Traditional Gospel

“I’m Not Tired Yet…Running for Jesus” – Calvin Bridges ft. Ann Bridges

“I’m Not Tired Yet…Running for Jesus” Calvin Bridges ft. Ann Bridges From the PNEUMA/Spirit Recordings, Inc. CD Gospel Church Generations (single release date: February 2, 2021) www.calvinbridges.org By Robert M. Marovich Although he is a talented songwriter, Calvin Bridges reaches back to the Caravans catalog for an oldie but goodie. Together with Ann Bridges, Calvin belts out this fire starter with a passel of fine supporting vocalists. Although the team takes the tempo a little slower than Inez Andrews did in 1958 and Pastor Shirley Caesar some years later, it still moves at a brisk pace. “I’m Not Tired Yet…Running ...

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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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JGM Pick of the Week: June 8, 2021

“New Orleans Medley” Jerard and Jovaun Independent (release date: December 4, 2020) By Robert M. Marovich Yes, this single came out late last year and yes, whatever vestiges of Mardi Gras that were able to take place this year are but a memory, but nevertheless, the “New Orleans Medley” conjures sufficient joy to be without season. From Jerard and Jovaun Woods, a husband-and-wife duo who perform as Jerard and Jovaun, the medley sets congregational songs and gospels to New Orleans musical sass. The best part is when the couple breaks out into “What He’s Done for Me,” as a clarinet ...

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“Amazing Grace” – The McCrary Sisters

“Amazing Grace” The McCrary Sisters McCrary Sisters Productions (release date: April 30, 2021) www.mccrarysisters.com By Robert M. Marovich Only the McCrary Sisters, who could sing the phone book (remember those?) into the gospel charts, could pull off “Amazing Grace” sung to the tune of “House of the Rising Sun.” Except, that is, for the Blind Boys of Alabama, who did it originally. Still, the McCrary Sisters offer an equally intriguing, and arguably more evocative, take on this mix of regret and redemption. Daughters of the late Reverend Sam McCrary of the Fairfield Four, the McCrary Sisters—Ann, Deborah, Regina, and Alfreda—share ...

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“I Am Black and I Matter” – Lemmie Battles

“I Am Black and I Matter” Lemmie Battles DAF Entertainment Group (release date: March 26, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Since June 2020, there’s been a notable increase in gospel artists releasing singles with messages linked directly to Black Lives Matter and the racial injustice running rampant through the nation like another virus. Chicago-based singer Lemmie Battles adds her powerful, church-wizened evangelist’s voice to others with “I Am Black and I Matter.” Like Shirley Caesar’s “Take Your Knee off My Neck,” Lemmie Battles’ “I Am Black and I Matter” puts it out there unimpeded by allegory or simile. She not ...

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“Watch Him Do It” – Kendra Carr-Pineda & Redemption Faith Global Ministries

“Watch Him Do It”Kendra Carr-Pineda & Redemption Faith Global MinistriesIndieBlu (release date: December 4, 2020) Pensacola, Florida’s own Kendra Carr-Pineda leads the singers of Redemption Faith Global Ministries, where she is pastor, on the double-time “Watch Him Do It.” From the outset, rapid fire drumming on the backbeat and electronic percussion set on “praise break” set the tempo, over which the effervescent Kendra and her singers emote about the goodness of God. If it hasn’t happened yet, they instruct, don’t worry: He made a promise to you and He’s a promise keeper. Every so often, Kendra and the team slip ...

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David Wright – Let the Organ Play

David Wright Let the Organ Play Godfather Records (release date: February 12, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Typically, we hear Pastor David Wright leading the New York Fellowship Mass Choir. For Let the Organ Play, the choir takes a rest and Wright lights up the Hammond B3 to play an instrumental litany of church favorites. The album’s song selection includes COGIC favorites (a variation on the “Yes Lord” chant and the infrequently-recorded “This is the Church of God in Christ”), classic gospels and hymns, and contemporary pieces, such as “Oh Happy Day,” the New Jersey Mass Choir’s “Praise Him,” and ...

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Chicago Mass Choir Takes Hometown Honors for Best Gospel Entertainer of the Year at 39th Annual 2021 Chicago Music Awards

CHICAGO, IL —International ambassadors of gospel music Chicago Mass Choir were recently honored as Best Gospel Entertainer of the Year at the 39th Annual Chicago Music Awards, which honors the Windy City’s finest in musical and spoken word artistry across every genre. This is the third time they’ve received this prestigious award (2021, 2015, 2012) since the group’s inception in 1988. Officially renamed Chicago Mass Choir in 1990, their 17 Billboard-charting albums have garnered numerous Dove, Grammy, and Stellar Award nominations as well as a Stellar Award for Best Traditional Choir for their We Give You Praise project in 2017. ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: March 1, 2021

“You Kept Me” Rev. Luther Barnes & the Restoration Worship Center Choir Shanachie Entertainment / SRT Entertainment www.shanachie.com By Robert M. Marovich Like the title track of the Reverend Luther Barnes and the Restoration Worship Center Choir’s five-star album, Look to the Hills, the new single “You Kept Me” has traditional gospel roots but sufficient musical heft to garner the ear of today’s listeners. Barnes’ pleading lead (you can always count on a solid vocal from the veteran quartetter) is a gush of gratitude to a God who never gave up on him. On the album-length version, the assembly builds ...

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“Keeper” – De’Leon Carr ft. Duranice Pace

“Keeper” De’Leon Carr ft. Duranice Pace From the Enon Music Group CD Life Is (release date: February 19, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Before gospel singer Duranice Pace passed away on January 14, 2021, she was the featured singer on a track from De’Leon Carr’s new album, Life Is. “Keeper,” originally written and recorded by Bishop Eric McDaniel, finds the two singers blending their distinctive voices on a song of gratitude to God for blessings received and obstacles avoided. To the traditional gospel waltz tempo, Durance and De’Leon slowly build the temperature to evangelistic as they take turns declaring God’s ...

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