Singles

“He Shall Reign” – Bridgett Kern

“He Shall Reign” Bridgett Kern Platinum Image Music Group (2014) www.BridgettKern.com A worship leader, songwriter, and pastor, Bridgett Kern delivers this vertical praiser that combines the feel-good melodicism of CCM with the bracing, energetic punch of rock, and vocals from the modern gospel tradition. The CCM feel is not coincidental: the song was written by Israel Houghton collaborators BJ Putnam and Doug Engquist, and produced by Putnam. Kern leads worship at Radiant Life Church in Phoenix, Arizona. She and her husband, Dr. Joseph Kern, founded the church. The single is from her forthcoming album, No One Greater, scheduled for release in ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: October 28, 2014

“I Need Thee” Beulah Grove Mass Choir feat. Monica Lisa Stevenson Released digitally October 21, 2014 www.beulahgrove.org Beulah Grove Baptist Church of Augusta, Georgia (Dr. Sam Davis, Pastor), celebrates its centennial with a rousing gospel version of the hymn, “I Need Thee Every Hour,” rendered with spirit by the always effervescent Monica Lisa Stevenson. The choir and musicians set a praise party atmosphere as MLS ups the trad cred an extra notch by interpolating lyrics from “I Love the Lord, He Heard My Cry.” “I Need Thee” is the single from the church’s Live at the Grove CD.

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JGM Pick of the Week: October 20, 2014

“Take It to the Lord in Prayer” Patrick Lundy & the Ministers of Music (2014) From the CD Majesty: A Recording of Anthems, Hymns, and Spirituals www.plundymom.com Incorporating the semi-classical flourishes of Richard Smallwood and Donald Lawrence, Patrick Lundy and the Ministers of Music give Rev. Nolan Williams’ “Take It to the Lord In Prayer” a lush, restorative reading.  The voices rise and fall with the effortlessness of breathing. Though the melody is different, the lyrics pull verses from Joseph Scriven’s nineteenth-century hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” Lundy and the MOM proclaim, “Some things we have not ...

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“All We Need Is Love” – Totally 4 Him feat. Doug Williams & Stan Jones

“All We Need Is Love” Totally 4 Him feat. Doug Williams & Stan Jones T4HBless@gmail.com Totally 4 Him, a young male quartet from the Full Gospel Church of God in Lumber City, Georgia, calls its style “quartemporary:” quartet music with a contemporary twist. The group’s national debut single, “All We Need Is Love,” illustrates the singers’ commitment to genre-bending by combining quartet harmonies with an island beat and smooth pop production. The Caribbean flavor gives the song’s inspirational we’ve-got-to-love-everybody theme a Bob Marley feel. The single also benefits from able assists by gospel quartet veterans Doug Williams and Stan Jones, who drop ...

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“Here I Am” – Team David

“Here I Am” Team David From the Muscle Shoals Sound Gospel album Here I Am (August 2014) www.malaco.com Employing Boys II Men harmonies and balladry, the modern gospel group Team David delivers the finger-popping “Here I Am,” a cleverly penned song about turning one’s life over to Jesus. Rather than use the phrases typically used to describe the conversion process, Team David instead employs the metaphor of turning oneself in for a crime committed. After acknowledging that “I am guilty, filthy of sin” and “I did the crime, now I must do the time,” the group asks God to “Sentence me to ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: October 13, 2014

“Hallelujah” Jewell & Converted From the Malaco CD For Real www.malaco.com “Hallelujah” is an up-tempo praiser from St. Louis-based female quartet Jewell & Converted. About a third of the way through, the lead singer gets downright Pentecostal, shouting and squalling about how she wants to “get her praise out,” then performs an extended call-and-response with the rest of the ladies, who maintain steady rhythmic harmonies. The musicians provide the quintessential hip-slapping accompaniment, complete with drum/bass backbeat and organ flourishes. A show stopper. Jewell & Converted organized in 2001 and is comprised of Jewell Taylor, Lydia Jones, Ni’Asia Hatch-Boyd, and Bablen ...

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“God Will” – Kergyma Community Choir

“God Will” Kergyma Community Choir From the album Kergyma: The Proclamation www.kergyma.org Never let it be said that the Kergyma Community Choir doesn’t put on its shouting shoes once in a while. With evocations of the Cosmopolitan Warriors, Ricky Dillard & New G, and JJ Hairston and YP, the choir goes full throttle on “God Will.” Gwendolyn B. Williams, Beatrice Summerville, and Pastor Kevin Bond lead the full-throated choir in reassuring listeners that no matter what the doctor says or what is lacking financially, “God will take care of you.” Brief but impactful. Founded in 2001 by Gwendolyn Busch and Arnold ...

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JGM’s Pick of the Week: October 6, 2014

“The Greater” J. Grant Thompson Available on iTunes and other digital outlets on October 7, 2014 “The Greater” is the debut single from Washington, DC singer, songwriter, producer, and PK J. Grant Thompson. A notable debut it is. It is the gorgeous arrangement that imbues this lyrically and musically uncomplicated P&W anthem with its distinctive character. Thompson establishes an effective call and response with the background vocalists. I can imagine “The Greater” becoming just as popular with praise teams as songs by William McDowell and VaShawn Mitchell.

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“It’s Our Time” – Dr. Vera Goodman & Anointed Praise

“It’s Our Time” Dr. Vera Goodman & Anointed Praise First Lady Productions (2014) Anointedpraise2011@yahoo.com The ensemble from Jacksonville, Florida, that gave us the flowing, dramatic “I Believe” offers “It’s Our Time,” a tough-talking staccato declaration of war on the devil. “He don’t fight fair, but we ain’t scared,” the group sings, like prayer warriors clad in armor suits preparing for battle. “We’re taking over, ‘cause it’s our time.”  The single is one more example of how Dr. Vera Goodman & Anointed Praise deserves a closer look by major labels and gospel radio PDs. Incidentally, “I Believe” is now available as ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: September 29, 2014

“Alright OK” J Moss PMG Gospel (released May 2014) If Pharrell Williams hit it with “Happy,” the feel good song of 2014, J Moss has the equally peppy “Alright OK.” An acoustic piano introduces a jaunty pop melody as J Moss explains how he focuses on the good and lets the bad roll right off his back. Knowing that God is watching out for him on the sunny as well as the rainy days, he concludes, “I won’t complain even if I could.” Produced by PAJAM, “Alright OK” is the singer’s most engaging single in some time.

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