Singles

“Gotta Believe in Me” – Ebony Archer

“Gotta Believe in Me” Ebony Archer www.ebony-archer.com Ebony Archer is an independent solo artist whose single, “Gotta Believe in Me,” is a youth empowerment anthem with a Jamie Grace vibe in its bubbly cheerfulness. Its message of self-confidence is bolstered by assertive electronica and a thumping backbeat. “Doesn’t matter if I fall,” she sings, “Gonna make it through it all.” Ebony is an alumna of the world-famous Walt Whitman and the Soul Children of Chicago, a group she joined in 2000 at age eight. In 2012, she was runner up, with more than 40,000 votes, in a contest held by Black ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: February 23, 2015

“Never Forget It” God’s Chosen From the CD 1 & 6 www.gc3music.com Promising to remember all the things God has brought them through, God’s Chosen brings to “Never Forget” the cheerful harmonies and bubbly tempos of the Clark Sisters, Trin-i-tee 5:7, Virtue, and Mary Mary. Also known as GC3, God’s Chosen—Zebrina Anderson, Nikeisha Whittier, and Sarah Stephens—hails from St. Louis, Missouri. Meeting in high school, the ladies received their first public confirmation as a gospel trio in 2002 when they won the Six Flags Gospel Day Competition and earned a spot as opening act for Yolanda Adams. “Never Forget” is from their independently ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: February 16, 2015

“Jesus is Real” The Volunteer State Mass Choir (radio release: February 24, 2015) www.facebook.com/TheVolunteerStateMassChoir The Volunteer State Mass Choir gets gospel bluesy and traditional on “Jesus is Real.” The organ warbles, the piano offers dramatic chording, drums emphasize the beat, and the choir participates in a call and response with the lead singers. The lyrics hearken back to old fashioned devotionals and personal testimonies of Jesus’s goodness and saving power. As its name indicates, the Volunteer State Mass Choir hails from Tennessee. Founded in April 2006 by Jeffery Wilford of Nashville, the choir has been nominated in three Rhythm of Gospel ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: February 9, 2015

“Take Your Burdens” Juan Santiago & Uninhibited Praise www.jsuplive.com The group that in 2011 offered one of the most inspirational and uplifting arrangements of the spiritual “Were You There” I have ever heard is back with “Take Your Burdens.” The choir’s new single, led by Jeneal Johnson, is a straight-up traditional choir shouter with a rocking chair tempo and cascading parts evocative of Ricky Dillard, Keith Pringle, or the golden days of Gospel Music Workshop of America.  Righteous!

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: February 2, 2015

“He Steps In” Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church Mass Choir From the CD Oh To Be Kept By Jesus (Anniversary Edition) If you like gospel choir singing like it was done in the 1980s, you will love the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church Mass Choir’s new single, “He Steps In.” This Houston church, where Dr. Marcus Cosby is pastor and the late Hanq Neal was music minister, channels the super-charged, hand-clapping effervescence of classic late twentieth-century gospel choruses such as the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church Choir, the Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer Choir, Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir, Keith Pringle’s ensembles, and a whole handful ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: January 26, 2015

“Storms” Donald Malloy From LIVE. . .Finally Home www.donaldmalloyministries.com Recorded live a couple of years ago in Donald Malloy’s hometown of Cheraw, South Carolina, “Storms” leads the audience down the “don’t be discouraged” path about the storms of life. Just when you anticipate that Malloy will follow with, “but God will see you through,” he sings instead about the internal strength and character that storms bring to our lives. Now released as a single, “Storms” is a fine contemporary gospel performance that Malloy builds in dynamic intensity from husky, handsome crooning to preacher-like hard singing.

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: January 19, 2015

“You Are” Virtue www.virtuegirls3.com Who said America has lost its Virtue? Nearly a decade has lapsed since their last release, but the Dove Award-winning and Grammy-nominated sister ensemble Virtue has returned with a new single, “You Are.” Set in the same rich urban AC groove that marked the group’s prior work, albeit updated to meet contemporary tastes, “You Are” is a dramatic declaration of fidelity to God, “the alpha and omega” who promises light at the end of life’s dark tunnels. The 2015 iteration of Virtue that recorded “You Are” is Ebony Holland, Karima Kibble, and Heather Martin. The women sound ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: January 12, 2015

“Brand New Day” 21:03 From the PMG Gospel CD Outsiders (release date: February 24, 2015) www.pajam-music.com What better way to start the new year than to celebrate a brand new day? That is what the two who now comprise 21:03—Evin Martin and Torrence Greene—do on “Brand New Day.” An energetic disco beat and brisk arrangement complement the duo as they play off one another in kicking all bad things to the curb and embracing new beginnings by faith. The song comes nearly twelve years after the Stellar Award-winning group’s launch, January 21, 2003, the date that also inspired its name.

Read More »

“Amazing” – Rev. Julian Turner feat. the Turner Family

“Amazing” Reverend Julian Turner feat. the Turner Family Available on iTunes Reverend Dr. Julian Turner follows his exercise-inspired single, “Let’s Move for Jesus,” with another mover, “Amazing.” Produced by Michael Sutton and recorded with Rev. Turner’s family on harmonies, “Amazing” is a brassy praiser with a pop melody propelled by a vigorous island beat. It is unpretentious in lyric and easy in arrangement. Turner is Pastor of Temple #230, Church of the Living God, C.W.F.F., in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a treat to hear a song associated with the Church of the Living God, which in the beginning modeled its ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: December 30, 2014

“Can You Feel His Glory” foreverJONES From Prayer Tools, Vol. 1 (released November 2014) www.foreverjones.com Turns out that the shortest song on the two-and-a-half-hour Prayer Tools Vol. 1 by foreverJONES is the best. With only piano and organ as accompaniment, Djeniele evokes the majesty of yesterday’s church soloists with her flawless reading of her brother Judah Jones’ s “Can You Feel His Glory.” From its hushed opening and D’jeniele (Jones) Hooten’s increasingly expansive vocals to the achingly beautiful conclusion, this exquisite jewel of a hymn—one of the finest released this year—demonstrates how less is more.

Read More »