Singles

“Victory Right Now” – Angela “Missy” Billups

“Victory Right Now” Angela “Missy” Billups From My Inspiration II E’Mazin Entertainment (2015) Available on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon Remember the days when disc jockeys would listen to the B side of a record and decide that was the hit? “Get a Job” by the Silhouettes is just one of many examples of flip sides that became radio classics. “Victory Right Now,” from Angela “Missy” Billups’s EP remix of the single, “My Inspiration,” fills this bill. Traditional gospel with a powerful message of hope and faith is Missy’s strong suit and that’s what the uptempo “Victory” is about. It’s hard ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: July 27, 2015

“He Was Always There (That’s Why I Praise Him)” Zenobia Dewely Available on Amazon.com How can you not love a woman who “sangs” and runs a baked goods enterprise at the same time? Zenobia Pinckney Dewely, owner of Zenobia’s Sweet Tooth, is known as the “Cookie Lady,” but she sings the sweetening out of “He Was Always There (That’s Why I Praise Him).” Accompanied by a warbling B3 and an appreciative congregation, Dewely proclaims, “They said I would not make it / But my God, He stepped in right on time.”  The organ follows Dewely as she delivers her tuneful ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: July 20, 2015

“Back to Basics 2.0 – The Remix” Mel Holder feat. Gerald Alston Psalmist Music Group (2015) www.melholder.com There’s a first time for everything, and saxophonist Mel Holder’s single, “Back to Basics,” may be the first gospel song to include a slithery klezmer riff. A chugging beat doubles the tempo of the original “Back to Basics” as guest vocalist Gerald Alston of the Manhattans reflects back on the power and the glory of old school church. He implores listeners to “get back to the rudiments: prayer, praise, worship, and the Word.” Born in Queens, New York, of Panamanian descent, the Grammy- and ...

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“Healer” – Lady Renee

“Healer” Lady Renee www.LadyRenee.org To a conventional CCM melody penned by Australian artist Michael Guglielmucci, Lady Renee sings praises to the Lord with rising passion and gusto that can only come from the wellspring of personal conviction. Towards the end of the song, Lady Renee lines out a litany of issues, including depression, oppression, cancer, and AIDS, but the battle she fought was infertility, which resulted in several miscarriages. Yet and still (as the old folks would say), she and her husband finally conceived a child, which no doubt fueled her emotional outpouring on the single. Lady Renee is Chief ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: July 13, 2015

“The Promise” Tiff Joy Tyscot Records/Walkway Music Group/VMan Entertainment Chicagoan Tiffany Joy McGhee, known as Tiff Joy, wrote and was featured on “Amazing,” the title track of Ricky Dillard & New G’s latest, and arguably most popular, album. “Amazing” earned her a Stellar Award for Song of the Year. We hear Tiff Joy again on “The Promise.” This smoothly-produced, radio-ready single is a declaration to remain steadfast in faith and hope, because when “God said it, that settles it.” She carries the song in her sandy alto until the vamp, when she shouts the song’s explicit and final declaration: “It ...

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“My Everything” – The Selvys

“My Everything” The Selvys Lunjeal Music Group/Malaco Music Group www.malaco.com With the Showers, foreverJONES, the Jones Family Singers, and the Murrills, you’d think that family gospel groups are the latest music fad. In truth, family gospel groups have been around since the beginning. The Ward Singers, Brown Sisters, Davis Sisters, Gay Sisters, Ingramettes, Hightower Brothers, and Pilgrim Jubilees are just a few who spring immediately to mind.  There are scores more. The Selvys of Earle, Arkansas, have been singing the glory down as a professional gospel group for 25 years. Organized by Reverend Jesse Selvy Jr. and Johnnie Selvy, the ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: July 6, 2015

“He Touched Me” Dr. LouDella Evans-Reid and the Traditional Gospel Choir www.loudellaevansreid.com If you like that aggressive, churchy gospel choir sound that came straight outta Chicago, false coda and all, you will love “He Touched Me.” This Thurston Frazier chestnut is given a full-throttle reading by the Traditional Gospel Choir, presented by Rev. Bryant Jones and directed by Dr. LouDella Evans-Reid. Both Jones and Reid have plenty of trad cred. Jones is a pastor and the son of gospel singer Jeannette Robinson Jones and the late Rev. Billy Jones. Reid is the longstanding and aerobic directress of the Fellowship Missionary ...

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“Empty Me” – Javon Inman

“Empty Me” Javon Inman www.javoninman.com Set for release on July 7, “Empty Me” is the latest single from award-winning independent gospel artist Javon Inman. Performed with background vocalists, “Empty Me” is a passionate and bracing mid-tempo ballad on which Inman cries out for divine intervention because “the plans of men,” aka a person’s own agenda, does nothing but cause problems. “I’m placing my life in your hands,” he pleads. “Empty me of me.” Inman’s high note leaps are mini shouts as the song’s dynamic tension builds. Born in Ohio but now a Washington, DC, area resident, Inman came to the ...

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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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