Quartet

“Trouble Don’t Last Always” – P.U.S.H.

“Trouble Don’t Last Always”P.U.S.H.Independent (release date: January 1, 2020) By Bob Marovich Little did P.U.S.H. know when they released their single “Trouble Don’t Last Always” back in January that the sentiment would be more prophetic than they could have ever anticipated. This female quartet from Alexander City, Alabama, has a simple but effective message: “Turn it over to Jesus.” The troupe renders their simple but effective directive in call-and-response style and set to a customary modern quartet arrangement. Their singing is strong but the harmonies could use the same robust production elements given to the lead singer’s vocals. P.U.S.H. is ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: August 31, 2020

“Happy in Jesus” Exciting Holy Sons From the album Finally Live in Chicago Independent (release date: August 7, 2020) By Bob Marovich If you are a fan of Chicago’s Victory Travelers, you’ll enjoy Chicago’s Exciting Holy Sons. Both groups offer up meaty traditional gospel quartet fare, complete with pulpit-honed messages, squalling lead singers, and the kind of music that lifts congregants to their feet. Even their name hearkens back to when quartets prefaced their names with superlatives, the verbal equivalent of bubble lights on a Wurlitzer jukebox. Sounding very much like the Exciting Holy Sons’ exit song at a gospel ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: August 3, 2020

“God’s Power” Minister John Taylor Jr. John Jr. Gospel Productions, Inc. By Bob Marovich Minister John Taylor Jr. recorded this song in 2016, but it sounds as if it was recorded 50 years earlier. “God’s Power” is a reassurance to all those who are sick, especially Taylor’s mother, whose illness inspired Taylor to write the song. The sweet country melody comes from the southern gospel tradition, but Taylor’s expressive vocals and the background singers have gospel quartet stamped all over them. Born in Peoria, Illinois, adopted through Catholic Charities, and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, Taylor is the founder of John ...

Read More »

RIP: Richard Wallace of the Mighty Clouds of Joy

By Bob Marovich JGM was saddened to learn from Debra Ligon and Libra Boyd’s post that singer and guitarist Richard Wallace of the Mighty Clouds of Joy passed away Monday, July 27, 2020. According to essays by Opal Nations, Richard Edward Wallace was born June 9, 1940, in Austin, Texas. He and his brother Lee O’Daniel migrated west to Los Angeles and, in 1956, joined the Stars of Bethel, a quartet that included cousins from Texas who had moved to LA ahead of them. The quartet later changed its name to the Stars of Bethlehem and cut an album for ...

Read More »

“I Appreciate You” – Fred Perry & 2nd Generation

“I Appreciate You” Fred Perry & 2nd Generation 3sonzmanagement (release date: April 10, 2020) By Bob Marovich A color photo of the Bolivar, Tennessee, quartet Fred Perry & 2nd Generation being tucked in an envelope fits well with the theme of their single, “I Appreciate You.” It’s a thank you note to the Lord, plain and simple, for keeping them safe in the midst of a world gone wrong. To that loping medium tempo characteristic of modern quartet, the family harmonizers (father and three sons) loft plaudits to the Most High for making death behave. By the vamp, Fred Perry ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: June 29, 2020

“Another Chance” The McDuffies McDuffie’s Music Group (release date: March 13, 2020) By Bob Marovich The McDuffies’ single, “Another Chance,” is bittersweet. In this unhurried quartet ballad, lead vocalist Ricky McDuffie sings about the times that God “looked beyond his faults” to bestow upon him another chance, even when he “didn’t deserve it.” God woke him up, he adds, “when I could have been dead and gone, sleeping in a cold grave,” and even reversed some bad news he received from his doctor. All encouraging. But alas, when it’s your time, it’s your time. Since recording the song, the illness ...

Read More »

The Chosen Wonders – I Know a Man

The Chosen Wonders I Know a Man Independent (release date: October 15, 2019) By Bob Marovich The Chosen Wonders, a gospel quartet from Central California, refashions a few gospel chestnuts for their seven-selection mini-album, I Know a Man. For example, the title track is a contemporary harmony version of Brother Joe May’s 1950 hit, “Do You Know Him.” Likewise, “Main Line” is the old standard, “Jesus is on the Main Line,” also rendered in a steady-moving modern quartet vibe (I wonder how many remember when there was a “main line!”). Opening with classic quartet guitar flourishes before settling into a ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: May 25, 2020

“I’ll Serve Him” Ken Heath & the True Disciples Keep Hope Music (release date: March 20, 2020) By Bob Marovich The latest single by the Richmond, Virginia-based quartet Ken Heath & the True Disciples rolls along on a simple message about discipleship and the blood of Jesus that has kept him and his family safe. Like 2019’s “Moving Forward,” the group’s new song has that quintessential quartet strut rhythm and a classic call-and-response vamp. “I’ll Serve Him” is a sure-enough hand clapper that the group no doubt extends on live programs for maximum spiritual impact.

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: May 18, 2020

“He Made a Way for Me” New Christianaires Carter Classic (2020) www.newchristianaires.com By Bob Marovich The New Christianaires’ single “He Made a Way for Me” has all the quartet goods: an old school up-tempo beat, plenty of call-and-response singing between the lead vocalist and the group, high-octane shouting, and a rollicking extended vamp. Both the lyrical content and arrangement exude the joy and gratitude of those who have been blessed by God. It’s the group’s best single to date. Minister George N. Carter Sr., a member of the original Christianaires of Sontag, Mississippi, reorganized the group in Florida by adding ...

Read More »

“It’s On the Way” – Chozen Believers

“It’s On the Way” The Chozen Believers Independent (release date: April 2020) By Bob Marovich Most gospel songs these days speak to the world’s current condition. People need hope and encouragement, after all. The Chozen Believers’ debut single, “It’s on the Way,” certainly offers a message everyone needs to hear right now. Looking for joy? It’s on the way. Your blessing? It’s on the way. The arrangement has all the fixings of a raw quartet workout, vamp and all, but with a smooth patina to appeal to a contemporary audience. Organized last July, the Chozen Believers hails from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. All ...

Read More »