CDs

Alache’ – The Chronicles of the Mrs. (EP)

Alache’ The Chronicles of the Mrs. (EP) MADE, Inc. / Elevate Entertainment / Syntax Distribution Release date: November 27, 2015 www.alache.com By Bob Marovich The Nigerian-born Alache’ has learned to be a lot more comfortable about life in the five years that have passed since her last music project.  The petite singer-songwriter is now married, has two children, and is ready to jump back into the music business. She also wants to share her lessons with you on an EP of intimate personal reflection, titled The Chronicles of the Mrs. The feathery-voiced Alache’ traverses several stylistic platforms in the EP’s limited running time, ...

Read More »

Sandra McCracken – Psalms

Sandra McCracken Psalms (2015) www.sandramccracken.com By Bob Marovich Nashville singer-songwriter Sandra McCracken —more accurately described as a singer-hymnist—is breathing new life into traditional church music. On Psalms, her latest in a string of solo albums going back fifteen years, McCracken demonstrates that the austere melodies and lyrics that served as the soundtrack to Sunday mornings for centuries are just as relevant today. On record, McCracken sounds like the artistic sister of the Eagle Rock Gospel Singers who holed up in her room listening to Laura Nyro when they were digging the drive tempo selections of the Canton Spirituals and Dixie ...

Read More »

Gurrumul – The Gospel Album

Gurrumul The Gospel Album Skinnyfish Music (release date: July 15, 2015) www.skinnyfishmusic.com.au By Bob Marovich Gurrumul’s The Gospel Album is historic for the Journal of Gospel Music: the site’s first review of sacred music sung by an Australian indigenous artist. That artist is Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, a blind singer and musician whose artistic underpinning comes from the traditional music of the Gumatj clan and the hymns of the Methodist church on Elcho Island, off the coast of Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. The indigenous Gumatj made the music of Christian missionaries their own, and Gurrumul, a former member of the popular ...

Read More »

Hi-Lite Juniors – A New Beginning

Hi-Lite Juniors A New Beginning Dynasty Productions 2015 https://www.facebook.com/Hilitejuniors/ By Bob Marovich Back in the day, “Junior” quartets were the next generation of singers to come up under the tutelage of a more senior group. Thus, the Seven Star Juniors were the younger proteges of the Seven Stars quartet, and so on. So it is with the Hi-Lite Juniors of Paterson, New Jersey. The quartet was formed in the early 1970s by Milbert “Doc” McKenzie, uncle of the Juniors’ lead singer, Eric McKenzie. Working within the contemporary-traditional blend of Doc’s Gospel Hi-Lites, the Hi-Lite Juniors—now grown men—offer ten selections on ...

Read More »

URIM7 – The Assignment

URIM 7 The Assignment JOSJOI Productions (2015) https://www.reverbnation.com/urim7band By Bob Marovich Not all Jamaican music is reggae, dancehall, rock steady, or any of the other popular sounds associated with the country. In fact, with rare exception, as Mike McGonigal pointed out in his notes to the reissue collection, Noah Found Grace, Jamaican gospel music was inspired by white southern gospel singing heard after hours on U.S. AM radio. Although a connection to the contemporary gospel music scene has added more soulfulness to the Jamaican sacred sound over the years, gospel from that country still has more in common with the softer ...

Read More »

Pilgrim Travelers: Gospel Boogie – Rare Recordings 1946-1957

Pilgrim Travelers Gospel Boogie – Rare Recordings 1946-1957 Gospel Friend (release date: December 18, 2015) www.gospelfriend.com By Bob Marovich Per Notini of Gospel Friend has developed a handsome catalog of well-produced collections of classic gospel music that covers quartet, choir, and piano-led groups alike. His latest production, Gospel Boogie – Rare Recordings 1946-57, spotlights one of the top hit makers during gospel’s golden age: the Pilgrim Travelers. What is most striking about this 27-selection retrospective is how it aurally captures the California quartet as it altered its sound to keep up with the musical times, but without diluting one ounce of ...

Read More »

Kirk Franklin – Losing My Religion

Kirk Franklin Losing My Religion Fo Yo Soul Recordings / RCA Inspiration (release date: November 15, 2015) https://www.facebook.com/KirkFranklin By Bob Marovich The church, like corporations and labor unions, started out revolutionary and ended up a bureaucracy. How did that happen when Jesus stated that the key to life is simple: “Love one another?” Yet over the centuries, man in his arrogance and vanity has weighted down this universal dictum with so many asterisks that the world has sunk to the bottom of a pool of perpetual confusion. Along these lines, and articulated in an unaccompanied poem that serves as the opening and ...

Read More »

Truth Be Told – Voorhies Hanniboheez

Voorhies Hanniboheez Truth Be Told (2015) www.voorhieshanniboheez.com By Bob Marovich When Voorhies Hanniboheez spits rhymes about the G, he’s referencing God, not a gangsta. Actually, listening to the award-winning Detroit hip hop artist’s debut project, Truth Be Told, one might conclude accurately that Hanniboheez is God’s gangsta.  He fights the devil and his crew with the power of his incisive vocalization and take-no-prisoners lyrics.  On more than a few tracks, Hanniboheez explicitly states that he would rather flame with rhyme than use guns on those who have fallen. He shoots with rhymes, not bullets, with the ultimate goal of bringing them ...

Read More »

Packin’ Up: The Best of Marion Williams

Packin’ Up: The Best of Marion Williams Marion Williams Spirit Feel/Shanachie www.shanachie.com By Bob Marovich If you thought you’d heard everything Marion Williams recorded, alone or with the Ward Singers or Stars of Faith, think again. In addition to the thirteen hand-picked solo tracks by Williams’s longtime friend and producer, Anthony Heilbut (The Gospel Sound, The Fan Who Knew Too Much), Packin’ Up: The Best of Marion Williams features thirteen previously unreleased tracks. One of the unreleased gems showcases Williams with the Ward Singers at the 1957 Newport Folk Festival.  The cuts span the years 1957 to 1993.  Heilbut’s extensive ...

Read More »

Joe Douglass & Spirit of Praise – The Great I Am

Joe Douglass & Spirit of Praise The Great I Am JDI Records NOTE: Joe Douglass & Spirit of Praise’s self-released 2014 CD Redemption has been picked up by JDI Records and reissued as The Great I Am (same songs, somewhat different track order), JGM has reprinted/revised its review of the CD, published originally on August 23, 2014. By Bob Marovich Joe Douglass & Spirit of Praise pulls out all the stops on The Great I Am. Douglass, a twenty-five-year-old Californian, organized Spirit of Praise a few years ago. The group released a single, “It Belongs to You,” in April 2012 and ...

Read More »