Reviews

“Step Back, Watch God Move” – Minister R.L. Taylor and the Sons of the Father

“Step Back, Watch God Move” Minister R. L. Taylor and the Sons of the Father Independent (release date: November 1, 2015) www.cdbaby.com/Artist/MinisterRLTaylorandtheSonsofth A song that just aches for quartet choreography. To a loping backbeat, “Step Back, Watch God Move” teaches that when problems get too tough for you to handle, just let God take over. The chorus hook, “step back, just wait, and watch God move,” offers an ideal pantomime opportunity for the Sons of the Father to do in live performance, especially at the end of the song, when the group and Minister Taylor engage in some slightly syncopated ...

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Carolyn Traylor – The Best of My Story

Carolyn Traylor The Best of My Story Traylor Made Music Group (release date: March 31, 2017) By Bob Marovich Working in the traditional-or-die mode of such artists as Dottie Peoples, Beverly Crawford, and Lemmie Battles, Carolyn Traylor of Greenville, Texas, flexes her vocal muscles on her latest album, the thoroughly enjoyable The Best of My Story. Recorded live at Shreveport’s Peaceful Rest Baptist Church, the album finds Traylor, called the “Texas Powerhouse” in Derrell Hobdy’s introduction, varying from sweet to squall on eleven selections of mostly churchy fare. I say mostly, because “Victory” and “He Did It All” have a ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: March 6, 2017

“How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” Out of the Dust Discovery House Music (release date: March 7, 2017) www.outofthedustmusic.com I’m inclined to think that English songwriter Stuart Townend is a nineteenth-century hymnist reincarnated. His 1995 composition, “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us,” as covered by the husband-and-wife duo Out of the Dust on their self-titled debut album, sounds like it comes straight outta the Southern Harmony, a shaped-note hymnal, or a Shaker hymnbook. Its beautiful simplicity, honored by Chris and Stephanie Teague’s delicate reading, makes it a keeper, suitable for singing in all types of worship services and ...

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Out of the Dust – (self titled)

Out of the Dust (s/t) Discovery House Music (release date: March 7, 2017) www.outofthedustmusic.com By Bob Marovich Some of the best songs are birthed out of suffering. For Out of the Dust’s Chris and Stephanie Teague, the circumstances of their separation, divorce, and remarriage, and their reliance on Jesus for healing, provided the raw material for the eleven songs on their self-titled debut LP. Despite the pain behind the Teague’s story, the album’s music buzzes with the gratitude of having made it through.  It offers pleasant pop melodies, bright production, and duet singing that evokes the informality of coffee house ...

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Judy Jacques – The Sixties Sessions

Judy Jacques The Sixties Sessions Playback (2016) www.playbackrecords.net By Bob Marovich In the early 1960s, while teens were swooning over the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, Judy Jacques, an Australian youth, was soaking up whatever American gospel records she could get her hands on. At the same time, Australia’s Yarra Yarra New Orleans Jazz Band was introducing Melbourne audiences to traditional American Dixieland style jazz. Combined, Jacques and the Yarras gave Australians a bracing and remarkably authentic taste of black gospel and spirituals. In the process, Jacques became Australia’s Queen of Gospel and Trad Jazz. A comprehensive survey of Jacques’s 1960’s ...

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“Victorious” – Ernest Billups & Tribe of Levi feat. Bishop Eric McDaniel

“Victorious” Ernest Billups & Tribe of Levi feat. Bishop Eric McDaniel E’mazin Entertainment (released August 2016) www.emazinentertainment.com “Victorious” is a spirited litany of positive affirmations from Ernest Billups and his sprightly vocal group Tribe of Levi. It is also Billups’s testimony of how God has granted him victory over personal challenges–that no matter how bad things are, God will help you overcome them. Using the “no weapon formed against you shall prosper” Scripture for support, Billups & Tribe of Levi tell the enemy what they really think of him. Then Bishop Eric McDaniel, pastor of The Lord’s Church in the Bronx and North ...

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n•i•a•s•h•a – Gospel Mixtape Vol. 5

n•i•a•s•h•a Gospel Mixtape Vol. 5 Loveworld Life (released in August 2016) hulkshare.com/niashaMawerez By Bob Marovich If you need confirmation that gospel music is an international phenomenon, n•i•a•s•h•a’s Gospel Mixtape Vol. 5 is proof that praising God in song is global. Snippets of music from U.S. artists such as Tasha Cobbs, James Fortune, Zacardi Cortez, and California’s Jesus Culture can be heard alongside songs by a handful of artists you’ve probably never heard of, but should. By and large, the other artists represent Nigeria and South Africa, and while they sing in English, they frequently incorporate other languages into the lyrics. ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: February 27, 2017

“It Could Have Been Me” Dorothy Norwood feat. Dorinda Clark-Cole From the Echo Park JDI album An Incredible Journey Available on iTunes, Amazon.com The old-school hand-clapper “It Could Have Been Me” brings together Dorothy Norwood and Dorinda Clark-Cole, two female vocalists representing two different generations but equally powerful when it comes to singing the glory down. The two are “grateful to God to still be “in the land of the living,” because at any point, they declare, it could have gone very differently. And as the hook expresses, “other people have been through what I’ve been through and they didn’t make ...

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Stay Connected – The Choirs of Trinity United Church of Christ

The Choirs of Trinity United Church of Christ Stay Connected Unashamed Media Group (release date: February 28, 2017) Available on Amazon.com, itunes, other digital outlets. The hard copy with the 36 page color booklet will be available at the church by March 3, 2017, through its bookstore and website. By Bob Marovich Disc One of Stay Connected, the forthcoming two-disc project from Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ music and arts ministries, is alone sufficient to declare the project excellent. That it contains two discs makes it spectacular. It has been fifteen years since the South Side church has released ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: February 20, 2017

“Outpour” Lynn McCree featuring Judah 1st www.igaraa.com/lynn-mccree.html Songs that open with hushed piano and vocal never fail to get my attention. Lynn McCree’s “Outpour” got my attention. It’s a lovely ballad, lovingly sung, a prayer closet pleading to the Lord for a pouring out of blessings. “Pour out your joy / I don’t want to cry no more,” McCree and her Judah 1st singers express. The song is as passionate and delicate as the blessings they seek, and it feels as if it could even extend beyond its 3:42 length. The production expertly focuses on the singing, with the piano taking a secondary but ...

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