Quartet

JGM Pick of the Week: January 17, 2022

“Well Done” Timothy “T.J.” Bouknight Higher Praise Records (2021) By Robert M. Marovich Elder Timothy “T.J.” Bouknight renders the pew-walker “Well Done” like the quartet veteran he is. The song is about the effort it takes to enter the gates of paradise. Bouknight opens “Well Done” with the classic couplet, “One of these days, won’t be very long…” Later, he sings about how he’s faithfully sending up his timber to get inside those gates. “When my so-called friends stabbed me in my back,” he offers, “I didn’t worry about nothing, I just stayed on track.” Bouknight’s staid-to-shouting lead vocal, especially ...

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Gemstone Records Presents the Celestial Stars

Sponsored Post: Gemstone Records Presents the Celestial Stars Traditional gospel at its best The Celestial Stars:Organized in 1995, the original members were Lawrence Preston, mother Gwendolyn Williams, and father Lawrence Williams. Gwendolyn passed in 2009 and the group reorganized in October 2011. The group now consists of Lawrence Preston (also the bass player), his father Lawrence Williams, and cousins Barry Franklin and Richard Kinney. The Celestial Stars are a group with a sound that bridges the richness and tradition of traditional gospel quartet music with contemporary gospel music. The blend is the product of songwriter and producer Lawrence Preston, inclusive ...

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RIP: Jonathan “Papa Joe” DuBose, Sr. (Sensational Starlights)

By Robert M. Marovich Anne’ DuBose informed JGM of the passing of her father, Jonathan “Papa Joe” DuBose Sr. He transitioned today at age 82. Papa Joe DuBose was a member of the Sensational Starlights gospel quartet of Bridgeport, Connecticut, and a leader in the local gospel music community. Anne’ and her family developed a book on the life of Papa Joe after she and her brothers Kenneth and Jonathan Jr. compiled a historical program for their father’s 70th birthday celebration. Many know Jonathan DuBose Jr. for his years of guitar work for many gospel artists. Homegoing details:Thursday, December 23, ...

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“I’ll Meet You” – Canton Spirituals

“I’ll Meet You” Canton Spirituals Malaco Music Group (2021) www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich Dr. Harvey Watkins Jr. and the Canton Spirituals send their love in “I’ll Meet You,” because nobody knows the day or the hour when it will be too late to say a final goodbye. On the other hand, if they don’t get a chance to say farewell, they hope to see you “on the other shore.” That’s the point. The song advises the listener to make it to the Pearly Gates by walking the straight and narrow path. “And if you love everybody, I’m gonna meet ...

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God’s Children – It’s So Amazing

God’s Children It’s So Amazing Independent (2018) https://www.facebook.com/godschildrenmemphis By Robert M. Marovich On It’s So Amazing, the Memphis, Tennessee-based Shirika “Re Re” Flowers and God’s Children (and also Re Re’s eldest children), run through a battery of gospel quartet-style songs, rendered with a churchy vibe and with frequent vamps for evangelical emphasis. Although the album notes do not include the names of specific lead singers for each of the album’s ten tracks, aurally it appears as if every member of the troupe has a chance to solo at least once. Young solo voices are particularly audible on “It Was Jesus,” ...

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Various Artists – Quartet is in My DNA

Various Artists Quartet is in My DNA 4 Winds / Malaco Music Group (release date: September 10, 2021) www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich On Quartet is in My DNA, the brainchild of Roy Ladson of Roy and Revelation, Paul Porter hosts a passel of current-day gospel singers who dust off classic songs by Ladson’s favorite gospel artists for a down-home, spirit-filled quartet program. All but Porter and Joseph Wooden lead an A and B selection on this project. Nevertheless, Wooden gets to lead off, and he does so with aplomb on the Soul Stirrers’ “Resting Easy,” complete with dynamic repetitive ...

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Award-Winning Quartet Documentary “How They Got Over” Screening Around the U.S.

From a press release (NOTE: JGM’s Bob Marovich appears in the film): How They Got Over tells the story of how Black gospel quartet music became a primary source of what would be known as rock and roll, and in the process helped to break down racial walls in mid-twentieth century America. Beginning in the 1920s, Black singers across the country took to the highways as the new technology of radio and records made it possible to reach a wider audience. Intense competition brought new ways to entertain, first with guitars, later with full bands, then with a performance style ...

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Various Artists – Sacred Soul of North Carolina

Various ArtistsSacred Soul of North CarolinaMusic Maker Foundation / Bible & Tire (release date: October 15, 2021)https://biglegalmessrecords.com/collections/bible-tire By Robert M. Marovich Just before the pandemic shut down the world, Alice Vines of the Glorifying Vines Sisters of Farmville, North Carolina (crate diggers will know their singles on Pinewood and Sound Hut), gathered ten other local artists in the small town of Fountain, northwest of Greenville. Reminiscent of record producer Ralph Peer’s 1927 Bristol, Tennessee, sessions, the groups came to Fountain prepared to record. In this case, it was Tim Duffy’s Music Maker Foundation and Bruce Watson’s Bible & Tire, not ...

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Ruth Black and the Harmonettes – He Woke Me

Ruth Black and the Harmonettes He Woke Me Raymarkable Music, Inc. (release date: August 13, 2021) www.raymarkablemusic.net By Robert M. Marovich Production by Ray Braswell Jr. at his Raymarkable Studios in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, is a seal of quality for any quartet project, as it for the latest Braswell-produced CD, Ruth Black and the Harmonettes’ He Woke Me. The five-member female quartet from Alexander City, Alabama, offer ten quintessentially deep southern soul quartet selections. The album toggles between high-energy songs like “Weeping May Endure” (where the group bears an aural resemblance to the Ingramettes) and “I Know I’m Blessed;” ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: August 30, 2021

“UWait2021” Walter Barnes Jr. & Men of Ministry From the Barnyard Records CD Nothing Shall Separate (release date: May 28, 2021) www.BarnYardRecordsllc.com/ By Robert M. Marovich What immediately struck me about “UWait2021” was not its bouncy tempo, its spirited vamp, or its earnest message of encouragement—all important—but the fact that Walter Barnes Jr. & Men of Ministry has that rarest of rarities: a bass singer. Said bass singer adds a nice touch, too. Bring bass singers back to quartet! The song was originally released as “U Wait” on the quartet’s self-titled 2008 album. Naturally, since things do not seem to ...

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