CDs

Brad + Rebekah – All You’ve Done

Brad + Rebekah All You’ve Done Discovery House (release date: June 2, 2015) http://bradandrebekahmusic.com By Bob Marovich On their national debut album, All You’ve Done, Brad + Rebekah, a husband-and-wife praise team, loft their admiration and gratitude melodically, and vertically, to the Most High. The album opens, appropriately, with “Wake Up.” It is a Brad-led clarion call about resurrection day that uses power pop as a brisk slap, reminding listeners to be spiritually ready for the end of times at all times. The duo’s tuneful “When We Gather,” “Be Here Now,” and “Body of Christ” set the table for worship, ...

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Rev. J.C. Jenkins & the Sounds of Joy – Don’t You Forget to Remember

Rev. J. C. Jenkins & the Sounds of Joy Don’t You Forget to Remember Sharp Records (2015) www.sharprecordsusa.com www.reverbnation.com/revjcjenkinsthesoundsofjoy By Bob Marovich The Sounds of Joy, featuring the hard-singing lead vocals of Rev. J. C. Jenkins, is a nod to the deep southern soul quartet sound of the 1970s and 1980s. The major seventh Northern Soul harmonies combined with Jenkins’ pulpit-hued raspy lead vocals are most evident on “He’s Done It All for Me,” the opening track on the group’s Sharp Records album, Don’t You Forget to Remember. The song’s recounting of biblical miracles establishes the premise that if He did it ...

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Various Artists – Connected 2 Calvary, Vol. IV

Various Artists Connected 2 Calvary Vol. IV www.connected2calvary.com By Bob Marovich At a recent panel discussion co-hosted by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and the Recording Academy, gospel artist Tye Tribbett joked that releasing music in today’s technological society means literally releasing it, setting it free to be streamed and downloaded for no charge.  Music can be gotten for free in so many ways, a recording has become nothing more than an aural business card to promote live performances. That is okay by Connected 2 Calvary. They recognize and understand the importance of samplers to showcase ...

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The Showers – (self titled)

The Showers The Showers A&P Records/Habakkuk Music/INgrooves (release date: April 21, 2015) www.theshowers.org By Bob Marovich The Showers is the national debut album for the Showers Family of Hammond, Louisiana, siblings who have been singing together since knee pants and recording since 2009. The octet pulled out all the stops, too, inking a distribution deal with Habakkuk Records and signing an all-star lineup of producers, notably Bruce Robinson, Deon Kipping, Myron Butler, and Dave Geeter. Robinson and Kipping also contributed many of the album’s songs, as did gospel singer Regina Skeeters. Butler assists with vocal production on the punchy “Praise ...

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Tracey McFadden – I Still Believe

Tracey McFadden I Still Believe www.traceymcfadden.org By Bob Marovich Chicagoan Tracey McFadden’s debut album, I Still Believe, was recorded live at her home church, Bread of Life Missionary Baptist Church. An intimate gathering of friends and congregants support their home girl as she moves through eight selections. The best thing McFadden did for the album was assemble a solid choir of background vocalists who support her thoroughly throughout. The musicians also offer powerful assistance without overpowering the vocals. While the album contains a mix of uptempo praisers and balladic works, the latter seem to be McFadden’s sweet spot. “There’s No ...

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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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Murk – P31

Murk P31 Dedicated Music Group (release date: March 31, 2015) www.murkp31.com By Bob Marovich Christian hip hop artist Murk is a P31 girl. On her sophomore EP, P31, Murk employs rhymes and beats to encourage other women to join her in the movement. “P31” is a reference to Psalms 31, which sets forth the importance of salvation and calls on the Lord to “keep me free from the trap that is set for me.” Among those traps, we learn from selections such as “So Beautiful” and “All I Ever Wanted,” are low self-esteem, self-doubt, abusive relationships, and poor choices. On “All I ...

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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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Casey J – The Truth

Casey J The Truth Marquis Boone Enterprises/Tyscot Records (released April 21, 2015) www.tyscot.com By Bob Marovich The next best thing to a live gospel music program is listening to a live gospel music program on a recording. That’s why it was smart for Casey J to release her debut album, The Truth, as a live worship experience.  And on home turf: the recording took place on January 30, 2015, at Fresh Start Church in Duluth, Georgia, where Casey is morning worship leader. Casey J. Hobbs, known as Casey J, is the newest rising star in gospel music. Her debut single, ...

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Robert E. Person – Love Divine

Robert E. Person Love Divine REP Music (2015) www.roberteperson.com By Bob Marovich The first thing you notice when listening to Robert E. Person’s new album, Love Divine, is the bigness of the singer’s voice. It’s Broadway musical big, regardless of whether Person is summoning deep bass notes or launching into falsetto. His repertory reflects his vocal blend, a veritable consommé of jazz, pop, gospel, and classical influences. On Love Divine, his fourth album, Person celebrates the sacredness of love, mankind’s most essential but most misunderstood emotion. The album’s dozen selections come from the pens of talented songwriters—from Allyn Johnson’s ethereal ...

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