Reviews

“Surrender” – Carla Martin

“Surrender” Carla Martin 5:11 Music Group (2011) http://www.amartinproduction.com/ With a rocking beat that speeds along like a brakeless freight train, “Surrender” riffs on the irony that in the midst of trials, it is in surrendering that life begins. Don’t give up, she sings, give in. First place winner at the 2002 McDonald’s Gospelfest, Evangelist Carla Martin now lives in Orlando, Florida and is married with seven (!) children. Her voice is reminiscent of Cher’s no-nonsense alto, which is appropriate to the content and message of the single.

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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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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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CD Single: “Can’t Break Us” – DJ Morph feat. Frontlynaz

Can’t Break Us” DJ Morph feat. Frontlynaz From the CD International Adullam House 2008 More Holy Hip Hop from Frontlynaz, but this time, they assist the Chicago-born and now South Florida native DJ Morph with his single, “Can’t Break Us” from Morph’s fifth CD, International. “Can’t Break Us” is HHH versus the record labels and the music industry for all but ignoring the style despite its popularity, the artists’ professionalism and the dues they’ve paid, as well as its Christian-centered message. On the other hand, being ignored might not be so bad. “I don’t care if the labels won’t sign ...

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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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Blogging from the Gospel Music Workshop of America: Thursday, August 18

My final day at GMWA was Thursday, though the convention would not conclude until Friday evening. The morning was spent receiving updates on new music projects from record label owners and promoters. Sandra Smith from Blackberry Records told us about Henry Green’s solo project to be released in January, and the Williams Brothers’ innovative inspirational jazz CD also on its way. Lisa Wheeler, Executive Vice President of ICEE Records, updated everyone on the continued success of Father Hayes and the Warrors’ remix of “Jesus Will Work it Out” on both urban and gospel radio outlets, and that selected members of ...

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