Quartet

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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“Better” – Pastor Skylar Patterson & Predestined (feat. Minister Lisa Knowles Smith)

“Better”Pastor Skylar Patterson & PredestinedFeat. Minister Lisa Knowles SmithFrom the CD Testify (release date: September 25, 2020) By Robert M. Marovich Although the group’s name suggests a male-led small choir that sings contemporary gospel, Pastor Skylar Patterson & Predestined is a quartet with meaty old-school harmonies and a wicked kick drum anchoring the rhythm section. Their single, “Better,” came out last fall but is still, and probably always will be, relevant. Its message of hope and encouragement in the face of trials is amped up by featured vocalist and force of nature Lisa Knowles Smith. Not only does Smith help ...

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“Be With Me” – Pastor Darren A. Farmer Sr.

“Be With Me” Pastor Darren A. Farmer Sr. From Pastor Darren Farmer presents The Upper Room Apostolic Church Experience, Volume 3 By Robert M. Marovich Pastor Darren A. Farmer Sr., leader of the Upper Room Apostolic Cathedral prefaces “Be With Me” by dedicating it to the late Jason Tomlinson, whose words of wisdom informed the lyrics. The song encourages the discouraged by reminding them that God’s promise to be with us all the time has no expiration date. With southern-fried guitar licks, a hand-patting rhythm, and vocal harmonies supporting Farmer’s lead singing, “Be With Me” has all the elements of ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: July 19, 2021

“I’d Rather Have Jesus” True Believers Malaco Music Group / 4 Winds (release date: June 23, 2021) www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich From the opening vocal harmony riff and the incessant piano triplets to the ultra-soulful lead vocals by Castro Coleman, “I’d Rather Have Jesus” sounds like a 1960s soul record but it is as new as a minute ago. Lyrically, the song by the True Believers quartet evokes the 1922 hymn with the same title, about forsaking the riches of the world for the wealth of eternity. The twist is that Coleman references the modern era when he describes ...

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“Jesus Cares” – Leporia Logan

“Jesus Cares”Leporia LoganGodSent Music Group (2021)www.iamhollywoodlogan.com By Robert M. Marovich As “Hollywood” Logan, Leporia Logan was a member of the world-famous Drifters, entertaining audiences with classic vocal harmony renditions of “Under the Boardwalk,” “Up on the Roof,” and “Stand By Me.” Prior to that, however, Logan was a gospel singer and musician. He traveled with Howard “Slim” Hunt and the Supreme Angels, Doc McKenzie and the Hi-Lites, and the Fantastic Violinaires, the latter alongside legendary lead singer Robert Blair. Logan returns to his gospel—and specifically gospel quartet—roots on “Jesus Cares.” With a gruff voice that evokes Blair as well as ...

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“Doing It For Jesus” – P.U.S.H.

“Doing It For Jesus” P.U.S.H. Independent (release date: May 28, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich The female quartet P.U.S.H. from Alexander City, Alabama, returns with a pleasant mid-tempo song that essentially serves as the ladies’ collective mission statement. Once you move past the nearly thirty-second intro, you get that straightforward hard-driving singing that combines traditional quartet chutzpah with contemporary elements. The harmonized “not gonna change my mind” chorus and vamp make for an effective hook and provide plenty of space for the lead singer to let loose. Written by group member Stephanie Kendrick, the song is the title track of ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 17, 2021

“He’s Working on Me” The McDuffies feat. Bishop Darrell McFadden From the Ruffboyzmusic Group LLC album The Legacy Continues (album release date: January 15, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich The McDuffies salute the memory of their brother Ricky McDuffie with a new album and single. The single, “He’s Working on Me,” is a driving selection with hard lead singing from quartet veteran Bishop Darrell McFadden. He does Ricky proud with his raw vocals, well-timed shouts, and a gospel chuckle tossed in for good measure. Every time he feels like throwing in the towel, McFadden sings, he remembers that he’s a ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 3, 2021

“Be Alright” Friends aka Anointed Friends Thompson Records (release date: March 15, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich In “Be Alright,” the female quartet Friends (aka Anointed Friends) deliver a simple song of reassurance and encouragement to a driving countrified beat. The ladies pepper their lyrics with familiar church aphorisms (e.g., “He may not come when you want him but He’ll be on time”) and tag on an old-fashioned vamp designed to rouse anyone not already out of their seats. It all sounds straight out of the South, but the quartet actually hails from the New York City metropolitan area. Organized ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: April 19, 2021

“The One” Jewell & Converted OverBoard Records (release date: April 9, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Those who appreciate joyous gospel quartet music will welcome “The One,” the latest single from the award-winning St. Louis quartet Jewell & Converted. Jewell Taylor leads the female quartet on a litany of examples of Jesus’s goodness and then transitions into the Passion. The ladies sing that if Jesus can be crucified, die, and rise from the grave, he can and will do anything for you. There’s much to enjoy here, from Taylor’s boisterous vocals and the group’s dynamic responses to heavy downbeats from ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: March 30, 2021

“Saved and Sanctified” The Highway QCs feat. Spencer Taylor Jr. From Live at the 2021 Gospel Inaugural Celebration (release date: March 6, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich On the heels of his autobiography, A General Becomes a Legend, Godfather of Quartet Music Spencer Taylor Jr.  joins his fellow Highway QCs deliver an energetic old-school quartet number to a modern arrangement. The QCs are saved and sanctified, and the harmonies are smooth. The rhythm section is relentless, supporting the men with an insistent and quick quartet strut beat. The call-and-response between lead and quartet turns up the temperature during the QCs’ ...

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