Traditional Gospel

Best of Proverb & Gospel Corner Records: 1959-1969

Various Artists Best of Proverb & Gospel Corner Records: 1959-1969 NarroWay Records (2016) www.gospelfriend.com By Bob Marovich Gospel music has had many multi-taskers, chief among them the late Brother Henderson of Los Angeles, California. In the late 1950s, Sylvester C. “Duke” Henderson forsook his R&B singing career, hung up his rock and roll shoes, and plunged headlong into sacred music. He ran the popular All Gospel Record Store in L.A., hosted his own gospel music radio show on 50,000 watt XERB, wrote and published songs, promoted concerts, and headed up two record labels: Proverb and Gospel Corner. Despite Henderson’s prolific ...

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Temple University Libraries honors Dixie Hummingbirds Guitarist Howard Carroll September 29

Philadelphia, PA, September 1, 2016 – September is Gospel Music Heritage Month, and on Thursday, September 29 at 2:00 p.m., the Blockson Collection of Temple University Libraries will present “Gospel Gold: The Golden Era of Gospel Music,” honoring legendary Dixie Hummingbirds guitarist Howard Carroll. Hosted by Gospel Highway Eleven (WNAP 1110 AM) Radio DJ Linwood Heath, the program will include gospel music by the Sons of the Birds and special guest speaker, the Reverend Joe Williams. Howard Carroll, affectionately known as the “Father of the Gospel Music Guitar,” is the oldest living member of the Dixie Hummingbirds gospel group. Mr. ...

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Lift Me Up: Chicago Gospel Keyboard Masters

Various Artists Lift Me Up: Chicago Gospel Keyboard Masters The Sirens (release date: July 11, 2016) www.thesirensrecords.com By Bob Marovich Those who think traditional gospel music is dead, hapless victim of today’s P&W and urban AC influences in sacred music, The Sirens’ new release, Lift Me Up: Chicago Gospel Keyboard Masters, is proof that the music of Thomas Dorsey and Roberta Martin is as alive and bracing as ever. On August 20, 2015, The Sirens Records owner Steven B. Dolins brought together a battery of the city’s leading keyboard artists and singers: Pastor Bryant Jones, Richard Gibbs, Elsa Harris, Lavelle Lacy, ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: August 22, 2016

“I Am Blessed” Kevan Peabody and Dayanna Griffin Twinkem Productions www.twinkemp.com Leave it to veteran Bay Area gospel artist Kevan Peabody to keep the traditional style alive. Teaming with Lady Dayanna Griffin, Peabody extols the wonderfulness of being blessed and highly favored with a cornucopia of blue notes, while Griffin follows suit with melismatic runs that evoke Kim Burrell or a Clark Sister. The BGVs and musicians, especially the tinkling piano and chortling organ, hold down the rocking chair rhythm, confirming the song’s trad cred even further. Still, the ensemble doesn’t overdo it, giving the single an intimacy that recalls ...

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Shirley Caesar – Fill This House

Shirley Caesar Fill This House Entertainment One Music (release date: June 3, 2016) www.shirleycaesar.com By Bob Marovich From its days as a seedling in the American soil, black sacred music has been a balm to soothe the sin-sick soul as well as the soul beaten down by life’s humiliations and insults. Even in a time when praise and worship reigns supreme in gospel music, there is still a need, especially given the condition of the black man and woman in modern America, for inspiring songs of hope and encouragement. Pastor Shirley Caesar has been lifting such songs for more than ...

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Eagle Rock Gospel Singers – Hammer and Nail: A Tribute to the Staple Singers

The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers Hammer and Nail: A Tribute to the Staple Singers (release date: June 17, 2016) www.ergospelsingers.com By Bob Marovich Imagine female harmonies containing the thunderous power of the Mamas and the Papas’ Cass Elliott and Michelle Phillips, and a rock band–all covering Staple Singers classics, and you have an idea of the Eagle Rock Gospel Singers’ Hammer and Nail EP. The ensemble, which loves and respects traditional African American gospel, makes three Staples “staples” its own. “From day one, the Staple Singers have been a primary influence,” said Eagle Rock Gospel Singers co-founder Jeremy Horton. “From naming ...

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Domonique Mitchell Presents Inspiration Music for the Soul, Vol. 1

Various Artists Domonique Mitchell Presents Inspiration Music for the Soul, Vol. 1 Gospel Rhythm (release date: April 29, 2016) Available from digital media stores By Bob Marovich Presented in the guise of a gospel radio program hosted by the smooth-voiced DJ Mac Cummings, Domonique Mitchell Presents Inspiration Music for the Soul, Vol. 1 is a mixtape that surveys independent artists working in several subgenres—from contemporary gospel and urban contemporary to Christian hip hop and traditional. Mitchell has a fascinating background. His career includes A&R work for Coastal Records and Sounds of Atlanta /Universal Records, project coordinator and co-producer of BET’s ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 30, 2016

“Testimony” Monica Lisa Stevenson Puretonez Productions (release date: April 21, 2016) www.monicazmuzik.com Award-winning gospel singer Monica Lisa Stevenson—the “fifth Caravan”—is adept at updating the traditional gospel sound for today’s ears. Hew new single, the brassy and soulful “Testimony,” with its funky take-charge rhythm, is the first taste we get of her forthcoming album, due out this fall. Featuring Doobie Powell and the Williams Singers of Indianapolis, “Testimony” is Stevenson making her witness public to encourage others to keep the faith. God will not only provide, she declares, but He can go beyond simple provision. Her exclamation, “Look at the shoes ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 23, 2016

“Mother Emanuel” Shirley Caesar From the forthcoming Entertainment One Music CD Fill This House Available from digital retail outlets Gospel songs with explicit social messages are a rarity these days, making Shirley Caesar’s sobering memorial to the shooting at “Mother” Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, stand out all the more. The mournful piano introduction gives way to Pastor Shirley’s head-shaking solo on the contrast of such a hateful act of racism happening in a sanctuary of love and acceptance. She reminds us that the name of the church, Emanuel, means “God is with us.” Shirley doesn’t as much ...

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For Chicago’s Cynthia Eubanks, It’s All About the Ministry

By Bob Marovich With its infectious aisle-walking vigor, “Nobody Like the Lord” couldn’t be more Chicago if the CD cover had a photo of the Picasso on it. It’s the debut single by Cynthia Eubanks, a Chicago artist who has wanted to sing gospel music ever since she was a young girl, participating in regular family singalongs. “My Uncle Eugene and Aunt Wilma would start off singing doo wop songs from the 1950s and 1960s,” Eubanks told the Journal of Gospel Music, “then they would sing gospel songs and it would turn into a mini gospel concert. Being one of ...

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