Singles

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.  ...

Read More »

TBGB Pick of the Week: May 6, 2014

“Still God” Angel Taylor Epitome (2014) Available from Amazon.com Dressed in a sumptuous sapphire gown, the statuesque Angel Taylor of the Grammy-nominated Trin-i-tee 5:7 sang “Still God” before more than 8,000 at the Allstate Gospel SuperFest in Chicago.  This passionate love song to God, wrapped in a power pop ballad, is from Angel’s forthcoming debut album as a solo artist.  “Nobody can make me feel the way you do, and that is why I love you,” she sings, showcasing Sarah McLachlan-esque breathy soprano notes at the beginning, Rihanna’s chesty delivery in the middle, and flourishes of melismatic gospel in the ...

Read More »

TBGB Pick of the Week: April 28, 2014

Demetrius Woods “Nothing Without You” Available via online retailers April 29, 2014 The artist formerly known as Holy Boy converts Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You” into “Nothing Without You.”   The gospelization makes sense.  It’s a short distance lyrically between “If I ain’t got you” to “If I ain’t got you, Jesus.”  Plus, Keys’ song sounded gospel inspired to begin with. Woods maintains fealty to the original in his use of relaxed soul and mellow harmonies, while his vocals transition from smooth to shout.  It is a satisfying version of the 2003 pop hit.

Read More »

“Whatever You Need” – The North Carolina Community Choir

“Whatever You Need” The North Carolina Community Choir From the 4 Winds Records release A Story To Tell (2013) www.malaco.com With “Whatever You Need,” the North Carolina Community Choir puts an asterisk after the statement that the Southeastern U.S. is exclusive territory of the gospel quartet.     The single is quintessential gospel choir: a hand-clapping, joyous workout on God’s infinitely abundant generosity.  Whether one needs love, peace, joy, or happiness, the song states, God “will give it to you.”  Still, one hears a definite quartet influence in the choir’s extended vamp and M. Duval Smith’s meaty down-home lead vocal.  Not ...

Read More »

TBGB Pick of the Week: July 1, 2013

“I Can Dance” Brent Jones feat. the Orange County Gospel Choir Available on iTunes (July 16, 2013) “You know, I’ve been in the church all my life and people have said worship is a slow song.  You’re WRONGGGG!” So declares Brent Jones, Grammy and Stellar Award nominated recording artist, producer, music, choir master, and former leader of the T.P. Mobb, as he and the Orange County Gospel Choir demonstrate how they worship with their feet.  The energetic tempo is appropriately aerobic and charismatic. “I can dance with Him all night,” they sing, then contribute a wordless melody line sure to ...

Read More »

TBGB Pick of the Week: June 3, 2013

“Good To Me” Carolyn Traylor Malaco Records (2013) www.malaco.com Carolyn Traylor’s “Good To Me” is a brassy, bluesy declaration of God’s goodness with a beat that will have listeners clapping hands and bobbing heads. It has the right blend of traditional fire and contemporary smoothness. The Greenville, Texas, native is known for “There’s a Story Behind My Praise.” “Good to Me,” written by Chicago’s own Daniel Weatherspoon, is from Traylor’s album Waiting.

Read More »

“Praise Your Way Through” – The Showers

“Praise Your Way Through” The Showers Aquila and Priscilla Records (2013) From Hammond, Louisiana, the Showers, a family gospel group, garnered national attention in 2009 for its debut album, Hear My Prayer.  The single, “Jesus You Died,” earned a Rhythm of Gospel Award in 2011 for Best Traditional Song of the Year. The Showers are back with “Praise Your Way Through,” the lead single from their sophomore project to be released later this year. Possessing somewhat of an early Mary Mary groove, “Praise Your Way Through” is a rhythmically charged but stylistically smooth contemporary song about breaking through the detritus ...

Read More »

“Waiting” – Carolyn Traylor

“Waiting” Carolyn Traylor Malaco Records (2012) www.malaco.com Carolyn Traylor (“There’s A Story Behind My Praise”) is waiting for her change to come. She knows it’s on the way, too, because whenever she gets discouraged, “I pull out the resume and I see how you always brought me through.”  If that isn’t enough, she adds, “I’m not going to let you go until you bless me.”  So don’t get between Traylor and her blessings! Hailing from Greenville, Texas, Traylor is a traditional gospel singer who has sung with the likes of Dorothy Norwood, Ambassador Bobby Jones, and the late Albertina Walker.  Her gospel blues ...

Read More »

TBGB Pick of the Week: June 18, 2012

“The Only God” Livre’ Glory2Glory Records/PRODIGY Entertainment Group http://livreofficial.blogspot.com/ Available on iTunes On their single, “The Only God,” Livre’ (pron. liv-ray – it means “free” in Latin) praises in tight, bright harmonies evocative of foreverJONES.  Theirs is a gentle, pretty sound that blends CCR and gospel. While singing at the Bronx Mass Choir Reunion program, this twelve-member group (seven singers and five musicians) from New York City caught the attention of Alicia Keys’ managers Jeff and J. Conrad Robinson.  They subsequently backed Keys on her “How Does it Feel to Fly,” and she will reciprocate on their debut CD, currently ...

Read More »

“I Remember” – Wincey

  “I Remember” Wincey From the CD Time to Say (2012) www.winceycomusic.com “I Remember” is an uncomplicated, smooth-as-caramel contemporary gospel song with cheerful vocals by Wincey Terry-Bryant. The Newark native sings praises to the one who has “always been there for me,” in good times and bad, for the hurt and for experiences “too good to be true.” Wincey brings to the table a professional and eclectic vocal resume that includes the church choir as well as work with Grover Washington, Jr. and Sesame Street.  In 1988, she founded a performing arts troupe called WinceyCo that educates audiences about serious ...

Read More »