Singles

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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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 ...

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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.

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“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 ...

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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 ...

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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.

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“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 ...

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