Quartet

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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“Thank You Lord” – The Cross Family

“Thank You Lord” The Cross Family By Robert M. Marovich The Cross Family of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, pays homage to their father, the late Gene Cross, by keeping the family group going strong. Their new single, “Thank You Lord,” is a rhythmic affirmation of gratitude steeped in call-and-response, a good old fashioned quartet vamp, and that you-know-it-when-you-hear-it quartet rhythm. In 2016, upon retiring as manager and lead singer of former Song Bird recording artists the Smiling Jubilaires, Gene Cross assembled his family into a singing aggregation. Gene passed in 2018, but the group, now under the tutelage of “Lil Gene” ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: February 22, 2021

“Pull Together” Roy & Revelation Malaco / 4 Winds Records (2021) www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich “When you look in the mirror / Are you proud of your reflection?” That’s what Roy & Revelation want to know on their new single, “Pull Together.” When people continue to be judged by the color of their skin and not the content of their character, it’s time to take a stand…again. That’s the only way we can make the world a better place, they sing. And those who don’t want to join the multicultural protest, well, they need to reconsider the purpose of ...

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“Get Right Church”- The Gospel Legends

“Get Right Church” The Gospel Legends From the OTH Records CD Just One Touch (release date: December 11, 2020) www.thegospellegends.com By Robert M. Marovich One day about fifteen years ago, I was at the Gospel Music Workshop of America when someone handed me an invitation to meet a group called the Gospel Legends at their booth in the exhibitors’ hall. Intrigued, I accepted the invitation, expecting to shake hands with a group of seniors from various veteran quartets. I’m sure the Gospel Legends of South Carolina smiled at the surprise on my face when I laid eyes on a group ...

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“He Picked Me Up” – The Highway QCs featuring Spencer Taylor Jr.

“He Picked Me Up” The Highway QCs featuring Spencer Taylor Jr. Ruffboyzmusic Group, LLC / Overboard Records 2020 By Robert M. Marovich The Highway QCs under “The Godfather” Spencer Taylor Jr. have not only entered their eighth decade of spreading the good news through quartet harmony, they show no signs of slowing down. Taylor assumes the second lead on the effervescent single, “He Picked Me Up.” It’s full of energy, optimism, and zest—just what we need to get through the tough times. The single is another example of the noise Jontee Ruffin’s Ruffboyzmusic Group and Darrell Jay Jones’ Overboard Records ...

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RIP: Val Alexander (Gospel Keynotes)

By Robert M. Marovich Debra Robinson informed JGM yesterday that Val Alexander, longtime singer and guitarist for the Gospel Keynotes, passed away on Wednesday, December 16, 2020. Alexander can be heard on Gospel Keynotes recordings as early as 1970. Here is a brief bio on the Gospel Keynotes: From Tyler, Texas, Willie Neal Johnson – affectionately known as “Country Boy” – began his professional singing career when Rev. C. W. Jackson invited him to join a local group, the Five Ways of Joy Gospel Singers, while he was still a teenager. The Five Ways of Joy instilled in Johnson a ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: November 30, 2020

“He’s Here” Darrell McFadden & the Disciples From the RuffBoyz Music Group LLC / Overboard Records CD Book of Life, Vol. 1 (release date: May 29, 2020) By Robert M. Marovich COVID-19 doesn’t seem to be stopping Ruff Boyz Music Group and Overboard Records. The partnership is minting some outstanding traditional gospel. In addition to last week’s feature by the Swanee Quintet, the partnership has produced Darrell McFadden & the Disciples’ album Book of Life, Vol. 1, and the single, “He’s Here.” This drive-tempo selection, which features call-and-response between McFadden and the group and, later, McFadden and a second lead, ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: November 23, 2020

“Dr. Jesus” The Swanee Quintet From the Ruff Boyz Music Group LLC / Overboard Records CD Made in Augusta: Live at the Bell Auditorium (release date: June 20, 2020) By Robert M. Marovich “Dr. Jesus” is a Swanee Quintet perennial, a song they cannot eliminate from their repertory no matter how many years they are on the road or how many radio singles they accumulate. Nor should they: it’s a surefire way to lift congregations from their seats and start them to clapping and waving their hands. The Augusta, Georgia, quartet’s most recent recording of “Dr. Jesus” comes from a ...

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