Quartet

Men of God’s Heart (self-titled)

Men of God’s Heart self-titled Independent release; release date: March 24, 2017 Available at digital music retail outlets By Bob Marovich Men of God’s Heart is a six-member contemporary quartet that can easily draw comparisons to the Rance Allen Group, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, and the Winans. In fact, on “Wilderness,” a track on their self-titled album, the group pays tribute to the Winans, suggesting that the Detroiters are direct influences on the Columbus, Ohio, male vocal group. Men of God’s Heart delivers the meatiness of traditional gospel quartet—the hard singing, the shouting, the preaching moments—with heavy instrumentation and ...

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Darrell McFadden & the Disciples – Covering All Areas: Phase One (EP)

Darrell McFadden & the Disciples Covering All Areas: Phase One (EP) DMDMG (release date: April 25, 2017) http://dmdaccess.com/ By Bob Marovich This five-track EP by Brooklyn quartet Darrell McFadden & the Disciples may not, as its title suggests, cover all areas, at least in terms of musical styles. What it does, however, is uplift the traditional sound in some instances and modernize it in others, and that’s good enough for me. Name checking another beloved Brooklyn group, Big Nick and the Gospel Heavyweights, the quartet covers the latter’s “Come On and See About Me,” complete with a slow strutting rhythm ...

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Historical Marker in Philadelphia Honors the Dixie Hummingbirds

From the Reverend Joe Williams: On Tuesday, June 6, 2017, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia commemorated the rich heritage of the Dixie Hummingbirds with a historical marker dedication at 2435 North College Avenue, Philadelphia. This was the rehearsal hall and former home of the founder and manager of the Dixie Hummingbirds, the late Mr. James B. Davis. The Dixie Hummingbirds originally formed in 1928 under the management of Mr. Davis. They influenced popular musicians, including James Brown, Stevie Wonder, and the Temptations.  Their version of Paul Simon’s “Loves Me Like a Rock” won a Grammy Award ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 22, 2017

“Lord, You’ve Been Good to Me” Tim Woodson & the Heirs of Harmony Peacock Music Group (release date: April 11, 2017) www.peacockmusicgroup.com By Bob Marovich With their version of a gospel quartet classic recorded in 1961 by the Original Five Blind Boys (and credited to the late Lloyd Woodard), Tim Woodson & the Heirs of Harmony give a contemporary touch to what is otherwise a straight ahead old-school sound. The track opens with a low-volume and stripped down version of the song and then transitions, as from black and white to color, into the Heirs of Harmony’s version. “Lord, You’ve Been Good to ...

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The Rise of Chicago’s Highway Q.C.s During Gospel’s Golden Era (1947-1964)

The Rise of Chicago’s Highway Q.C.s During Gospel’s Golden Era (1947-1964) by Opal Louis Nations When the Famous Blue Jay Singers of Birmingham, Alabama and Soul Stirrers of Houston came to Chicago during and after World War II, both the dynamic, hard-singing Silas Steele of the Jays and the yodeling, melismatic Rebert H. Harris of the Stirrers changed the course of church-going gospel quartet in ways that helped transform the Windy City into a principal hub of gospel activity. As Horace Clarence Boyer put it, Chicago became the center for the development of gospel. Many a young, aspiring quartet singer ...

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“Can’t Leave” – The Williams Singers

“Can’t Leave” The Williams Singers From the Blackberry Records CD In Real Time (Release date: March 31, 2017) www.blackberryrecords.com By Bob Marovich The Lord has been so good to the Williams Brothers, they just can’t leave Him. That’s the premise of “Can’t Leave,” the new single from the contemporary gospel trio’s new album, In Real Time. It has all their ingredients: smooth vocals, silky harmonies, and funky instrumentation. Darnell, Dezmien, and Dezrale Williams trade leads as they offer their gratitude to God, all to an easy tempo designed for demonstrating assent than shouting the glory down. Organized by their father, ...

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God’s Posse – The Kind of God We Serve: Live in Chicago (EP)

God’s Posse The Kind of God We Serve: Live in Chicago (EP) Trewworks Music Group/Denzell Music Group (2017) By Bob Marovich God’s Posse is emerging as one of Chicago’s most popular quartets, alongside the Stars of Heaven, the Kinsmen, and the veteran Victory Travelers. Its EP, The Kind of God We Serve: Live in Chicago, is an effort to introduce themselves to an even bigger audience. The seven tracks on the EP were originally released on the group’s 2011 album of the same title, but they are not cuts from Nelson Larkins, God’s Posse’s founder and leader, who retired in ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: April 17, 2017

“Touch Me” Ronica & the Blazing Stars MoDa Records (2017) RonicaTheBlazingStars@gmail.com By Bob Marovich “Touch Me” by Ronica & the Blazing Stars has the relentless up-tempo quartet backbeat and chugging guitars that recall the days when standard musical accompaniment and Holy Ghost-inspired singing were all you needed to move a congregation and shout the glory down. From Mooresville, North Carolina, lead singer Ronica Bowers evokes gospel stompers Evelyn Turrentine-Agee and Dottie Peoples. During the vamp, she cries out for anointing “in this mean old world” so she is healed and can sing and shout right (she does a pretty good ...

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