Pick of the Week

JGM Pick of the Week: February 17, 2020

“Jehovah God (I Will Trust You)” Gospel Heritage 2.0 feat. Madelyn Berry From the Integrity Music & Tyscot Records CD Next Wave of Praise (single release date: January 24, 2020) By Bob Marovich Singer-songwriter Madelyn Berry leads her own P&W composition, “Jehovah God (I Will Trust You)” as a choir of worship leaders, assembled by fellow P&W singer-songwriter and producer VaShawn Mitchell, provides the melodic foundation that lets her improvise freely. Although the melody and lyrics are akin to other modern P&W ballads, this one is distinguished by Berry’s passionate delivery, which starts out with fiery intensity and never cools. ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: February 10, 2020

“God Wants to Heal You” Earnest Pugh Black Smoke Music (from the 2017 album Survive) By Bob Marovich Recorded originally in 2006 by Apostle Kevin Davidson and the Voices, the Davidson-penned “God Wants to Heal You,” which was covered by Earnest Pugh as early as 2009, is being promoted as a single. Much shorter in its new go-around than Davidson’s original, the gospel ballad nevertheless receives a faithful treatment from Pugh, whose tenor voice is similar in texture to the composer’s own (both are from Memphis). Pugh also brings along an ensemble of background vocalists to assist as the choir. ...

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“Look at God” – Darrell Luster featuring the Legends of Quartet

“Look at God” Darrell Luster featuring the Legends of Quartet 4 Winds Records / Malaco Music Group (release date: February 2020) www.malaco.com By Bob Marovich What if Spencer Taylor Jr. of the Highway QCs, Rev. Thomas Spann of the Brooklyn All Stars, Willie Rogers of the Soul Stirrers, JoJo Wallace and Horace Thompson of the Sensational Nightingales, and Cleave Graham of the Pilgrim Jubilees got together to sing? Further, what if they told the story of how hard the gospel highway was in the golden era? That’s what you get on “Look at God,” a new composition by Darrell Luster ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: January 20, 2020

“I’ll Never Stop Praising the Lord”Northern Delaware Chapter GMWA Recording ChoirEnon Music Group (single release date: November 15, 2019) By Bob Marovich With “I’ll Never Stop Praising the Lord,” the Northern Delaware Chapter Recording Choir of the Gospel Music Workshop of America continues to eke every utility from its 2016 album God Be Glorified. Whether intentional or not, Aurelius Palmer’s rollicking composition evokes Ricky Dillard and New G’s 1991 smash “More Abundantly” in its relentlessly optimistic tempo, its cascading choral parts, and its use of the phrase “He gave me life more abundantly.” The full-throated thunderous praise of the choir ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: January 6, 2020

“Another Blessing” The Williams Brothers and Lee Williams & the Spiritual QCs From the Blackberry CD My Brother’s Keeper IV (release date: January 25, 2019) By Bob Marovich This song is almost a year old, so yes, I’m late to the party. Still, it’s never too late to feature a duet between two beloved gospel quartet singers: Melvin Williams of the Williams Brothers and Lee Williams of the Spiritual QCS. “Another Blessing” has that shoulder-shaking beat characteristic of both quartet aggregations featured here. The back-and-forth vocalizing between Melvin and Lee at the conclusion is priceless. And when the subject is ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: December 31, 2019

“He Never Failed Me Yet” Greater Harvest Missionary Baptist Church Sanctuary Choir From The Greater Harvest Experience, Vol. 1: Broadcast Edition (release date: October 29, 2019) https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/johnellnicholasthegreaterharve By Bob Marovich For decades, Chicago’s Greater Harvest Missionary Baptist Church has had a touch of Pentecostalism in its worship and music. Though the church hasn’t recorded in quite some time, its Sanctuary Choir recently released an eight-track live project, two years in the making, called the Greater Harvest Experience. The album captures the Bapticostal feel of the church’s worship services. The album includes “He Never Failed Me Yet,” a full-bodied choral workout ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: December 16, 2019

“Kingdom Come” Churchppl and Sir the Baptist Tymple Music (release date: December 13, 2019) By Bob Marovich What “Kingdom Come” lacks in total running time it more than makes up for in theatricality—from a thudding Pentecostal backbeat to ever-shifting musical textures. Like Moses with Pharaoh, the song depicts a standoff between the power of the people and the people with the power. It’s clear who has right on their side and who is going to win in the end. Sir the Baptist mines his family’s Mississippi roots to construct the song’s dramatic ensemble singing. Insisting that they are not a ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: December 10, 2019

“You Deserve” Angela Moss Poole 141st Lane Music (release date: May 24, 2019) www.AngelaMossPoole.com By Bob Marovich Angela Moss Poole gives her own composition, “You Deserve,” a deliciously light touch. The song moves from gentle to overflowing and back again as Angela realizes that trying to describe God ultimately leads to simply praising the indescribable. She brings to this worship song her talent and experience writing for television, film, and in other music genres. It shows in the song’s CCM delicacy, in its gospel guts, and in its pop music construction. Dr. Angela Moss Poole is a graduate of Florida ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: December 4, 2019

“Okay” Rahdyah Renee’ Mike2Mike Music (release date: October 29, 2019) www.rahdyahrenee.com By Bob Marovich “Okay,” the debut single by Philadelphia-born vocalist Rahdyah Renee’, latches onto your subconscious in the first few bars and doesn’t let go until you sit up and take notice. It’s a well-crafted, and well-sung, sacred pop song that reassures listeners life will get better, no matter how bad it seems. God has your back. Michael R. Stokes and Johana McCoy are the writers on “Okay.” A background vocalist for Jekalyn Carr, Rahdyah has also performed with the Voices of Zamar gospel group. Her sound is evocative ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: November 25, 2019

“Do You Know Him” The Fantastic Bibletones From the CD Just As I Am (release date: July 22, 2019) https://www.thefantasticbibletones.com/ By Bob Marovich Former Pick of the Week recipients the Fantastic Bibletones are back with a spirited redux of Brother Joe May’s 1950 breakout hit, “Do You Know Him.” The female quartet from St. Louis takes the Mary Lou Coleman Parker original and turns it into an aisle-walker, fueled by steady drums, pounding piano, and a marvelous power-packed vamp fueled by call-and-response. Organized in 1971 and active until 1998, after which they took a break from the arduous gospel highway, ...

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