Singles

JGM Pick of the Week: July 26, 2021

“It’s Time” Mary Glover Independent (released October 20, 2020) By Robert M. Marovich In tone, tempo, and message, Mary Glover’s “It’s Time” commands people to snap out of it, get right, act right, and be joyful in the Lord. Glover’s sassy and declarative alto, honed in the community of quartet singers, is the ideal vehicle to lift everyone out of their seats and feel the excitement she feels. As such, she evokes other powerhouse gospel singers like Monica Lisa Stevenson, Lemmie Battles, and Lisa Knowles. From Lima, Ohio, and now living in Cleveland, Glover started singing at age six and ...

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“Begin Again” – Tevis Harris & faVor

“Begin Again” Tevis Harris & faVor (release date: January 11, 2021) www.tevisharris.com By Robert M. Marovich “Begin Again” by Dr. Tevis Harris and faVor is a lovely song with a message that is inspirational but also steeped in Scripture. The melody and arrangement have an easy, heart-tugging 1980s Peabo Bryson vibe that fits perfectly with the lyrical declarations of starting over. And on top of that, the group declares, God is calling you to begin again. Midway through, Harris is joined by fellow Rocky Mount, North Carolina, native Wanda Barnes of the famous Barnes Family. faVor, a group of Harris’s ...

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“Be With Me” – Pastor Darren A. Farmer Sr.

“Be With Me” Pastor Darren A. Farmer Sr. From Pastor Darren Farmer presents The Upper Room Apostolic Church Experience, Volume 3 By Robert M. Marovich Pastor Darren A. Farmer Sr., leader of the Upper Room Apostolic Cathedral prefaces “Be With Me” by dedicating it to the late Jason Tomlinson, whose words of wisdom informed the lyrics. The song encourages the discouraged by reminding them that God’s promise to be with us all the time has no expiration date. With southern-fried guitar licks, a hand-patting rhythm, and vocal harmonies supporting Farmer’s lead singing, “Be With Me” has all the elements of ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: July 19, 2021

“I’d Rather Have Jesus” True Believers Malaco Music Group / 4 Winds (release date: June 23, 2021) www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich From the opening vocal harmony riff and the incessant piano triplets to the ultra-soulful lead vocals by Castro Coleman, “I’d Rather Have Jesus” sounds like a 1960s soul record but it is as new as a minute ago. Lyrically, the song by the True Believers quartet evokes the 1922 hymn with the same title, about forsaking the riches of the world for the wealth of eternity. The twist is that Coleman references the modern era when he describes ...

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“Survivor” – Mika Morrow

“Survivor” Mika Morrow Cardo Morrow Records (release date: April 30, 2021) www.MikaMorrowMusic.com By Robert M. Marovich “Survivor,” the new single from singer-songwriter Tamika (Mika) Morrow, has a message for these times: no matter what you’re going through, you’re still here because God made you strong. Pop inflections permeate this song, from the percussive piano backing and the intense melody to Morrow’s sweet-to-stentorian delivery. At times, the vocal track seems a little too separated from the rhythm track but regardless, gospel music proves to be a music about resilience.

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“Thank You” – Felica Welch

“Thank You” Felica Welch D’MAKK Entertainment (release date: May 29, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Veteran Chicago Mass Choir alumna Felica Welch debuts “Thank You,” her new single under the D’MAKK Entertainment imprint. Welch gives this well-produced and lovely ballad of gratitude an even-handed reading, her pleasant and melodic voice reminiscent of Gloria Estefan. She provides the song just the right amount of spiritual passion. “Thank You” was written by D’MAKK founder Angela Frazier, who also wrote Leah Oduro-Kwarten’s 2018 “He Worked It Out.” Produced by David Davis. Restful and enchanting.

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“Jesus Cares” – Leporia Logan

“Jesus Cares”Leporia LoganGodSent Music Group (2021)www.iamhollywoodlogan.com By Robert M. Marovich As “Hollywood” Logan, Leporia Logan was a member of the world-famous Drifters, entertaining audiences with classic vocal harmony renditions of “Under the Boardwalk,” “Up on the Roof,” and “Stand By Me.” Prior to that, however, Logan was a gospel singer and musician. He traveled with Howard “Slim” Hunt and the Supreme Angels, Doc McKenzie and the Hi-Lites, and the Fantastic Violinaires, the latter alongside legendary lead singer Robert Blair. Logan returns to his gospel—and specifically gospel quartet—roots on “Jesus Cares.” With a gruff voice that evokes Blair as well as ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: July 5, 2021

“Ain’t Nobody Like Jesus” Ron Rawls Red Torch Music (release date: June 15, 2021) www.rawlsmusic.com By Robert M. Marovich Ron Rawls may be best known as the music director for Christian artist Mandisa; he worked on her Grammy and Dove Award-winning album, Overcomer (2013). On “Ain’t Nobody Like Jesus,” a bracing pop-flavored ode of gratitude to Jesus, Rawls shows his stuff as a solo artist. Its funky chorus evokes jams from the likes of John Legend and Bruno Mars. Fundamentally the song is a call-and-response between Rawls and the background vocalists, but the superb musicians and Rawls’ staccato delivery and ...

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“America Bless God” – Bonita Burney Simmons

“America Bless God” Bonita Burney Simmons Independent (release date: January 7, 2021) www.bonitaburneysimmons.com By Robert M. Marovich In the introduction to “America Bless God,” the award-winning North Carolina gospel singer Bonita Burney Simmons offers an invitation to worship by quoting the patriotic anthem written by Irving Berlin in 1938, but then flips the title and transitions into a brand new song. Simmons looks back on 2020, with its hurricanes, pandemic, and political division, and declares that it’s time to come together and give God praise. Some of the lyric lines don’t fall trippingly from the tongue but the sentiment is ...

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“Doing It For Jesus” – P.U.S.H.

“Doing It For Jesus” P.U.S.H. Independent (release date: May 28, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich The female quartet P.U.S.H. from Alexander City, Alabama, returns with a pleasant mid-tempo song that essentially serves as the ladies’ collective mission statement. Once you move past the nearly thirty-second intro, you get that straightforward hard-driving singing that combines traditional quartet chutzpah with contemporary elements. The harmonized “not gonna change my mind” chorus and vamp make for an effective hook and provide plenty of space for the lead singer to let loose. Written by group member Stephanie Kendrick, the song is the title track of ...

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