Quartet

Boyz of Triumph – Praise His Name

Boyz of Triumph Praise His Name Sharp Records (2015) www.reverbnation.com/theboyzoftriumph By Bob Marovich The Boyz of Triumph from Sycamore, Alabama, is a seven-member gospel quartet that blends the close harmony tradition with the contemporary gospel style. The harmonies are front and center on Praise His Name, the quartet’s nine-track disc for Sharp Records. With its medium tempo and falsetto flights from the lead singer, the bouncy title track is as good an example as any of the group’s aural fingerprint. The harmonies are especially robust whenever the musicians pause and the group sings a cappella, which doesn’t happen nearly as ...

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Not By Bread Alone: Gospel Quartets and Food Sponsorships in the South

In a fascinating article for the Southern Foodways Alliance, Carrie Allen Tipton tells the story of how quartets used to sing products off the shelves and into American homes. Harmony to sell hominy? http://www.southernfoodways.org/your-weekly-pop-not-by-bread-alone/ Carrie Allen Tipton writes and lectures about classical music, American popular music, religion, and Southern culture.

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The Gospel Angels – Turn It Around

The Gospel Angels Turn It Around (2012) www.thegospelangels.com By Bob Marovich The Gospel Angels of Washington, DC, have traveled the country and the world for more than three decades, serving up heaping helpings of church wisdom with a savory traditional gospel quartet flavor. Some of the songs on the group’s current album, Turn It Around, are newly composed, but all have an old school vibe. The whole CD rolls along like a live performance without an audience. Opening with the hip-slapping “Let Me Lean on You,” the quartet blends bright tempo numbers with songs that stretch out for several minutes—just as the ...

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The Fairfield Four – Still Rockin’ My Soul

The Fairfield Four Still Rockin’ My Soul Fairfield Four Records (2015) www.thefairfieldfour.com By Bob Marovich In 1925, when the Fairfield Four organized in Nashville, Tennessee, quartet singing was done a cappella. No instruments, just the human voice.  And God saw that it was good. No–great. Over the years, quartets added to the mix an ever-expanding combo of guitar, piano, organ, drums, electric bass, and synthesizer until the music threatened to overpower the vocal harmonies. Whether or not you are a fan of quartet singing with music, we can agree that there’s something seriously magical about hearing a cappella vocal singing. ...

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Various Artists: An Evening with the Legends of Quartet Live

Various Artists An Evening with the Legends of Quartet Live Malaco/4 Winds www.malaco.com By Bob Marovich Malaco Records and its 4 Winds subsidiary are the main standard bearers for gospel quartet singing, a style that once dominated the gospel charts but has since fallen behind mass choirs and small choirs in radio play and album sales. But unlike their secular peers in vocal harmony who retired and only gather for PBS retrospectives, many gospel quartet singers from the golden age are still working the road, albeit with groups comprised of new personnel. Some of the lead singers from quartet’s golden age gathered ...

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“I Know a Man Named Jesus” – Shawn Brown & Da Boyz

“I Know a Man Named Jesus” Shawn Brown & Da Boyz 4 Winds Records (2015) www.malaco.com To a spanking backbeat and driving mid-tempo groove, Shawn Brown & Da Boyz of East St. Louis, Illinois, declare to their live audience that they know a man “who will make a way.” The answer to the rhetorical question is “Jesus,” and Brown and the group hammer home the point by exhorting “Jesus” back and forth during the song’s vamp. Their call-and-response akin to a preacher and his congregation, Shawn Brown & Da Boyz go old school on this neo-traditional composition. The quartet’s live CD, ...

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The Supreme Angels – The Next Level of the Legacy

The Supreme Angels The Next Level of the Legacy Raymarkable Music (release date: March 10, 2015) By Bob Marovich The Supreme Angels are among the quartets that have managed to remain active on the gospel highway, albeit with personnel changes, for more than a half century. Released this week, The Next Level of the Legacy is their newest, and appropriately titled, album. Appropriately titled because it signals the group’s commitment to keep singing in a post-Howard “Slim” Hunt milieu. The passing of Hunt, as well as of Robert “Sugar” Hightower and Al Dent over the course of five years, could ...

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WYSO: The Musical Legacy of Paul Arnold

WYSO’s Pam Ferris-Olson writes about Paul Arnold, lead singer for the Gospelaires of Dayton, Ohio.  Arnold was honored posthumously with a star on the Dayton Walk of Fame. Read the article by clicking on the link below (JGM‘s Bob Marovich was interviewed for the story): http://wyso.org/post/musical-legacy-paul-arnold

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The New Christianaires – “Remember Me” – Live in Concert

The New Christianaires “Remember Me” – Live in Concert Carter Classic Records (2014) www.thenewchristianaires.com By Bob Marovich “Put your sanctified hands together,” shouts the announcer who welcomes the New Christianaires to the stage for their live recording, “Remember Me” – Live in Concert. The audience complies. In fact, the audience claps for, and along with, the quartet for much of the album’s 68-minute running time. In 2010, Minister George N. Carter Sr., a member of the original Christianaires of Sontag, Mississippi, which featured Paul and Tyrone Porter, reorganized the group in Florida by adding Apostle Jarmain Hawthorne, Elvis Brumfield Jr., Anthony Seay, and ...

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Soul Stirrers – Joy in My Soul: The Complete SAR Recordings

Soul Stirrers Joy in My Soul: The Complete SAR Recordings ABKCO Records (release date: January 27, 2015 www.abkco.com By Bob Marovich The first ABKCO compilation of Soul Stirrers recordings on the legendary SAR Records was released more than a decade ago. With sixteen tracks, the Stirrers had the lion’s share of sides on the gospel portion of that two-CD set, but that was all; the rest of the set needed to feature other SAR artists. Gospel quartet enthusiasts as well as Soul Stirrers fans will therefore appreciate Joy In My Soul because it is all Soul Stirrers. And of the 33 selections ...

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