Pick of the Week

TBGB Pick of the Week: July 7, 2014

“Amazing Worth” Charles Butler & Trinity feat. Jeremiah Hicks From the EPM Music Group CD Better www.epmmusicgroup.com Gospel enthusiasts first became aware of Washington, DC’s Charles Butler & Trinity when the ensemble backed Earnest Pugh on his 2009 hit, “Rain On Us.”  In February 2013, the group released its debut album, Better, on Pugh’s EPM Music Group imprint. “Amazing Worth” is the latest single release off of Better.  While the song follows Pugh’s formula for delivering graceful P&W anthems, the passion of the singers is what sells it. Together with the musicians, Jeremiah Hicks and Trinity eke every ounce of ...

Read More »

TBGB Pick of the Week: July 1, 2014

“All of My Help” North Carolina Community Choir feat. Luther Barnes From the 4 Winds Records CD A Story To Tell www.malaco.com The North Carolina Community Choir does it again.  The choir’s latest single, “All of My Help,” is another example of how traditional gospel music structure never goes out of style.  That’s because it stirs up deep-seated emotions, from the meaty lyrics and hefty harmonies to the measured church melody, 12/8 rocking chair rhythm, and warbling B3.  Luther Barnes’s lead and the choir’s response build to a strong conclusion guaranteed to get arms waving and saints to shouting. The single ...

Read More »

TBGB Pick of the Week: June 23, 2014

“Hello Sunshine” Kyla Jade (released May 23, 2014) www.kylasings.com For her debut solo single, Kyla Jade, lead vocalist for Dr. Bobby Jones’ Nashville Super Choir, revisits “Hello Sunshine,” the late 1960s hit for the choirs of Jessy Dixon and Rev. Maceo Woods.     It’s an excellent choice for Kyla’s friendly, expansive soprano.  She rides the melody like a surfer on a wave, navigating its ebbs and flows through to the denouement. Some gospel purists may grimace at the bouncy contemporary arrangement, but keep in mind how modern “Hello Sunshine” was when it came out more than 40 years ago.  Nevertheless, ...

Read More »

TBGB Pick of the Week: June 16, 2014

Anointed By God “I Give You My All” One Voice Media (released March 18, 2014) Available on Amazon and iTunes Fabulous gospel vocalist LeJuene Thompson leads this lovely ballad of unbridled discipleship.  Anointed by God added Sharonda Walker-Mitchell, Carla Barnes, and Cachet Morganfield to make the background more sweetly treble-focused, and it works.  This West Memphis, Arkansas, teen group won a 2013 Stellar Award for Children Project of the Year, and is nominated for two Rhythm of Gospel Awards.  Not bad for a group formed only four years ago!

Read More »

TBGB Pick of the Week: May 26, 2014

“Better”The ShowersA&P Records (2014) Nothing like being pushed to the edge of the fire, metaphorically speaking, to produce a good gospel song.  “I’m tired of my life / I’m tired of the pain / I’m tired of my past / the guilt and the shame,” the Showers sing on “Better,” their second single, written and produced by Deon Kipping. To an appealing but intense arrangement, the Showers pray for the ability to change their lives for good. The ten sibling singers from Louisiana plan to release their national debut album this summer. Watch the video to “Better” here:  :

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 »

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 »

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 »

TBGB Pick of the Week: April 28, 2014

Demetrius Woods “Nothing Without You” Available via online retailers April 29, 2014 The artist formerly known as Holy Boy converts Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You” into “Nothing Without You.”   The gospelization makes sense.  It’s a short distance lyrically between “If I ain’t got you” to “If I ain’t got you, Jesus.”  Plus, Keys’ song sounded gospel inspired to begin with. Woods maintains fealty to the original in his use of relaxed soul and mellow harmonies, while his vocals transition from smooth to shout.  It is a satisfying version of the 2003 pop hit.

Read More »

TBGB Pick of the Week: June 18, 2012

“The Only God” Livre’ Glory2Glory Records/PRODIGY Entertainment Group http://livreofficial.blogspot.com/ Available on iTunes On their single, “The Only God,” Livre’ (pron. liv-ray – it means “free” in Latin) praises in tight, bright harmonies evocative of foreverJONES.  Theirs is a gentle, pretty sound that blends CCR and gospel. While singing at the Bronx Mass Choir Reunion program, this twelve-member group (seven singers and five musicians) from New York City caught the attention of Alicia Keys’ managers Jeff and J. Conrad Robinson.  They subsequently backed Keys on her “How Does it Feel to Fly,” and she will reciprocate on their debut CD, currently ...

Read More »