Singles

JGM Pick of the Week: June 29, 2015

“Back 2 Life” Juzang From the EP Back 2 Life www.juzangmusic.com Check out the home page of the website of Alabama-based female gospel/inspirational group Juzang, and you will see the trio peacefully slumbering. Make no mistake: the ladies aren’t slumbering on their single, “Back 2 Life.”  They make a joyful noise by coupling sweet harmonies with powerful pulsating blasts of EDM. The song encourages listeners to put their trust in Jesus because “he’s got that power.” Representing power on the single is a sonic explosion of thumping electronic rhythm, courtesy of producer Fred “Blaze” Crawford. Gospel music runs in the ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: June 22, 2015

“Something About That Name” Lorraine Stancil Anointed Sounds Records (2015) I’m rather stoked about the recent release of so many traditional-style gospel singles, including this one by Psalmist Lorraine Stancil-Lawson. Product of the Pentecostal church, Psalmist Stancil is known to kick off her shoes just like Shirley Caesar, and on “Something About that Name,” she shouts and squalls like Pastor Caesar in full throes of sanctified passion. Stancil’s call and response with the background vocalists/choir heightens the tension to the point where she emits a couple of dog whistle soprano notes. Also like Caesar, Lorraine Stancil-Lawson has entered the ministry. ...

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“Find a Way to Love” – Mr. McCloud

“Find a Way to Love” Mr. McCloud Concrete Records Available on iTunes starting July 1, 2015 On “Find a Way to Love,” Detroit Pastor Robert McCloud puts his estimable hip hop experience to work in the service of good. He offers a general apology to all those he has hurt in the past, and in song and rap asks God to help him “love a little bit more.” Specifically, McCloud wants to leave and stay out of a world full of falsehood and hate and find his way to a world full of love, where he has a family, children, ...

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“Hey Daddy” – Derrell Thomas

“Hey Daddy” Derrell Thomas Full Circle Records (2015) www.fullcirclerecords.us Most likely because of the primacy of the family matriarch, but also because of gospel’s roots in Victorian-era hymnody, gospel music is brimming with songs about Mother. “Mother Bowed,” “Mother Prayed for Me,” “I Can See Everybody’s Mother,” “Mother Sang Those Songs,” and so on. Father is far less represented but no less important.  Evelyn Turrentine-Agee’s 2010 “My Daddy” is a Father’s Day favorite, but the radio airwaves this Father’s Day will undoubtedly also include spins of Derrell Thomas singing Lesley Brice and Qasim Coleman’s “Hey Daddy.” To a cool soul ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: June 15, 2015

“I’ll Stand” Lady Voncile feat. Pastor R. L. Bush http://gloryboundrecords.bigcartel.com To the whirring of an organ and sassy opening licks from a guitar and piano, Lady Voncile Belcher delivers this church-ready solo about faith with flatfooted conviction. She hands the microphone to the Reverend R. L. Bush, who gives the verse a thorough working over in his preacher/quartet leader rasp. Later, they duet while the background vocalists reply antiphonally. If this performance was recorded live, you’d hear the saints in the background, shouting encouragement. The release concert for her latest CD, Phenomenal, on which “I’ll Stand” is included, takes place ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: June 8, 2015

“I’ll Make It All Right” Trish Standley From the forthcoming Jan’s Joy CD No One Else www.trishstandley.com Gospel thrush and fashionista Trish Standley covers the Beautiful Zion Missionary Baptist Church Choir of Chicago’s 1973 hit, “I’ll Make It All Right,” with all of the joyous soulful funkiness of the original. The backing group hand claps as Standley delivers the encouraging message, weaving melodic lines in her upper register. Standley didn’t have to do much more than reprise the original to make it musically relevant because it was ahead of its time when it was released more than 40 years ago. ...

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“All Praise” – Anton Milton & Glorified

“All Praise” Anton Milton & Glorified Lunjeal Music Group/Malaco Music Group (2015) www.malaco.com South Carolina native Anton Milton, now working out of New Jersey, cites Israel Houghton, Fred Hammond, and John P. Kee among his inspirations. His single, “All Praise,” testifies to this with its energetic ensemble vibe. The kind of cheerful though somewhat conventional R&P selection that worship teams like to open the service with, “All Praise” features plenty of antiphonal vocal play between Milton and Glorified. The ensemble comes from Allen Carr’s Lunjeal Music Group, the Arkansas imprint that gave us Allen’s daughter, Jekalyn Carr. Lunjeal’s partnership with ...

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“Holy Spirit” – Marjane’

“Holy Spirit” Marjane’ J Jane Music Group (2015) www.marjanemusic.com Marjane’s lovely vocals float over this passionate, urgent call for spiritual guidance in daily life. The background vocalists are all Marjane, too—a multi-tracking technique first used in gospel in the early 1950s by Clara Ward and fellow West Coaster Doris Akers. The R&B flavor to the track harkens back to Marjane’s initial pursuit of a secular music career before she tired of being objectified by a fashion-and-looks obsessed industry. Singing for God was how she began and where she returned. “Holy Spirit” is the Stellar-nominated indie singer-songwriter’s latest radio single and a ...

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“Thank You” – Tonya Lewis-Taylor

“Thank You” Tonya Lewis-Taylor From the CD Delayed But Not Denied www.tonyalewistaylor.com “Thank You” is a contemporary gospel song delivered energetically by Tonya Lewis-Taylor, who seems to summon her estimable vocal strength from within several vital organs to offer a declaration of gratitude to God. The background vocalists urge her on as, together, they ascend to increasing levels of passion. The song, which is the lead single from Lewis-Taylor’s debut album, Delayed But Not Denied, was recorded live in New York City and landed on the Billboard Gospel National Airplay chart at #16, right between female vocal groups Zie’l and ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 25, 2015

“In His Hands” The McDonald Sisters Ra-Ola Music Inc. (release date: April 1, 2015) A family group with more than 30 years of gospel singing experience, the McDonald Sisters of Fayetteville, North Carolina, continue to represent traditional gospel quartet with their new single, “In His Hands.” To an aisle-walking, handclapping tempo propelled by distinctive southern soulfulness, the ladies put their burdens and their deliverance in God’s hands. They instruct listeners to do the same. They know whereof they speak. Members Valerie, Deborah, Evelyn, Pamela, and matriarch Priscilla have survived cancer, a stroke, and a ruptured appendix, among other challenges. The ...

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