Singles

JGM Pick of the Week: March 8, 2021

“We Need You”Titus ShowersA&P Records (release date: January 15, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Alternately balladic and rhythmic, Titus Showers’ new single “We Need You” is a passionate, moving entreaty to the Lord to help the world search for peace, regain its faith, and answer the most fundamental question during a time of turmoil: “why?” Midway through, Titus shifts his prayer from global to local, seeking a word from up above to help resolve the questions troubling his own heart. He recognizes that God is the answer, for him, for everyone. Co-written by Titus along with Ernest Vaughan and Owen ...

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“Residue” – Jason Nelson

“Residue” Jason Nelson Tyscot / Fair Trade (release date: March 5, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Those who know Jason Nelson for his gospel balladry will be interested to hear his musical shift on “Residue.” Nelson’s first single in three years is more rhythmic in arrangement and vocals than his trademark songs “Shifting the Atmosphere” and “Forever.” His voice, meaty and muscular, seems more so when fronting a rhythm section in which his own bass guitar work is front and center. To describe in contemporary terms how God cleanses the soul completely and sets it free, Nelson pulls on dual ...

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“Wait” – Kevan Peabody

“Wait” Kevan Peabody Twinkem Productions (release date: October 16, 2020) www.twinkemp.com By Robert M. Marovich Taking Proverbs 3:5-6 in part for his text, veteran gospel singer Kevan Peabody implores listeners on “Wait” not to despair but to trust and “wait on the Lord.” To a traditional-flavored but sonically robust arrangement featuring piano and warbling organ, Peabody croons his declarations in a mellow tenor peppered by blues notes. “Trust and never doubt,” he sings, “God will always bring you out.” The song, written by Steven Roberts, has the feel of a church solo augmented by a full studio backing. Bay Area ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: March 1, 2021

“You Kept Me” Rev. Luther Barnes & the Restoration Worship Center Choir Shanachie Entertainment / SRT Entertainment www.shanachie.com By Robert M. Marovich Like the title track of the Reverend Luther Barnes and the Restoration Worship Center Choir’s five-star album, Look to the Hills, the new single “You Kept Me” has traditional gospel roots but sufficient musical heft to garner the ear of today’s listeners. Barnes’ pleading lead (you can always count on a solid vocal from the veteran quartetter) is a gush of gratitude to a God who never gave up on him. On the album-length version, the assembly builds ...

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“Keeper” – De’Leon Carr ft. Duranice Pace

“Keeper” De’Leon Carr ft. Duranice Pace From the Enon Music Group CD Life Is (release date: February 19, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Before gospel singer Duranice Pace passed away on January 14, 2021, she was the featured singer on a track from De’Leon Carr’s new album, Life Is. “Keeper,” originally written and recorded by Bishop Eric McDaniel, finds the two singers blending their distinctive voices on a song of gratitude to God for blessings received and obstacles avoided. To the traditional gospel waltz tempo, Durance and De’Leon slowly build the temperature to evangelistic as they take turns declaring God’s ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: February 22, 2021

“Pull Together” Roy & Revelation Malaco / 4 Winds Records (2021) www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich “When you look in the mirror / Are you proud of your reflection?” That’s what Roy & Revelation want to know on their new single, “Pull Together.” When people continue to be judged by the color of their skin and not the content of their character, it’s time to take a stand…again. That’s the only way we can make the world a better place, they sing. And those who don’t want to join the multicultural protest, well, they need to reconsider the purpose of ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: February 15, 2021

“Pick You Back Up” Michael David Harrison feat. Beverly Crawford Independent (release date: January 31, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich If the jaunty piano opening doesn’t wake the dead from their slumber, Beverly Crawford’s characteristic evangelistic vocalizing will do the trick. Pick You Back Up” was produced by Linton Weems and penned by up-and-coming songwriter Michael David Harrison. Originally from Virginia but now living in Houston, Harrison mines that churchy traditional vibe to provide this unsubtle reminder that when you stumble and fall into the arms of the devil, the Lord is there to pick you up. If you are ...

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“Stand Up” – Damon Little

“Stand Up” Damon Little Little World Music/Partners Music Company (release date: February 5, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Damon Little croons “Stand Up” to lyrics that sound culled from late ‘60s message music and an arrangement that evokes ‘70s Al Green. Little references the tragic fact that a black man can’t be certain he will make it home to his family on any given day. He calls for racial unity when asking black and white to take a stand against hatred and racially-motivated violence. “We can no longer sit down and endure this pain,” he sings, “stand up for what ...

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“Still Everything” – Benita Jones

“Still Everything” Benita Jones From the album The Entreating [Live] Tyscot Music & Entertainment (2020) www.tyscot.com By Robert M. Marovich Benita Jones (formerly known as Benita Washington) digs deep down into her solar plexus for “Still Everything,” a song about the omnipresent light in life’s darkest moments. “Still Everything” is inspired by true events—Jones’s own. She channels her 2018 divorce, relocation to a new city, and experience raising two teenage children by herself into this piece, which she co-wrote with Michael Farren and Ernest Vaughn. The song’s transition from melodic CCM to gut-wrenching gospel is a testament to a songwriting ...

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“Never Shakes, Never Will” – The Wood Drake Sessions

“Never Shakes, Never Will” The Wood Drake Sessions (Independent; release date: January 19, 2021) https://thewooddrakesessions.com/ By Robert M. Marovich Taking their text from Psalm 121 (“I lift my eyes to the hills”), the Wood Drake Sessions offers a word of personal encouragement in “Never Shakes, Never Will.” The song is bathed in an acoustic, laidback Levon Helm-meets-Southern-Gospel vibe. Crisp production makes for a peaceful, easy listening experience. Paul Ranheim and Kirk Sauers, aka The Wood Drake Sessions, are friends who met initially in Nashville. Today, Paul is a minister and songwriter in Colorado, and Kirk is a worship leader in ...

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