Quartet

JGM Pick of the Week: September 10, 2019

“Grateful” James Chappell III Independent (release date: October 5, 2018) aplazmanagementllc@gmail.com By Bob Marovich “Grateful” is a charming, smile-inducing song on its own, but add James Chappell III as lead vocalist, and it delights on two levels. In less than three minutes, Chappell channels the elastic yodels of Sam Cooke and Johnny Taylor, lofts falsetto notes like the Reverend Claude Jeter, adds a bit of Reverend Al Green southern twang, and delivers gut-wrenching growls like Joe Ligon. Backed by a quartet and with a rhythm section galloping along in mid-tempo, Chappell sounds as pleased with God’s intervention in his life ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: August 5, 2019

“I’ll Be Alright” Larry Hill feat. Ervin “Bigman” Williams RonKay Music Group (release date: May 1, 2019) www.ronkaymusic.com By Bob Marovich Though “I’ll Be Alright” is ostensibly a solo outing for Philadelphia gospel singer Larry Hill, it thrums with the sound of good old fashioned southern soul quartet. One reason is the presence of quartet guitar wizard Ervin “Bigman” Williams, who offers up a quick, whimsical lick for an intro and proceeds to weave guitar riffs in and out of the singing and chugging rhythm section. Then there’s the background harmonies and the shouting vamp that goes on for a ...

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Tim Rogers “Fella-rized” James Cleveland for New Single

By Bob Marovich The collaboration between Stellar Award-winning Arkansas gospel quartet Tim Rogers and the Fellas and the Grammy-nominated R&B sensation Calvin Richardson that resulted in the Fellas’ latest single, “Hold Out,” began in the unlikeliest of places: an airport. Rogers and Richardson ran into one another while moving through the Memphis International Airport. Rogers told the Journal of Gospel Music that although the two men had never met face-to-face, “his family knew me and of course I knew him. We vowed to do something together, and we made sure we kept our word.” The result of their collaboration, “Hold Out” ...

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“Something About that Name” – True Believers

“Something About that Name” True Believers From the 4 Winds CD Back to the Roots (release date: February 1, 2019) www.malaco.com The True Believers gospel quartet marvels at the wonderful name of Jesus and all the name represents on their new single, “Something About that Name.” “Something” lopes along with a gospel-bluesy strut evocative of the Caravans’ “Mary Don’t You Weep,” as periodic explosions of percussion put exclamation points on the group’s declamations. Just as Inez Andrews looked for Jesus, the True Believers’ lead vocalist Castro Coleman calls for Jesus. By the end, the entire ensemble is in joyous swing, ...

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“The Greater the Trials, the Greater the Blessings” – Mary Pugh & the Pugh Singers

“The Greater the Trials, the Greater the Blessings” Mary Pugh & the Pugh Singers Overboard Records (2019) https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/marypughthepughsingers By Bob Marovich On “The Greater the Trials, the Greater the Blessings,” Grove Hill, Alabama, female quartet Mary Pugh & the Pugh Singers offers an encouraging paradox that sounds as if it came straight from the Sunday morning pulpit. “Looking back over the years / I’ve been through some storms,” Mary sings, adding that she knew God would “show up in the rain.” To reinforce its James 1:12 message about the reward of being tried by fire and enduring, the group quotes ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: July 2, 2019

“Hold Out” Tim Rogers and the Fellas feat. Calvin Richardson SAG Music Group (release date: April 26, 2019) By Bob Marovich As they make plain on their new single, “Hold Out,” Tim Rogers and the Fellows work hard to keep the traditional quartet vibe alive. The single is forged in the crucible of wooden-church worship with enough contemporary accouterments to appeal to today’s radio listeners. Indeed, Rogers expects the song to hit the airwaves because he calls out to “those of you in radio land and are listening to my voice” to turn the volume up. Gospel singer turned R&B ...

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The Southern Sons of Memphis – “Live” At Home in Memphis

The Southern Sons of Memphis “Live” At Home in Memphis SOME Records (2016) www.sonsofmemphismusic.com By Bob Marovich Although released in 2016, the Southern Sons of Memphis’s “Live” At Home in Memphis is, like most gospel quartet recordings without undue amounts of synthesizer, evergreen. Bob Holloway, the Southern Sons’ longstanding member, is lead vocalist on almost all of the tracks on this album, recorded at Boston Baptist Church in Memphis. His vocal delivery alternates between flatfooted crooning, pleading, shouting and, when the spirit catches him, a high-pitched shriek that emerges from his shout. Like a minister at the pulpit, Holloway interpolates ...

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Faithful Connection – Personal Experience

Faithful Connection Personal Experience (release date: March 22, 2019) https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/faithfulconnection12 By Bob Marovich Rhythm of Gospel Awardee Faithful Connection of Fredericksburg, Virginia, is a gospel quartet that blends elements of traditional gospel singing and lyricism with contemporary instrumentation and bass-heavy beats. They celebrate their tenth anniversary with a new EP, Personal Experience, produced by Richard Davis. As on the quartet’s 2015 album Thank You, the majority of the tracks on Personal Experience are led by group founder Jonathan Mercer, with cameos and ad-libs by TaWan Gray. The EP’s initial single and opening track, “I Made It,” is a gritty piece ...

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“What You Gonna Do” – Ruth Black and the Harmonettes

“What You Gonna Do” Ruth Black and the Harmonettes By Bob Marovich On their new single, “What You Gonna Do,” Ruth Black and the Harmonettes of Alexander City, Alabama, ask sinners to consider whether they will be ready when Jesus comes. They mince no words in calling sinners out, either. Peace breakers, drug addicts, “thief in the night,” backsliders, alcoholics lying on the barroom floor—all are summoned not for shaming but for reclaiming souls for Jesus. “What You Gonna Do” has that relentlessly bouncing southern soul quartet groove that moves seamlessly from verses into a vamp that finds the Harmonettes ...

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