Traditional Gospel

“It’s Praying Time” – Frozene Lott-Hayes

“It’s Praying Time” Frozene Lott-Hayes Lothay Music (release date: February 1, 2019) By Bob Marovich To a live audience at Mt. Gilead Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, traditional gospel singer Frozene Lott-Hayes renders this mid-tempo golden oldie with lyrics that are (unfortunately) as pertinent today as they were back when the Miami Mass Choir did it more than twenty years ago. “Wars and rumors of wars. . .earthquakes, famine, and diseases,” Frozene declares, reminding listeners that if ever there was a time to pray, it’s now. Her shifts from straight singing to growling to shouting are ideal for this song, ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: June 17, 2019

“I’m So Glad” Bishop Neal Roberson feat. Bishop Paul S. Morton Malaco Music Group (2019) www.malaco.com By Bob Marovich Those who know Bishop Neal Roberson as an upbeat man with a wonderful sense of humor will be taken aback by his spoken word introduction to “I’m So Glad.” In a sobering tone, he informs listeners about his lung cancer diagnosis, then moves into “I’m So Glad,” a gentle hymn about God as a miracle worker. Halfway through, Roberson is joined by Bishop Paul S. Morton, who offers his own testimony of deliverance from cancer. It’s the reassurance Roberson needed to ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: June 4, 2019

“I Have So Much to Thank God For” Bishop Jonathan Greer feat. Evangelist Lorraine Punch Baldwin Dorothy Norwood Music Group (release date: May 31, 2019) By Bob Marovich With Bishop Jonathan Greer doing a song co-written by Dorothy Norwood and featuring fiery shouting and squalling from the Georgia Mass Choir’s Lorraine Punch Baldwin, “I Have So Much to Thank God For” is a trifecta of traditional gospel. Evangelist Baldwin delivers a bushel full of church aphorisms as the choir answers her calls. This strutting “stomp-the-floorboards” gospel song is about thanksgiving for God’s abundant blessings, especially those that rain down during ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 27, 2019

“One Praise Away” Kevin Davidson Infinity Music Group (release date: March 1, 2019) By Bob Marovich “One Praise Away” is a spirit-filled Sunday morning song, a call-and-response declamation of victory between the Memphis-based Kevin Davidson, Cheryl Rogers, and the Voices, their choral harmonies full-throated and thunderous. The organ chirps, the drums and bass set a solid rhythm section, and the handclapping ensues. It evokes the work of fellow Memphian, the late O’Landa Draper, as well as Ricky Dillard & New G. Kevin Davidson and the Voices (formerly the Voices of Binghamton) recorded a number of albums for New Haven Records ...

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Pastor Maceo Woods and Christian Tabernacle Celebrate 50th Anniversary of “Hello Sunshine”

Stellar Award Lifetime Honoree PASTOR MACEO WOODS Presents HELLO SUNSHINE LIVE! Pastor Maceo Woods, Stellar Award Bobby Jones Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Billboard classic, Hello Sunshine. TRACK LISTING: Hello Sunshine In Jesus Name (I Won’t Leave Here) Jesus is Keeping Me Oh Lord Deliver Me I Thank The Lord I’ll Get Home Someday (We Are Climbing) I’m So Grateful Wonderful He’s There Step To Jesus I’m Living in the Care of the Lord Revive Us Again The Life Boat I Will Give Thanks He Lifted Me Executive Producer: Pastor Maceo L. Woods 2019 Compilation: ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 6, 2019

“Keep Me” Carrington Alyse Brown Clarkstone Music Group (release date: March 1, 2019) By Bob Marovich With thunderous encouragement from a backing choir, seventeen-year-old Carrington Alyse Brown delivers her debut single, “Keep Me,” with steadily increasing intensity and passion. Produced by Jason Clark, executive director of the Tennessee Mass Choir, “Keep Me” is a traditional-flavored song with a message grounded in God’s constancy. That’s not surprising; she told Xuam Lawson on “Real Gospel with the Xman” that she likes traditional gospel because she is a “churchy girl.” Her sound is evocative of another young singer, and one of her favorite ...

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Pastor Donald Gay – On a Glorious Day

Pastor Donald Gay On a Glorious Day The Sirens Records (release date: March 15, 2019) www.thesirensrecords.com By Bob Marovich Like amber, Pastor Donald Gay’s On a Glorious Day preserves the sounds and stories of Chicago’s traditional gospel music and church community. Pastor Gay has been in gospel music since knee pants (a photo on the back of the CD booklet depicts Donald as a tyke, sitting atop a piano and flanked by his older sisters Evelyn, Geraldine and Mildred). As the Gay Sisters, Donald’s female siblings posted a significant gospel hit in 1951 by modernizing the hymn, “God Will Take ...

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Janice Gaines – Lead Me

Janice Gaines Lead Me (release date: March 22, 2019) www.janicegaines.com By Bob Marovich Janice Gaines’ Lead Me is a brief but satisfying journey through the hymnbook. It is also a far better showcase for her affecting vocal delivery than Greatest Life Ever, her 2015 album for Motown Gospel. Whereas that album aimed to attract a mass audience by offering generous helpings of bumping bass and electronica, it seemed ill-fitted to Gaines’s more grounded talent. This album, on the other hand, employs the less is more philosophy, meaning it is more authentically rooted in gospel’s one foundation: the church. As if ...

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Elsa Harris – I Thank God

Elsa Harris I Thank God The Sirens (release date: March 15, 2019) www.thesirensrecords.com By Bob Marovich Chicago is the birthplace of gospel music and, in many respects, it’s also the home of the genre’s most ardent preservation efforts. In addition to the forthcoming National Museum of Gospel Music, the vitality of traditional gospel in the Windy City can be heard on veteran gospel artist Elsa Harris’s mostly instrumental CD, I Thank God. Harris’s piano proclivities, forged in the practice room as well as the church, recalls the jauntiness of traditional gospel, a distinctive sound too often obscured in the wake ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: April 23, 2019

“Hold My Hand Lord” Donny Pomerlee feat. Paul Porter BBG Entertainment, LLC (release date: February 24, 2019) www.wrightmusicgroup.org By Bob Marovich On “Hold My Hand Lord,” Donny Pomerlee’s lithe tenor and Paul Porter’s gritty growl are like sugar and salt, and are just as addictive together. A native of Chicago, Pomerlee honed his vocal and instrumental skills in city churches. He was named Praise and Worship Artist of the Year at the first Chicago Gospel Music Awards. In lyric and style, however, “Hold My Hand Lord” is about as far from P&W as you can get. Pomerlee’s fourth single has ...

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