Quartet

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 »

Various Artists: Carolina’s Got Talent

Various Artists Carolina’s Got Talent Ruffboyzmusic Group LLC and Overboard Records (release date: April 17, 2020) By Bob Marovich From the looks of the Billboard gospel charts, you might think traditional gospel music is dead and gone, but that’s not the case. In the Carolinas, for example, plenty of wooden church-honed singers, groups, and quartets are active. But hearing many of them means traveling to the Carolinas to attend the multi-artist gospel programs hosted by local radio stations. With 90% of the country in stay-at-home mode, the multi-artist program has to come to you. A sampling of the traditional sound ...

Read More »

RIP: Reverend Eddie Hunter of the Alabama Spirituals

By Bob Marovich This pandemic has wrecked havoc on the music community. JGM just learned of another soldier gone: the Reverend Eddie Hunter, singer with the Alabama Spirituals of Alexander City, Alabama. He succumbed to COVID-19 on Sunday, April 5, 2020. Born March 13, 1952, Rev. Hunter served as Pastor of Miracle Missionary Baptist Church in Alexander City, Alabama. He was also the president of the Northeast District State Convention of the Alabama State Missionary Baptist Convention. He had just celebrated his 68th birthday. Please keep Reverend Hunter’s family, congregation, friends, and many fans at the top of your prayer ...

Read More »

Nikki “D” & the Browns – The Divine Treatment (EP)

Nikki “D” & the Browns The Divine Treatment EP Independent (release date: January 2020) By Bob Marovich Outside of the Campbell Brothers, it seems as if sacred steel music has been relegated to historic reissues. But lap steel is audible on The Divine Treatment, a new EP by Nikki “D” & the Browns of Toledo, Ohio. A member of Soul City House of God International in Toledo, which split from the Church of the Living God, Jewell Dominion—the denominational home of sacred steel—Nicole “Nikki” Brown has been playing steel guitar since age nine. She, her three sisters, and a niece, ...

Read More »