CDs

Preashea Hilliard – Live Out Loud

Preashea Hilliard Live Out Loud Blacksmoke Music Worldwide (2010) www.preshmusic.com To Preashea Hilliard, “LOL” means Live Out Loud. And loud – in energy, enthusiasm, volume and message – is exactly what her debut project, Live Out Loud, exudes. The Houstonian vocalist is the youngest daughter of Bishop I.V. and Lady Bridget Hilliard of Houston’s New Light Church, where the CD was recorded live in April 2010. Preashea smartly assembles songs from talented writers such as Deitrick Haddon, Israel Houghton and Kurt Carr, and contributes a few of her own compositions, to create an impressive debut album, produced by Grammy Award-winning ...

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Chris Jasper – Invincible

Chris Jasper Invincible Gold City Records (2007) http://www.goldcitymusic.com/ Reviewed by Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog. Some deliver the Word with fire and brimstone, others with flatfooted, melismatic vocal power, and yet others with honey-sweetness so the message goes down easy. Chris Jasper falls into the latter category. On Invincible, the former member of the R&B group Isley-Jasper-Isley and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee bathes messages of hope, faith, encouragement and reliance on the Almighty in the cool, sweet soul that was the soundtrack of the mid-1980s. For example, on “A New Life in Christ,” Jasper exhorts ...

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The Showers Family Singers – Hear My Prayer

The Showers Family Singers Hear My Prayer Aquila and Priscilla Records (2010) www.cdbaby.com/cd/sfgs Ten siblings – ten! – who are the offspring of a pastor and his missionary wife from Louisiana blend their voices as The Showers Family Singers. Their star is on the rise, as they won Best Traditional CD of the Year at the 2010 Ensound Music Awards for their eleven-track debut Hear My Prayer, and are nominated for three Rhythm of Gospel Awards. Hear My Prayer introduces a larger audience to their straight-ahead mix of contemporary, praise and worship and traditional gospel performance styles. And it’s a decent ...

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Reverend John Wilkins – You Can’t Hurry God

Reverend John Wilkins You Can’t Hurry God Fat Possum Records/Big Legal Mess (2010) http://www.biglegalmessrecords.com/ Talk about old school. On You Can’t Hurry God, Reverend John Wilkins takes us way back into the North Mississippi Hill Country for sacred music, guitar evangelist style. The result is an album with the simple authenticity of an Alan Lomax field recording and the spicy soulfulness of a Willie Mitchell production. From the unhurried Toussaint McCall-esque title track to the rhythmic no-nonsense “Sinner’s Prayer,” You Can’t Hurry God is an invigorating journey along the blue highways of American music. Wilkins, pastor of Hunter’s Chapel Church in ...

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Kassandra McGhee – Completely

Kassandra McGhee Completely (2007) http://www.mypower4living.com/ Singer-songwriter Kassandra McGhee of Forest Park, Illinois, a suburb west of Chicago, has sung background or shared the stage with such notable contemporary gospel and praise and worship artists such as Edwin Hawkins, Phil Tarver and Vanessa Dukes of the Brown Sisters. Not surprisingly, given McGhee’s performance experience and service as a praise and worship leader, her self-produced debut CD Completely is an assemblage of P&W songs she composed. Her sweet, breathy soprano reminds me of Deniece Williams, who started singing gospel as a member of the COGIC church in Gary, Indiana before moving into ...

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Kendra Carr – Unexpected Judah

Kendra Carr Unexpected Judah Commandment Entertainment 2009 www.kendracarr.com Kendra Carr is equal parts gospel singer and evangelist, and she puts both to excellent use on her first national CD release, Unexpected Judah. Unexpected Judah has the energy and timing of a live performance. It comes out of the box strong, waxes traditional, slows into a praise and worship groove, and then turns up the tempo as the CD spins toward its finale. With one exception, the songs were written either by Kendra, album producer Daniel Miree, or the two in collaboration. All of the compositions are polished, tuneful pieces that ...

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Frontlynaz – Game Over (Frontlynaz, Inc. 2008)

Frontlynaz Game Over Frontlynaz, Inc. 2008 www.frontlynaz.com Say what you will about Holy Hip Hop, but the Stellar-nominated HHH group Frontlynaz spits rhymes and drops beats with the power and urgency of a brakeless freight train. Their Game Over grabbed my attention and held it with clenched fists from beginning to end. Captivating and compelling, Frontlynaz has a lot to say about today’s state of affairs and how grace can transform a person from spiraling downward to an upwardly mobile (i.e., positive, not materialistic) life that means something and is, in itself, transformative. Just as importantly, the album dresses the ...

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