Singles

JGM Pick of the Week: July 7, 2020

“Heal the Brokenness” Mietta Stancil Farrar & Tehillah From the CD The Greatness of God (original release date: 2013) By Bob Marovich Many gospel songs feel as if they were written about current times. Although Mietta Stancil Farrar & Tehillah of  Paterson, New Jersey, initially released “Heal the Brokenness” seven years ago, it falls in this category. This plea for the Lord to do what nobody else can do is made all the more urgent when Mietta and Tehillah increase the passion in their pleading by incrementally boosting the volume of their voices. Several artists have been re-purposing songs from ...

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“God is Good” – Ethan Kent

“God is Good” Ethan Kent Feat. Ryan Brockington, Arie & Eme & Tamerick Brazzell Tonic Blueprint LLC (release date: June 12, 2020) http://ethankentonline.com/ By Bob Marovich During times like these, Ethan Kent’s declaration that “Life ain’t always fair but God is good” is critical to keep close to the heart. This pop-infused song of encouragement receives able assistance from Dallas-based artists Ryan Brockington, Arie & Eme, and Tamerick Brazzell. Their voices swirl around Kent like a disembodied choir. While Kent is singing his own personal troubles over, the song is dedicated to everyone struggling with COVID-19, racial injustice, financial issues, ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: June 29, 2020

“Another Chance” The McDuffies McDuffie’s Music Group (release date: March 13, 2020) By Bob Marovich The McDuffies’ single, “Another Chance,” is bittersweet. In this unhurried quartet ballad, lead vocalist Ricky McDuffie sings about the times that God “looked beyond his faults” to bestow upon him another chance, even when he “didn’t deserve it.” God woke him up, he adds, “when I could have been dead and gone, sleeping in a cold grave,” and even reversed some bad news he received from his doctor. All encouraging. But alas, when it’s your time, it’s your time. Since recording the song, the illness ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: June 22, 2020

“On and On” Darius Paulk feat. Janae Slack-Smith From the AIR / Malaco CD Strong (release date: February 20, 2020) www.malaco.com By Bob Marovich Although the uncomplicated worship ballad “On and On” has a decided pop flavor, the harmonica and pedal steel give it a contemporary country vibe. The single features fine singing from Darius Paulk and flights of lithe-to-muscular soprano from Janae Slack-Smith, all of it held together by the melodic background vocalists. Paulk is perhaps best known for penning “Nobody Greater,” the career-making single for VaShawn Mitchell. Listen closely, and you’ll hear that “On and On” has shades ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: June 15, 2020

“Be Alright”Dexter Walker & Zion MovementIntersound (release date: May 29, 2020) By Bob Marovich It’s hard to believe, but on “Be Alright,” the award-winning Chicago gospel choir Dexter Walker & Zion Movement moved the needle on its effervescence-o-meter, already at fever pitch, further to the right. The song’s message is appropriate for all times, but especially for this time: keep the faith, trust in God, and everything will be all right. Lead vocalist Jazmine Jones shouts, squalls, and otherwise wrecks the church on this frenetic and relentless musical cousin of a praise break. The choir responds with full-throated section work ...

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“Lift the Savior” – AJ Collier & the Band of Believers

“Lift the Savior” AJ Collier and the Band of Believers Believers Band Music Group https://www.ajcbob.com/ By Bob Marovich Here’s some Sunday morning old-school church music from AJ Collier and the Band of Believers of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “Lift the Savior” raises its praise with hand clapping, full-throttle musicianship, open-throated choral chords, and dense harmonies. Though there is a main musical motif, all told, “Lift the Savior” is more a moment of joyous exuberance, created to move the spirit of the church, than a through-composed song. AJ Collier organized the Band of Believers in 2016. In addition to serving in multiple roles ...

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“Everyday” – K-Anthony

“Everyday” K-Anthony K-Anthony Music (release date: May 15, 2020) www.kanthonylive.com By Bob Marovich Expressions of worship come in many forms. Some are clothed in hymnody, others in straight-outta-church gospel, and yet others in flourishes of pop. “Everyday” is the latter. Christian singer K-Anthony coats this explosion of joy in a sugary-sweet melody with bright beats, buzzing electronica, and breezy chord changes. The earnest lyrics, sung with barely-contained enthusiasm, is in the language of someone whose life has just changed for the better. And there’s “no going back, I’ll not be the same.” From Falmouth, Jamaica, K-Anthony is a classically-trained musician ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: June 9, 2020

“Stand On His Promises” Tamika Patton feat. Pastor Korey Mickie (release date: May 22, 2020) www.TamikaPattonMusic.com By Bob Marovich Philadelphia native and fiery gospel singer Tamika Patton sings the stuffing out of this double-time church wrecker that encourages those who “stumble and fall” to keep going, “lean on the Lord,” and “stand on His promises.” Pastor Korey Mickie interjects with impassioned evangelism. The single, written by Patton and the late Eric B. Franks, also of the City of Brotherly Love, was produced and arranged by Ramon Shelton. It moves with the motive force of praise break music, which, for many, ...

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“Follow” – Marshalee

“Follow” Marshalee Praise Nation (original release date: 2015, re-release date: 2020) By Bob Marovich Christian singer-songwriter Marshalee Ellis-Kehlhem co-wrote with Jeff Pardo this breezy anthem about walking into her destiny by following Jesus, even if it requires climbing high mountains. That’s the price of discipleship. A touch of her Jamaican accent adds crispness to her vocal delivery while the bouncy arrangement and instrumentation combine elements of modern pop and country. Although released in 2015, “Follow” is being re-introduced to radio to garner greater attention than it got five years ago. It doesn’t sound any the worse for wear. Born and ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: June 1, 2020

“A Charge”Desmond Roberson & the Roberson BunchFrom the 3 Sonz Records Here’s the Story(release date: May 22, 2020) By Bob Marovich Don’t let the amusing Brady Bunch-like cover fool you. There’s some serious singing on “A Charge,” from Desmond Roberson & the Roberson Bunch. It is an exhilarating Pentecostal-meets-quartet take on the hymn “A Charge to Keep I Have,” arranged by husband-and-wife team Desmond and Tammy Roberson. The piece, which serves as the finale of a live recording by the family band from Valdosta, Georgia, allows the congregation a chance to get their last long praise on. Desmond leads with ...

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