Quartet

Nikki “D” & the Browns – The Divine Treatment (EP)

Nikki “D” & the Browns The Divine Treatment EP Independent (release date: January 2020) By Bob Marovich Outside of the Campbell Brothers, it seems as if sacred steel music has been relegated to historic reissues. But lap steel is audible on The Divine Treatment, a new EP by Nikki “D” & the Browns of Toledo, Ohio. A member of Soul City House of God International in Toledo, which split from the Church of the Living God, Jewell Dominion—the denominational home of sacred steel—Nicole “Nikki” Brown has been playing steel guitar since age nine. She, her three sisters, and a niece, ...

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For the Lord – I’m Gonna Do Your Will

For the Lord I’m Gonna Do Your Will Independent (2019) By Bob Marovich From the Soul Stirrers to Endurance, Houston, Texas, has a strong gospel quartet history. For the Lord is another quartet that hails from the 713. As demonstrated on its full-length release, I’m Gonna Do Your Will, the group possesses an easy, relaxed sound, pulling elements from the smooth-singing R&B male groups of the 1990s. That is not to say For the Lord doesn’t have drive tempo tracks up their sleeve. One of them, “Yes I Did,” opens the album. The song is led by Phillip Grant, who ...

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“Come See About Me” – Exciting Holy Sons

“Come See About Me” Exciting Holy Sons Deznell Music Group (release date: June 1, 2018) https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/theholysons By Bob Marovich One of Chicago’s most popular male quartets, the Exciting Holy Sons maintain one foot in traditional gospel and the other in more modern arrangements, or a style the Sons associate with the “New Quartet Nation.” Their single, “Come See About Me,” is a good example of what landed them on the preliminary ballot of this year’s Stellar Awards. Produced by the Williams Singers of Indianapolis, the song captures the Exciting Holy Sons’ live energy as they sing, growl, and shout the ...

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“Look at God” – Darrell Luster featuring the Legends of Quartet

“Look at God” Darrell Luster featuring the Legends of Quartet 4 Winds Records / Malaco Music Group (release date: February 2020) www.malaco.com By Bob Marovich What if Spencer Taylor Jr. of the Highway QCs, Rev. Thomas Spann of the Brooklyn All Stars, Willie Rogers of the Soul Stirrers, JoJo Wallace and Horace Thompson of the Sensational Nightingales, and Cleave Graham of the Pilgrim Jubilees got together to sing? Further, what if they told the story of how hard the gospel highway was in the golden era? That’s what you get on “Look at God,” a new composition by Darrell Luster ...

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Mighty Men of Faith – Live at Valley Christian

Mighty Men of Faith Live at Valley Christian N2L Records (release date: January 21, 2020) https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/mightymenoffaith15 By Bob Marovich Live at Valley Christian by the Mighty Men of Faith was recorded in front of 2,400 enthusiastic young students at the Valley Christian School in San Jose, California. Typically, there’s no more critical crowd of listeners than a group of young people, but the Mighty Men of Faith appear to have won them over. The smooth modern quartet brought their friendly and relaxed delivery to the school—they sound like the Dells singing gospel. The California-based quartet’s music is driven by a ...

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“The Blood” – Rev. R. L. Bush & the New Swan Silvertones

“The Blood” Rev. R. L. Bush and the New Swan Silvertones From the album Live and UpClose https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/revrlbtnss By Bob Marovich During more than 80 years of singing, the Swan Silvertones quartet has remained relevant by shifting its style to keep up with the times. From rhythmic jubilee singing to church-wrecking power to sweet harmonizing to contemporary quartet, the Swans have done it all. On “The Blood,” the New Swan Silvertones, featuring the Reverend R. L. Bush, keep it old school. With nothing but a drum beat to sing to and the bass singer imitating a stand-up bass  in his ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: January 6, 2020

“Another Blessing” The Williams Brothers and Lee Williams & the Spiritual QCs From the Blackberry CD My Brother’s Keeper IV (release date: January 25, 2019) By Bob Marovich This song is almost a year old, so yes, I’m late to the party. Still, it’s never too late to feature a duet between two beloved gospel quartet singers: Melvin Williams of the Williams Brothers and Lee Williams of the Spiritual QCS. “Another Blessing” has that shoulder-shaking beat characteristic of both quartet aggregations featured here. The back-and-forth vocalizing between Melvin and Lee at the conclusion is priceless. And when the subject is ...

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The Legendary Beyons – Once I Get to Heaven

The Legendary Beyons Once I Get to Heaven Independent (release date: May 15, 2019) https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/thelegendarybeyons3 By Bob Marovich On Once I Get to Heaven, the Legendary Beyons of Portland, Oregon, delivers eleven selections with the velvetiness of a ‘70s soul vocal group but with a shouting lead vocal, courtesy of Thurtis Channel, of a traditional gospel quartet. The quartet counts such soft soul vocal groups as the Delfonics, Whispers, and Esquires as inspirations, and it shows in its delivery and arrangements. For example, with mellow harmonies punctuated by sultry sax, the title track envisions the entrance to Heaven as a ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: November 25, 2019

“Do You Know Him” The Fantastic Bibletones From the CD Just As I Am (release date: July 22, 2019) https://www.thefantasticbibletones.com/ By Bob Marovich Former Pick of the Week recipients the Fantastic Bibletones are back with a spirited redux of Brother Joe May’s 1950 breakout hit, “Do You Know Him.” The female quartet from St. Louis takes the Mary Lou Coleman Parker original and turns it into an aisle-walker, fueled by steady drums, pounding piano, and a marvelous power-packed vamp fueled by call-and-response. Organized in 1971 and active until 1998, after which they took a break from the arduous gospel highway, ...

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Ray Holland & the New Boyz of Triumph – Keep on Running

Ray Holland & the New Boyz of Triumph Keep On Running Sharp Records (release date: May 23, 2019) www.sharprecordsusa.com By Bob Marovich With notable exceptions (e.g., Thomas Spann of the Brooklyn All Stars), bass voices in gospel quartet have been gone for quite a while. That’s why it’s a delight to even hear a low baritone voice in a quartet. That’s what you get with Ray Holland & the New Boyz of Triumph. Keep on Running is the latest CD from the New Boyz of Triumph, a group that hails from Talladega, Alabama. Besides Holland, members are Wesley Haley, the ...

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