Reviews

Reel Brothers – The Reel Experience

Reel Brothers The Reel Experience Shekinah Praise Music Publishing (2011) http://www.reverbnation.com/reelbrothers By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog On some quartet projects today, the singers and musicians seem as if they are in a tug-of-war over who should be most prominently featured.  On The Reel Experience, the Reel Brothers gospel quartet and their musicians sound like best friends, inseparable and complementary.   Reading the liner notes, one discovers why: the singers and musicians are one and the same. The Reel Brothers come from West Memphis, Arkansas, and are Min. Antwan Stinnett, Min, Devin Brown, Jeromy Thomas, Nick Merritt, Ricky Reel, ...

Read More »

TBGB Pick of the Week: May 19, 2014

“Only God Can”Danetra Moore Tyscot Records (2014) www.tyscot.com Danetra Moore’s anthem “Only God” sings the praises of He who can do anything and everything, including move the mountains, calm the raging sea, and “take someone like me to use for His glory.” Introduced by a delicate acoustic piano, the song traverses through a robust contemporary arrangement and concludes with Moore’s bluesy testimonial vamp.  By the end, Moore has demonstrated a vocal range from cooing gentleness to evangelistic shouting and squalling. Originally from Stockton, California and now living in Atlanta, Danetra Moore is a singer, actor, and model who appeared on ...

Read More »

Deitrick Haddon’s LXW (League of Xtraordinary Worshippers)

Deitrick Haddon’s LXW (League of Xtraordinary Worshippers) Tyscot Records (released April 22, 2014) www.tyscot.com By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog Deitrick Haddon and Tyscot Records want to bring the choir back.  To make manifest their pledge, they’ve released Deitrick Haddon’s LXW (League of Xtraordinary Worshippers).  The album not only celebrates the youthful verve of the gospel choir but features the talent of some of today’s most acclaimed directors. The League of Xtraordinary Worshippers sounds like a team of superheroes—indeed, those who purchase a hard copy of the DVD get an LXW comic book—but it’s a choir led by ...

Read More »

“I Survived” – Marquis Jelks

“I Survived”Marquis Jelks Available on iTunes Accompanied only by warm, warbling B3 organ, Marquis Jelks delivers “I Survived” in the conversational singing style that goes back nearly as far as gospel music itself. A sung testimony in the mode of “I’m Still Here” and “I Can’t Complain,” “I Survived” has that church solo vibe.  Jelks’s elastic voice makes it all the more so.  The only thing missing is the live audience clapping, standing, and shouting encouragement to Jelks as he sings his troubles over. From Decatur, Illinois, Marquis R. Jelks is Founder and CEO of the Song Factory, a business ...

Read More »

The Williams Singers – Destined

The Williams Singers Destined Deznell Music Group (rel. April 2014) By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog Not to be confused with the Williams Brothers of Mississippi, the Williams Singersis a quartet from Indianapolis, Indiana, the city that brought you, among other artists, Brown’s Inspirational Singers, Robert Turner and the Silver Hearts, and Al “the Bishop” Hobbs. Darnell, Dezrale, and Dezmien are the Indiana Williamses, and their new album, Destined, is one of the best gospel quartet albums I’ve heard this year.  You’ve got to love a group that name checks the Fairfield Four, the Dixie Hummingbirds, and the ...

Read More »

DJ Caleb – Got Gospel? Vol. 2

DJ Caleb Got Gospel? Vol. 2 Email: djcaleb@gmail.com By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog DJ Caleb is a gospel DJ, which means he spins gospel music for special events, not on the radio.  He releases mixtapes to promote his turntable talent.  Got Gospel? Vol. 2 is an excellent example of his sampling skills and mix magic. The set opens with a selection of joyfully brisk songs from indie and major gospel artists—Mary Mary and Lecrae to Onitsha and Leah Smith—nearly all of whom have been reviewed and/or interviewed for The Black Gospel Blog at one time or another.  ...

Read More »

TBGB Pick of the Week: May 12, 2014

“Sunday A.M.” Karen Clark Sheard Karew Records (2014) www.karewrecords.com I knew “Sunday A.M.” had all the makings of a fine gospel single the minute I heard Karen Clark Sheard sing it at her September 2013 live recording session in Chicago.  Unlike Mary Mary’s 2012 “Sunday Morning,” which anticipates services with tambourine-shaking glee, “Sunday A.M.” is the quiescent yearning of a world-weary soul who looks forward to Sunday worship as a time for much-needed refilling and refreshing. The delicate choral touch of Donald Lawrence, who co-wrote the song with Rudy Currence and produced the session with Daniel Weatherspoon, is ever present.  ...

Read More »

Roscoe Robinson & the Birmingham BlindBoys – God’s Love Lifted Me Higher

Roscoe Robinson & the Birmingham BlindBoys God’s Love Lifted Me Higher Mississippi Delta Blues (2014) www.mississippideltabluesinfo.com By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog Gospel quartet singers are the Energizer Bunnies of music.  Decade after decade, through innumerable personnel changes and stylistic revolutions, they keep on going. Such is the story of veteran gospel quartet lead Roscoe Robinson.  Although sighted, the 85-year-old Robinson has sung with just about every blind quartet in existence.  He recently organized the Birmingham BlindBoys, named for his Alabama hometown. In April, the Birmingham BlindBoys—Paul Montgomery, Rev. Julius Love, James Perkins, and Robinson—released their debut album ...

Read More »

Lisa Knowles and the Brown Singers – The Evolution Continues

Lisa Knowles and the Brown Singers The Evolution Continues One Voice Media (released March 18, 2014) Available from Amazon.com By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog Lisa Knowles of Memphis, Tennessee, is one to watch in 2014. Not only does she sing electrifying solos as a member of James Fortune & FIYA, and has guested on many gospel CDs over the past several years, but she demonstrates her devotion to gospel quartet as the leader of Lisa Knowles and the Brown Singers.  The ladies’ latest album, The Evolution Continues, combines contemporary gospel flair with Deep South quartet soulfulness. In ...

Read More »

TBGB Pick of the Week: May 6, 2014

“Still God” Angel Taylor Epitome (2014) Available from Amazon.com Dressed in a sumptuous sapphire gown, the statuesque Angel Taylor of the Grammy-nominated Trin-i-tee 5:7 sang “Still God” before more than 8,000 at the Allstate Gospel SuperFest in Chicago.  This passionate love song to God, wrapped in a power pop ballad, is from Angel’s forthcoming debut album as a solo artist.  “Nobody can make me feel the way you do, and that is why I love you,” she sings, showcasing Sarah McLachlan-esque breathy soprano notes at the beginning, Rihanna’s chesty delivery in the middle, and flourishes of melismatic gospel in the ...

Read More »