Reviews

“All of My Help” – Northern Delaware Chapter of GMWA Recording Choir

“All of My Help” Northern Delaware Chapter of GMWA Recording Choir Enon Music Group (release date: January 18, 2019) By Bob Marovich With the full-throated energy of a workshop choir, which it is, and the intrepid technique of New G, the Recording Choir of the Northern Delaware Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America pounds out the thunderous and aerobic “All of My Help.” The choir, directed by Minister Wayne E. Carter Sr., affectionately known as “the Maestro,” supports soloist Tamba Giles on this musical version of Psalm 121. Collectively, they deliver the message of the Psalm with the ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 27, 2019

“One Praise Away” Kevin Davidson Infinity Music Group (release date: March 1, 2019) By Bob Marovich “One Praise Away” is a spirit-filled Sunday morning song, a call-and-response declamation of victory between the Memphis-based Kevin Davidson, Cheryl Rogers, and the Voices, their choral harmonies full-throated and thunderous. The organ chirps, the drums and bass set a solid rhythm section, and the handclapping ensues. It evokes the work of fellow Memphian, the late O’Landa Draper, as well as Ricky Dillard & New G. Kevin Davidson and the Voices (formerly the Voices of Binghamton) recorded a number of albums for New Haven Records ...

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Christa Deana

Christa Deana Self-titled Hitman Records (release date: December 7, 2018) www.christadeana.com By Bob Marovich Philadelphia singer-songwriter Christa Deana (pron. Duh-nay) opens her self-titled CD with a forthright narrative about her calling, accepted at a very young age, to be a fisher of souls. But, she recounts, upon encountering one painful challenge and disappointment after another in pursuit of her calling, she almost gave up and even contemplated suicide. Angry at God for putting her in such a precarious position, she said: “I threw my Christianity on the floor and built it back up from scratch.” That made all the difference. ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 20, 2019

“Don’t Break” Micah Lee DarkChild Gospel (release date: May 10, 2019) By Bob Marovich Micah Lee sings praises for God’s amazing grace in the testimonial “Don’t Break.” Referencing a near fatal car accident that nearly left him unable to walk, Lee reiterates how the power of faith pulled him through. Even in the worst of times, “when you have nothing left,” he sings, don’t give up. Just hold on. “Don’t break before your breakthrough.” Written by Alvin Garrett and produced by Fred “Uncle Freddie” Jerkins, “Don’t Break” moves to a steady hand-clapping beat, with Lee’s confident tenor smiling through the ...

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“I Am More than a Conqueror” – Tonya Lewis Taylor

“I Am More than a Conqueror” Tonya Lewis Taylor EARS Group (release date: April 3, 2019) www.tonyalewistaylor.com By Bob Marovich Affirmations created from popular Bible verses—1 John 4:4 and Philippians 4:13, for example—are strung together and given a contemporary swagger on Tonya Lewis Taylor’s new single, “I Am More than a Conqueror.” Directed vocally by TLT, the male and female voices in the backing choir take turns responding to her declamations of overcoming and collectively join in reminders that one “can do all things through Christ.” Though credited to Tonya as a solo, the single is actually a swaying mid-tempo ...

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“Everytime” – Social Club Misfits

“Everytime” Social Club Misfits From the Capitol Christian Music Group EP MOOD (release date: April 12, 2019) www.socialclubmisfits.com By Bob Marovich Produced by Young Sidechain, “Everytime” by Christian hip hop duo Social Club Misfits is an autobiographical rap about their commitment to sharing the Word throughout the nation, regardless of the consequences. They proclaim what amounts to a gospel artist mission statement: “I do it for the people who got nothing left / And if I did it for the money, I would probably quit.” They also call out rappers who sell themselves short – “buyin’ chains with chains around ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 13, 2019

“Hallelujah” E. D. Mondaine’ From the Achaia Records release Hallelujah (release date: February 7, 2019) www.edmondaine.com By Bob Marovich Sure, Leonard Cohen’s masterpiece “Hallelujah” is about a love affair gone sour, but given that it is gilded with lines from Scripture, I’m surprised that more Christian artists haven’t gospelized it over the years. Gospel artist and pastor Apostle E. D. Mondaine’ has just rendered the beautiful ballad, made it the title track of his new album, and altered some of the lyrics to make it more spiritual. He opens the song with the same lovingly delicate reading that most singers ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 6, 2019

“Keep Me” Carrington Alyse Brown Clarkstone Music Group (release date: March 1, 2019) By Bob Marovich With thunderous encouragement from a backing choir, seventeen-year-old Carrington Alyse Brown delivers her debut single, “Keep Me,” with steadily increasing intensity and passion. Produced by Jason Clark, executive director of the Tennessee Mass Choir, “Keep Me” is a traditional-flavored song with a message grounded in God’s constancy. That’s not surprising; she told Xuam Lawson on “Real Gospel with the Xman” that she likes traditional gospel because she is a “churchy girl.” Her sound is evocative of another young singer, and one of her favorite ...

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Pastor Donald Gay – On a Glorious Day

Pastor Donald Gay On a Glorious Day The Sirens Records (release date: March 15, 2019) www.thesirensrecords.com By Bob Marovich Like amber, Pastor Donald Gay’s On a Glorious Day preserves the sounds and stories of Chicago’s traditional gospel music and church community. Pastor Gay has been in gospel music since knee pants (a photo on the back of the CD booklet depicts Donald as a tyke, sitting atop a piano and flanked by his older sisters Evelyn, Geraldine and Mildred). As the Gay Sisters, Donald’s female siblings posted a significant gospel hit in 1951 by modernizing the hymn, “God Will Take ...

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“Blessings on Blessings” – Anthony Brown and Group TherAPy

“Blessings on Blessings” Anthony Brown and Group TherAPy Key of A / Tyscot / FairTrade (release date: May 3, 2019) www.tyscot.com By Bob Marovich “Every time I turn around…blessings,” Anthony Brown sings, and he knows whereof he speaks. The group has gone from backing Maurette Brown Clark on her highly-acclaimed album The Dream (2007) to racking up their own chart action, which led to numerous Stellar Award wins, Grammy and Billboard Music Award nominations, and other honors. Inspired by the go-go style popularized in the Washington, DC, area, “Blessings on Blessings” is a bouncing, joyous paean to the sunshine that ...

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