Singles

JGM Pick of the Week: July 11, 2017

“So Good” Bri (Release date: June 9, 2017) Available from digital music outlets By Bob Marovich When on “So Good” Bri (Briana Babineaux) sings “God’s been so good to me,” there are plenty of reasons for her to express that sentiment. In a relatively short period of time, she went from unknown to YouTube sensation to Billboard-charting artist to multiple Stellar Award winner. But here, she focuses instead on the victory God has given her over the metaphorical shackles that once bound her down spiritually. Her newest single is buoyed by a quick-step tempo and BGVs that return every ounce ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: July 3, 2017

“Grace & Mercy” Tamika Patton feat. Min. Earl Bynum Available on iTunes and other Digital Media www.TamikaPatton.com By Bob Marovich On the independent single, “Grace & Mercy,” Tamika Patton proclaims her gratitude to God for his unconditional love and forgiveness. Such compassion, given “to a wretch like me,” has inspired her to pass it forward. The song’s carefree arrangement and mid-tempo two-step rhythm echo Patton’s exhilaration. She and featured guest vocalist Minister Earl Bynum, who joins halfway through, complement one another well. Their melodic voices, gilded with gospel grit, have a tangy blend, like salt and vinegar, as they go ...

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“The Call” – Personal Praise

“The Call” Personal Praise RoBabies Records (release date: March 28, 2017) www.MyPersonalPraise.com By Bob Marovich Close your eyes, and with the exception of the first few seconds of throbbing electronica, you’d swear “The Call” is a record from the ‘80s. Well it is. . .kinda. Originally introduced in the late ’80s by brother-sister duo Anointed, “The Call” was recently covered by another sibling duo, Personal Praise. The teenaged Tez and Yana of Personal Praise were not even born when “The Call” was first performed, but they channel all the energy of ‘80s electric polyrhythms and two-part harmonies into this song ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: June 27, 2017

“Fly Away” Shonda English feat. Dorothy Norwood Available at digital music stores www.shondaenglish.com By Bob Marovich It might be intimidating to duet with a legend such as Dorothy Norwood, but to Shonda English, The Storyteller of Gospel is “Aunt Dot.” It was “Aunt Dot,” in fact, who brought Bob Jeffreys and Sanchez Harley’s easy-going, bittersweet “Fly Away” to her attention. Good timing. English was just getting over the loss of her father, Bishop W. T. English, and needed some inspirational cheering up. “Fly Away” fit the bill. Reflecting on the day they will fly away to the resting place where ...

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“Trouble in My Way” – New Friendship Anointed Voices feat. Betty Lott

“Trouble in My Way” New Friendship Anointed Voices feat. Betty Lott From the CD A Long Time Coming: Legacy Fulfilled https://www.facebook.com/NewFriendshipMissionaryBaptistChurch/ By Bob Marovich “Trouble in My Way” is not the kind of gospel song you hear on urban radio, necessarily, but it is the kind of gospel song you hear in small churches located in urban centers and small towns across America. It is with gusto that Betty Holmes-Lott leads Gary, Indiana’s Anointed Voices of the New Friendship Missionary Baptist Church. This superb pewburner has been sung at every conceivable tempo by some of gospel music’s greatest artists—from the ...

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“He’s My Rock” – Patrick Lundy & Ministers of Music

“He’s My Rock” Patrick Lundy & Ministers of Music (2017) www.plundymom.com By Bob Marovich Birthed more than twenty years ago out of the AME Church, Patrick Lundy & Ministers of Music offers a passionately rendered conventional R&P called “He’s My Rock.” The mid-tempo selection comes complete with the brassy vibrato-laden high harmonies that are as quintessentially gospel as the warble of the Hammond B3. While I prefer the semi-classical lushness of Lundy & MOM’s 2014 “Take it to the Lord in Prayer,” “He’s My Rock,” written by Marcus Johnson, is more radio-friendly and apt to be a go-to service opener ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: June 14, 2017

“Alabaster Box” Lillie Nicole McCloud From the album Red Apples (release date: May 27, 2015) https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/lillienicolemccloud By Bob Marovich In 2013, Lillie Nicole McCloud of Orlando, Florida, wowed all four judges and the entire audience on Season 3 of the television competition show The X Factor with her rendition of CeCe Winans’ lovely Biblical ballad, “Alabaster Box.” McCloud’s dramatic pacing channels the late Whitney Houston and captures the gravitas of the story in Matthew about the woman who anoints Jesus’s head with oil. But the song, which highlights the tale’s message about the power of worship and salvation, also has strains ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: June 5, 2017

“I Am Blessed” MarQuez Curtis feat. Tiffanie “Tutu” Agee Mary Elizabeth Music Group (2017) By Bob Marovich For those wondering what Tiffanie “Tutu” Agee of the Truthettes has been up to lately, it’s joining MarQuez Curtis in giving effusive testimony for blessings bestowed by God—blessings that neither singer takes for granted. That’s the premise of “I Am Blessed,” a spirited hand-clapper that blends the sleekness of contemporary gospel with the churchiness of quartet singing, complete with a vamp that could have gone on even longer. From Memphis, Tennessee, MarQuez Curtis attends Light of Glory International Church (LOGIC) under the leadership ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 29, 2017

“He Won’t Let You Down” Victoria Brown From the album Journey (release date: May 2, 2017) www.victoriabrownministries.com By Bob Marovich Hearing “He Won’t Let You Down” leaves no doubt that traditional gospel is in Victoria Brown’s DNA. Brown travels from sweet to shout on this bluesy and evangelistic selection. It is as much an internal conversation about inaccurate past assumptions as a directive to the listener that only God can make things right. The song’s vamp gives Brown space to extemporize, which I imagine pulls audiences out of their seat in affirmation whenever Brown sings it live. No stranger to the recording process, ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 22, 2017

“Lord, You’ve Been Good to Me” Tim Woodson & the Heirs of Harmony Peacock Music Group (release date: April 11, 2017) www.peacockmusicgroup.com By Bob Marovich With their version of a gospel quartet classic recorded in 1961 by the Original Five Blind Boys (and credited to the late Lloyd Woodard), Tim Woodson & the Heirs of Harmony give a contemporary touch to what is otherwise a straight ahead old-school sound. The track opens with a low-volume and stripped down version of the song and then transitions, as from black and white to color, into the Heirs of Harmony’s version. “Lord, You’ve Been Good to ...

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