Singles

“It’s Gonna Be Alright” – Mie’L & Company

“It’s Gonna Be Alright” Mie’L & Company Shekaycie Music (release date: September 5, 2019) https://www.thebash.com/gospel-band/mie-l-company By Robert M. Marovich From its name, pronounced My-L, Mie’L & Company sounds like a male-led small choir. From the cover of its EP, Another Chance, with its photo of group leader Richie Irby, it appears to be a solo act. But listening to the EP, one discovers that this Roebuck, South Carolina, troupe sings with the downhome passion of a quartet. “It’s Gonna Be Alright” is by far the best of the EP’s three cuts. It is straight-ahead Sunday morning service gospel quartet singing, ...

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“Thank You Lord” – Pastor Mack Mason

“Thank You Lord” Pastor Mack Mason Independent (release date: October 17, 2020) By Robert M. Marovich Fronting a team of smooth female vocalists, Pastor Mack Mason doesn’t hold back as he testifies with gushes of gratitude on “Thank You Lord.” The robust-voiced Mason sings at the upper edge of his baritone range, revving up in the song’s vamp, which apexes in the song’s finest moment—an ad libbed shout of joy and relief: “You’re the best friend that I’ve ever had – whoooo!” A veteran radio announcer, author, and publisher, Pastor Mason now helms his grandfather’s church, Greater Prayer Garden Church ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: November 9, 2020

“9 Makes Us 1” Legacy Five & the Wardlaw Brothers Daywind Records (release date: October 16, 2020) By Robert M. Marovich Sung by a combination of two quartets, one representing southern gospel and the other gospel music, the smooth ballad “9 Makes Us 1” underscores the significance and necessity of racial amity. The nine singers meet in the musical middle, blending the best of their respective styles into one meaty mélange that evokes a 1990s pop ballad. Despite music marketing categories based on race, white and black quartets have historically emulated one another. Groups like the Jordanaires and Blackwood Brothers ...

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“Help Them Out” – Charles Jerkins

“Help Them Out”Charles Jerkinswww.charlesjerkinsmusic.com By Robert M. Marovich Charles Jerkins’ “Help Them Out” is an R&B-infused ballad about extending compassion to the ones who need it most. But the aid goes beyond basic human needs, Charles sings, because extending a helping hand or words of encouragement—“showing the love of Jesus”—can also lead to that person’s soul salvation. By the song’s vamp, Charles abandons balladeering for pulpiteering, extemporizing in a blue tonality as the BGVs coo “help them out” behind him. Charles is uncle to producers and songwriters Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins and “Uncle Freddie” Jerkins III. In fact, Freddie co-wrote “Help ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: November 2, 2020

“Hallelujah Anyhow” Canton Spirituals feat. Al Green Malaco Music Group www.malaco.com By Bob Marovich Highway 51 links Canton, Mississippi, to Memphis, Tennessee. So does the single “Hallelujah Anyhow,” as it links the Canton Spirituals and the Reverend Al Green. The combo works. Keep in mind that Green came from gospel and, after entering the ministry, went back to gospel, earning GRAMMY Awards for his gospel albums. A conventional quartet song written by the Canton Spirituals’ Harvey Watkins Jr. and producer Stan Jones, “Hallelujah Anyhow” finds Watkins and Green, elder statesmen of church and church music, sharing nonspecific testimonies about illness ...

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“Nobody Can” – Calvin Suggs feat. Paul Porter

“Nobody Can” Calvin Suggs feat. Paul Porter Alegacy Records (release date: October 30, 2020) By Robert M. Marovich I’m not certain who originated the line, “Can’t nobody can do me like Jesus,” as it appears to predate Andrae’ Crouch, who popularized it with the Disciples at Carnegie Hall in 1973, and the Reverend James Cleveland with the Charles Fold Singers in 1975. Nevertheless, Prophet Calvin Suggs and Paul Porter build “Nobody Can” around that same “can’t nobody” sentiment. They don’t mail in their emotions but shout like two preachers, their vocal repartee testifying to the Lord’s saving power and protection ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: October 26, 2020

“Never Give Up” Tasha Cobbs Leonard From the Motown Gospel CD Royalty: Live at the Ryman www.motowngospel.com By Bob Marovich Although the gospel-meets-country selections on Tasha Cobbs Leonard’s new album, Royalty: Live at the Ryman, are the most fascinating, none of them surpasses the beautiful ballad, “Never Give Up.” Leonard moves from poignant to passionate, from vulnerable to victorious, as she relates how she had her doubts with “the walls closing in” and  while “so many others gave up on me,” but “you waited for me with your arms wide open.” “Never Give Up” offers some of Leonard’s most expansive singing ...

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Single by Charles Jerkins a “Contemporary Hymn for Today’s Times”

Sponsored Post: Gospel recording artist Charles Jerkins of the GRAMMY Award-winning Jerkins family of artists and producers brings listeners a contemporary hymn for today’s times, “Help Them Out.” Co-written by Charles with nephew Fred Jerkins III, the message relates to what is happening in our world today, from the pandemic to social uprisings. The elder Mr. Jerkins’ soothing yet firm husky baritone resonates throughout “Help Them Out,” as he advises listeners to keep the faith during these challenging moments we’re encountering. Watch the video: “Help Them Out”  Purchase or stream “Help Them Out” at this site: Charles Jerkins  Visit Charles’ ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: October 19, 2020

“One More Time” Cynthia Adams Sound of Chayil (release date: June 19, 2020) By Bob Marovich From the countrified guitar intro and the hand clapping rhythm to the spirited vamp, Cynthia Adams’ “One More Time” takes listeners to church, and not just any church, but the little wooden church on the hill. Adams rejoices about the simple things, like being given another day of life to “be in the service.” She takes nothing for granted, singing and occasionally squalling as the background vocalists answer her like a congregation. Produced by Willie Thomas and Ron Rawls, “One More Time” is the ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: October 13, 2020

“Your Love Is” People of the Earth WeArePOTE Records (release date: September 18, 2020) www.wearepote.com By Bob Marovich The pop-flavored “Your Love Is” draws on metaphors from nature to describe the beauty and the promises of the Lord. The five-piece ensemble People of the Earth demonstrates its eclectic musical inspirations in abundance, as the song could easily air on American Top 40 and nobody would bat an eye. The music and melody are as sunny and optimistic as the message. If ever there was a Christian song that could also be categorized as a summer anthem, it’s “Your Love Is.” ...

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