Singles

TBGB Pick of the Week: June 23, 2014

“Hello Sunshine” Kyla Jade (released May 23, 2014) www.kylasings.com For her debut solo single, Kyla Jade, lead vocalist for Dr. Bobby Jones’ Nashville Super Choir, revisits “Hello Sunshine,” the late 1960s hit for the choirs of Jessy Dixon and Rev. Maceo Woods.     It’s an excellent choice for Kyla’s friendly, expansive soprano.  She rides the melody like a surfer on a wave, navigating its ebbs and flows through to the denouement. Some gospel purists may grimace at the bouncy contemporary arrangement, but keep in mind how modern “Hello Sunshine” was when it came out more than 40 years ago.  Nevertheless, ...

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“I’m More Than a Conqueror” – Ajaay Swindell & Company

“I’m More Than a Conqueror” Ajaay Swindell & Company www.ajaayswindell.com As much affirmation as prayer, “I’m More Than a Conqueror” is a hard-hitting, rock-fueled contemporary gospel that encourages the listener to remain steadfast in belief.  It is performed in the style of James Fortune & FIYA, with lead vocalist Ajaay Swindell interjecting spoken declarations as the six-member vocal ensemble maintains the melody.  Ajaay Swindell hails from the same family that produced the famous Swindell Brothers, a popular gospel quartet and recording artists of the 1950s and 1960s.

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TBGB Pick of the Week: June 16, 2014

Anointed By God “I Give You My All” One Voice Media (released March 18, 2014) Available on Amazon and iTunes Fabulous gospel vocalist LeJuene Thompson leads this lovely ballad of unbridled discipleship.  Anointed by God added Sharonda Walker-Mitchell, Carla Barnes, and Cachet Morganfield to make the background more sweetly treble-focused, and it works.  This West Memphis, Arkansas, teen group won a 2013 Stellar Award for Children Project of the Year, and is nominated for two Rhythm of Gospel Awards.  Not bad for a group formed only four years ago!

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‘Wanna Be Close” – J Kingdom

“Wanna Be Close”J Kingdomwww.jkingdom.com In 2009, Pastor Michael J. Fisher (aka J Kingdom) led Compton, California’s Voices of Destiny choir to the Verizon How Sweet the Sound competition, where the group took top honors as “the best church choir in America.” J Kingdom puts as much of a non-traditional spin on his solo work as he does on his choral duties. Fueled by a galloping rhythm and embraced by EDM, his new solo single, “Wanna Be Close,” is about a desire to be part of God, who makes all things possible.  The arrangement plugs the high voltage intensity of the ...

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Mississippi Mass Choir – “God’s On Your Side”

“God’s On Your Side” Mississippi Mass Choir feat. Le’Andria Johnson From the Malaco CD Declaration of Dependence  (release date: June 3, 2014) www.malaco.com Put the Mississippi Mass Choir together with Le’Andria Johnson, and you have a potent combination of old school passion.  Opening with a Kirk Franklin-esque call and response, the choral voices rise in intensity as Johnson sings her part from creamy smooth to scorching fortissimo.  The song, written by the team of Stan Jones and Jerry Smith, encourages the congregation to hold on and be strong because God has your back.  As “God’s On Your Side” fades, Johnson ...

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“Word of God Speak” – Perfection

“Word of God Speak” Perfection 4 Winds Records (released October, 2013) www.malaco.com The modern gospel quartet Perfection covers MercyMe’s 2002 hit “Word of God Speak” with delicately smooth harmonies, soulful lead singing, and an arm-waving sing-a-long at the conclusion. On the album version, Perfection adds a snippet from Thomas Whitfield’s “We Need a Word from the Lord.” The interpolation blends well with the arrangement but, most importantly, with the message of seeking the Lord’s guidance. Comprised of Steve Maples, Gerrod Allen, Chris Williams, and Kevin Lake, Perfection hails from Jackson, Tennessee.  The quartet gained national visibility after winning the Allstate ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: May 26, 2014

“Better”The ShowersA&P Records (2014) Nothing like being pushed to the edge of the fire, metaphorically speaking, to produce a good gospel song.  “I’m tired of my life / I’m tired of the pain / I’m tired of my past / the guilt and the shame,” the Showers sing on “Better,” their second single, written and produced by Deon Kipping. To an appealing but intense arrangement, the Showers pray for the ability to change their lives for good. The ten sibling singers from Louisiana plan to release their national debut album this summer. Watch the video to “Better” here:  :

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TBGB Pick of the Week: May 19, 2014

“Only God Can”Danetra Moore Tyscot Records (2014) www.tyscot.com Danetra Moore’s anthem “Only God” sings the praises of He who can do anything and everything, including move the mountains, calm the raging sea, and “take someone like me to use for His glory.” Introduced by a delicate acoustic piano, the song traverses through a robust contemporary arrangement and concludes with Moore’s bluesy testimonial vamp.  By the end, Moore has demonstrated a vocal range from cooing gentleness to evangelistic shouting and squalling. Originally from Stockton, California and now living in Atlanta, Danetra Moore is a singer, actor, and model who appeared on ...

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“I Survived” – Marquis Jelks

“I Survived”Marquis Jelks Available on iTunes Accompanied only by warm, warbling B3 organ, Marquis Jelks delivers “I Survived” in the conversational singing style that goes back nearly as far as gospel music itself. A sung testimony in the mode of “I’m Still Here” and “I Can’t Complain,” “I Survived” has that church solo vibe.  Jelks’s elastic voice makes it all the more so.  The only thing missing is the live audience clapping, standing, and shouting encouragement to Jelks as he sings his troubles over. From Decatur, Illinois, Marquis R. Jelks is Founder and CEO of the Song Factory, a business ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: May 12, 2014

“Sunday A.M.” Karen Clark Sheard Karew Records (2014) www.karewrecords.com I knew “Sunday A.M.” had all the makings of a fine gospel single the minute I heard Karen Clark Sheard sing it at her September 2013 live recording session in Chicago.  Unlike Mary Mary’s 2012 “Sunday Morning,” which anticipates services with tambourine-shaking glee, “Sunday A.M.” is the quiescent yearning of a world-weary soul who looks forward to Sunday worship as a time for much-needed refilling and refreshing. The delicate choral touch of Donald Lawrence, who co-wrote the song with Rudy Currence and produced the session with Daniel Weatherspoon, is ever present.  ...

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