CDs

Ricky Dillard & New G – Amazing

Ricky Dillard & New G Amazing Light Records/eOne Entertainment  (release date: June 10, 2014) www.rickydillard.net By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog Ricky Dillard was once the young turk on the gospel block.     Beginning in the late 1980s, Dillard and the New Generation Chorale, a Chicago gospel choir steeped in the full-throated tradition of Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, Rev. James Cleveland, and Dr. Charles G. Hayes, offered up high-octane songs such as “More Abundantly” that other choirs were quick to emulate. Twenty-six years later, Dillard is a member of a circle of venerable choir directors that includes Pastor ...

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Christon Gray – School of Roses

Christon Gray School of Roses Collision Records (release date: March 25, 2014) www.collision-records.com By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog Christon Gray’s School of Roses may be the most unusual, and the most cerebral, inspirational project you have ever heard. It’s less gospel in its typical structure and more a personal testimony, an album of high hip hop drama clearly designed to be listened to start to finish, rather than as interchangeable singles or selections. The music and lyrics are moody and introspective. An aura of deep regret and an unending desire for redemption permeates every note. The struggle ...

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Pastor David Wright & the N.Y. Fellowship Mass Choir – Next Generation

Pastor David Wright & the N.Y. Fellowship Mass Choir Next Generation Godfather Records (released February 2014) godfatherrecordsinc@gmail.com By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog Recorded live at Brooklyn’s historic First Church of God in Christ, Pastor David Wright and the N.Y. Fellowship Mass Choir’s Next Generation does more to preserve the legacy of Bishop Timothy Wright than any of their music projects to date. Several songs on the album are in fact Timothy Wright compositions.  One of the most popular, “Jesus Jesus Jesus,” closes out the CD.  “Come Thou Almighty King,” “Presence of the Lord,” and “Who’s On the ...

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Minister Terrell Rogers & Men of Destiny – I’m Still Here

Minister Terrell Rogers & Men of Destiny I’m Still Here (released November, 2013) By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog Minister Terrell Rogers & Men of Destiny of Blytheville, Arkansas, are young men with old souls.  This is evident by the traditional bent of the quartet’s new self-produced CD, I’m Still Here. Rogers is the quintessential quartet lead.  He sings, shouts, growls, moans, ad libs, testifies, and preaches.  The Men of Destiny—Jeremy Myles, Torey Leonard, and Shannon Lyons—do the high harmonies made popular by the Violinaires in the 1950’s and that continue to dominate gospel quartet today (the bass guitar ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: June 2, 2014

“Turning Away” Bryan Andrew Wilson EchoPark JDI (2014) www.echoparkjdi.com Maybe it’s me, but less can be more, especially in gospel music.  Gospel started with only piano for accompaniment.  Nine decades later, piano and voice (and organ, of course) are still the ideal combination for a Zion song. Proof is Bryan Andrew Wilson’s introspective piano-accompanied single, “Turning Away.”  It is a personal declaration to forsake the “things that had me bound” and “the hurt and the shame” and move toward a better life.  The deft production has Wilson trading leads with himself and harmonizing with himself.  By not drowning the singer ...

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Eloho – Arise

Eloho Arise (Released March 15, 2014) http://elohoefemuai.co.uk/ By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog From Nigeria and now living in Scotland, Eloho Jocelyn Efemuai, known simply as Eloho (it means “prosperity”), is a singer, worship pastor, and presently part of the worship team at The Junction Church in Aberdeen. Her debut solo album Arise blends CCM melodies with Afropop rhythms. The high point is its title track and single, a song that encapsulates the album’s thematic and musical expressions. “You Are (My God),” a well-executed duet with Nigerian singer-producer Akinwunmi Nathan Oluniyi Akiremi, aka FLO, is a close second ...

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Reel Brothers – The Reel Experience

Reel Brothers The Reel Experience Shekinah Praise Music Publishing (2011) http://www.reverbnation.com/reelbrothers By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog On some quartet projects today, the singers and musicians seem as if they are in a tug-of-war over who should be most prominently featured.  On The Reel Experience, the Reel Brothers gospel quartet and their musicians sound like best friends, inseparable and complementary.   Reading the liner notes, one discovers why: the singers and musicians are one and the same. The Reel Brothers come from West Memphis, Arkansas, and are Min. Antwan Stinnett, Min, Devin Brown, Jeromy Thomas, Nick Merritt, Ricky Reel, ...

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Deitrick Haddon’s LXW (League of Xtraordinary Worshippers)

Deitrick Haddon’s LXW (League of Xtraordinary Worshippers) Tyscot Records (released April 22, 2014) www.tyscot.com By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog Deitrick Haddon and Tyscot Records want to bring the choir back.  To make manifest their pledge, they’ve released Deitrick Haddon’s LXW (League of Xtraordinary Worshippers).  The album not only celebrates the youthful verve of the gospel choir but features the talent of some of today’s most acclaimed directors. The League of Xtraordinary Worshippers sounds like a team of superheroes—indeed, those who purchase a hard copy of the DVD get an LXW comic book—but it’s a choir led by ...

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The Williams Singers – Destined

The Williams Singers Destined Deznell Music Group (rel. April 2014) By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog Not to be confused with the Williams Brothers of Mississippi, the Williams Singersis a quartet from Indianapolis, Indiana, the city that brought you, among other artists, Brown’s Inspirational Singers, Robert Turner and the Silver Hearts, and Al “the Bishop” Hobbs. Darnell, Dezrale, and Dezmien are the Indiana Williamses, and their new album, Destined, is one of the best gospel quartet albums I’ve heard this year.  You’ve got to love a group that name checks the Fairfield Four, the Dixie Hummingbirds, and the ...

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DJ Caleb – Got Gospel? Vol. 2

DJ Caleb Got Gospel? Vol. 2 Email: djcaleb@gmail.com By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog DJ Caleb is a gospel DJ, which means he spins gospel music for special events, not on the radio.  He releases mixtapes to promote his turntable talent.  Got Gospel? Vol. 2 is an excellent example of his sampling skills and mix magic. The set opens with a selection of joyfully brisk songs from indie and major gospel artists—Mary Mary and Lecrae to Onitsha and Leah Smith—nearly all of whom have been reviewed and/or interviewed for The Black Gospel Blog at one time or another.  ...

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