Traditional Gospel

Sondra Busby – We Need Your Presence

Sondra Busby We Need Your Presence Independent (release date: August 30, 2019) By Robert M. Marovich South Carolina singer Sondra Busby might be a contender for the title of “queen of the vamp.” On her 2019 album We Need Your Presence, she tags several of her songs with a quartet-style vamp, improvising with an evangelist’s zeal over repetitive lines sung by the background vocalists, which are actually Busby, multi-tracked. Among these are “The Place Where You Are Near,” “You’ve Been Good to Me,” and the title track. Busby steps right into the vamp, offering church mantras designed to rouse the ...

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JGM Pick of the Week:  October 31, 2022

“Do You Know the Man” Harlem Gospel Travelers Colemine Records (release date: October 18, 2022) www.harlemgospeltravelers.com By Robert M. Marovich Covering the Virginia-based Crusader Gospel Singers’ “Do You Know the Man,” the Harlem Gospel Travelers evoke the soulful Seventies in their Northern Soul harmonies, George Marage’s falsetto lead, Eli Paperboy Reed’s wah-wah guitar and billowy major seventh chords, and the overall breezy tempo. The trio sings it better than the originals, too. Organized and produced by Reed, the Harlem Gospel Travelers is a troupe of young men dedicated to a particular time in gospel when the soul music the genre ...

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Soweto Gospel Choir – Hope

Soweto Gospel Choir Hope Shanachie Entertainment (release date: September 23, 2022) www.shanachie.com By Robert M. Marovich Those who haven’t been swept away by the passion and the power of South African choral harmonies are missing something special. The opportunity is available on Hope, the latest release by the award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir. The troupe celebrates twenty years with this collection of songs sung in South African languages such as Sotho, Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, and Tswana. For Western audiences, there is more familiar English language fare. Given the shared experiences of discrimination and violence by African Americans and South African Blacks, ...

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JGM Pick of the Week – October 19, 2022

“View the City REMIX” RiZen DAF Entertainment Group (2022) By Robert M. Marovich I’m not a big fan of remixes in general, but I do like RiZen’s reboot of their 2003 “View the City”—which the JGM reviewed in one of its earliest posts—because it manages to take an already spirited song and make it more spectacularly energetic. This time, the ladies encourage audience participation in the form of holy dancing in the aisles. Otherwise, it remains a lively evocation of the hereafter, where one “can have a little talk with Jesus” and “shout troubles over.” The ladies are as confident ...

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“Wait On You” – Paulette Wright

“Wait On You” Paulette Wright Powerful Praise Records (release date: September 30, 2019) By Robert M. Marovich From the opening moments of “Wait On You,” gospel singer Paulette Wright gives the performance 110 percent. She shouts and squalls as the band plays an arrangement so ’80s funky you’d be excused if you assumed it was written by Morris Day. In full evangelist role, Wright encourages everyone to not despair, not throw in the towel, but wait on the Lord instead. “Wait on your miracle,” she shouts, but then asks, “Are you willing to wait?” After a false ending, Wright makes ...

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The Caravans – Where Gospel Meets Soul

The Caravans Where Gospel Meets Soul: 1952-1962 Acrobat Music (release date: September 9, 2022) www.acrobatmusic.net By Robert M. Marovich Despite their massive popularity over three decades, the Caravans have lacked a proper CD retrospective. Selections have been reissued here and there, and Savoy put out a two-album set featuring most of their hits, but there has been nothing approaching a serious survey of their musical canon. That’s why it was a delight to learn about Acrobat’s Where Gospel Meets Soul, a two-disc, 49-track exploration of one of gospel’s greatest groups. The Acrobat collection provides nearly all the singles, both the ...

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The Origins of “Come and Go With Me to My Father’s House”

Chris Fenner, Digital Archivist in the Archives & Special Collections department of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, explores the origins of some of the most beloved hymns of the church. His latest article chronicles “Come and Go With Me to My Father’s House.” It’s a fascinating study of the song’s journey over many decades from creation to church chestnut. Read the article here: Come and Go With Me

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Angie & Friends Live at Daywind Studios: I Feel Like Singing

Angie Primm Angie & Friends Live at Daywind Studios: I Feel Like Singing New Day Entertainment (release date: August 26, 2022) www.angelaprimm.com By Robert M. Marovich Certain records capture the unconstrained joy of traditional gospel and hymn singing better than others. One that captures it precisely is singer Angie Primm’s Live at Daywind Studios: I Feel Like Singing. Gathered in the famous Hendersonville, Tennessee, Daywind Studios, the Angie & Friends troupe establish the theme of the album from the start, on the lead (and title) track. They namecheck gospel songs and spirituals in an informal group sing reminiscent of the ...

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JGM Pick of the Week – September 5, 2022

“Wait On Jesus” Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir with Pastor DeAndre Patterson (release date: August 16, 2022) https://www.thechristiantabernaclechurch.com/ By Robert M. Marovich Renowned during the 1960s – 1990s, the Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir of Chicago has returned after a twenty-year recording hiatus with “Wait On Jesus.” It has that boisterous Chicago gospel choir sound, complete with handclaps, tambourine, playful guitar riffs, and repetition in the vamp. Pastor DeAndre Patterson, a talented musician, radio announcer, and emcee, has taken the position of senior pastor at Christian Tabernacle. He has mighty shoes to fill in the church’s late founder and pastor, Rev. Maceo ...

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JGM Pick of the Week:  August 15, 2022

“It’s On the Way” Gia Wyre 141st Lane Music (release date: May 6, 2022) By Robert M. Marovich Peace, joy, and happiness is coming, sings Miami songstress Gia Wyre at a breathless pace, on “It’s On the Way.” Near the vamp, Wyre lets loose with some good old quartet-style moaning and shouting as the musical conversation with her background vocalists begins. Exhilarating. According to her website, Gia Wyre is an alumna of the Miami Girls’ Choir of the University of Miami and is currently music director at Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church in Cutler Bay, Florida, under the leadership of ...

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