song It’s Alright, It’s Ok Shirley Caesar Featuring Anthony Hamilton; Stanley Brown & Courtney Rumble, songwriters (Light Records/Entertainment One) You’re Bigger [Live] Jekalyn Carr; Allundria Carr, songwriter (LUNJEAL Music Group/Entertainment One) Made A Way [Live] Travis Greene; Travis Greene, songwriter (RCA Inspiration) God Provides Tamela Mann; Kirk Franklin, songwriter (TillyMann Music) Better Hezekiah Walker; Jason Clayborn, Gabriel Hatcher & Hezekiah Walker, songwriters (eOne/Azusa) Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song Trust In You Lauren Daigle; ...

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VaShawn Mitchell: Secret Place – Live in South Africa

VaShawn Mitchell Secret Place – Live in South Africa V Man Entertainment / Motown Gospel Release date: November 4, 2016 www.motowngospel.com By Bob Marovich While European and Scandinavian countries prefer American gospel artists to sing traditional fare when touring, South Africa appears to have wholly embraced the P&W offerings of artists such as Israel Houghton and also VaShawn Mitchell, whose February 2016 appearance in Johannesburg was released last month by Motown Gospel as Secret Place – Live in South Africa. From the sound of the applause, Mitchell’s praise team-ready songs, with their billowy arrangements, lilting melodies, and hypnotic rhythms, cast ...

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The 2017 BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Honors Celebrates Greats Kim Burrell and Marvin Sapp

Gospel Music Legend and Former BMI Trailblazer Award Recipient Yolanda Adams to Co-Host with Gospel Singer-Songwriter VaShawn Mitchell NEW YORK, November 28, 2016 – Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) will honor gospel music superstars Kim Burrell and Marvin Sapp at the 18th annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Honors at the Rialto Center for the Arts in Atlanta, GA on January 14, 2017. This inspirational event will pay tribute to the very best of the gospel music community with former Trailblazers award recipient Yolanda Adams returning to the stage as host alongside gospel singer-songwriter VaShawn Mitchell. The invitation-only event, which is ...

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Dr. Mark Williams -When a Man Worships

Dr. Mark Williams When A Man Worships ATAP Music Group (released: August 2016) www.DrMarkWill.com By Bob Marovich Although Dr. Mark Williams is originally from Cincinnati and now lives in Nashville, his latest solo release, When A Man Worships, sounds straight outta Memphis. That’s because on most of the album’s dozen selections, the musicians (guitar, bass, drums, keys, organ, horns, even flute) support him with an easy-going patina of jazz and streaks of spicy soul a la Stax Records. I say “most,” because a few tracks vary from the album’s overall Quiet-Storm-meets-McLemore-Avenue vibe. “Free At Last,” for example, has a Caribbean touch, ...

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The Stand Campaign – #America

The Stand Campaign #America Tyscot Records (release date: September 9, 2016) www.thestandcampaign.com By Bob Marovich In 1971, the protagonist of Alvin Lee and Ten Years After’s “I’d Love to Change the World” sings about the desire to change the world, “But I don’t know what to do / So I leave it up to you.” Thus spoke the disillusioned children of the 1960s as America entered the even more disillusioning 1970s. Forty-five years later, facing a similarly disillusioned community, syndicated radio personality Cory “Coco Brother” Condrey changes the debate by declaring, “America will be what we make it.” A few ...

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Tonya Lewis Taylor – I’ve Got to Win (EP)

Tonya Lewis Taylor I’ve Got to Win (EP) EARS Music Group (release date: August 2, 2016) www.tonyalewistaylor.com By Bob Marovich In 2015, Rhythm of Gospel Award winner Tonya Lewis Taylor landed on the Billboard Top Gospel Singles chart with “Thank You.” She’s done it again just recently with her latest single, “I’m a Winner.” Both selections are on I’ve Got to Win, a five-track EP she released in August. “I know the race has not been won, because I’m still running,” Taylor, a former background singer for pop artists and one-time publicist for Roc-a-Fella Records, announced to the audience on ...

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Phillip Carter Delivers Songs Choirs “Can Learn in Two Rehearsals or Less”

By Bob Marovich Some twenty years ago, Phillip Carter gathered a half dozen of his friends into a local studio. He had written some songs and wanted to hear what they sounded like as performed by a vocal group. Carter told JGM: “I taught them the music, and we thought, ‘Man, this sounds pretty good!’ I decided to record some of it. One thing led to another and we started the group.” On September 23, Carter and his group, called the Sounds of Victory (SOV for short), released their sixth live recording, Live From Zion, on Phillip Carter Music distributed through ...

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