Singles

“Jesus Will Fix It” – James Cutts feat. Floyd Mayweather Sr.

“Jesus Will Fix It” (remix) James Cutts feat. Floyd Mayweather Sr. Fight the Good Fight (release date: fall 2019) By Bob Marovich Not every gospel artist can claim to have a world-class boxer in his corner (see what I did there), but James Cutts can. Together, Cutts and Floyd Mayweather Sr., former welterweight boxer who loves gospel music, deliver a quartet-fired remix of their 2017 single, “Jesus Will Fix It.” Mayweather employs up-against-the-ropes fight metaphors to illustrate how Jesus can make a way out of no way. So “don’t quit—no matter how hard it gets.” Throughout, the two trade off ...

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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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“Show Me” – Ms. Ruby

“Show Me” Ms. Ruby ARTX Records (release date: October 28, 2019) By Bob Marovich Written and sung out of heartbreak over the loss of her only son, “Show Me” gives Ruby Settles, aka Ms. Ruby, a chance to shout her troubles over. It’s a sung prayer that moves from gently supplicant (but with a touch of suppressed anger) to passionate shouting as Ms. Ruby seeks strength in the midst of her darkest hour. By the end, after she hears “His voice” giving her the direction she seeks, you get the sense that she is on her way to better days. ...

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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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“Jesus What a Wonderful Child” – Richard Davis

“Jesus What a Wonderful Child” Richard Davis From the R2D Music CD Christmas Rhapsody (release date: November 29, 2019) www.r2dmusic.com By Bob Marovich Richard Davis gives the Angelic Gospel Singers’ “Glory, Glory to the New Born King” a contemporary quartet-style makeover, complete with male background vocalists, a vamp, and enough blue notes and traditional turns to complement the robust rhythm section that carries the song along. It’s nice to hear this carol, for decades the most beloved Christmas song in the African American church community, get some attention in 2019. In addition to operating his R2D Studios, Davis is director ...

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“Standing at the Gates” – Erica Reed

“Standing at the Gates”Erica ReedErica Reed (release date: July 12, 2019)www.ericareedmusic.com By Bob Marovich Emoting like a soulful 1960s torch  singer, soprano Erica Reed beseeches the Lord in “Standing at the Gates” to let her enter the gates of glory. She pleads her case, incorporating church aphorisms along the way. She’s persevered through trials and tribulations, she’s done what she was supposed to do, she’s taught, she’s saved souls, and now she’s knocking on heaven’s door. The minimal accompaniment includes introspective riffs on electric guitar, a warmly purring organ, and cooing background vocalists who stick it out even after the ...

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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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