Reviews

JGM Pick of the Week: June 1, 2020

“A Charge”Desmond Roberson & the Roberson BunchFrom the 3 Sonz Records Here’s the Story(release date: May 22, 2020) By Bob Marovich Don’t let the amusing Brady Bunch-like cover fool you. There’s some serious singing on “A Charge,” from Desmond Roberson & the Roberson Bunch. It is an exhilarating Pentecostal-meets-quartet take on the hymn “A Charge to Keep I Have,” arranged by husband-and-wife team Desmond and Tammy Roberson. The piece, which serves as the finale of a live recording by the family band from Valdosta, Georgia, allows the congregation a chance to get their last long praise on. Desmond leads with ...

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“Everything Will Be Alright” – Geneatha Wright

“Everything Will Be Alright”Geneatha WrightGodfather Records (original release: 2013; re-release 2020) By Bob Marovich “Everything Will Be Alright” is a soulful gospel song of hope and encouragement, released originally in 2013, by a family that has known more than its share of tragedy. Pastor David Wright wrote this song for his wife, Geneatha “Gee” Wright, for her 2013 solo debut album, Just as I Am. The song’s genesis was family tragedy. In the space of two years, Gee lost her father, Elder Horace Daughtry Sr., and David lost both his parents, Pastor Timothy and First Lady Betty Wright, to automobile ...

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Look to the Hills – Rev. Luther Barnes & the Restoration Worship Center Choir

Rev. Luther Barnes & the Restoration Worship Center Choir Look to the Hills Shanachie Entertainment / SRT Entertainment (release date: May 29, 2020) www.shanachie.com By Bob Marovich Listening to the title track and lead single of Reverend Luther Barnes’ latest album, I revisited a thought I’ve had for some time: Barnes has emerged as today’s most important representative of traditional-flavored gospel music. The heartwarming and optimistic “Look to the Hills,” made all the more heartbreaking by the recent passing of its co-writer, Derrick Adams, is the latest in a string of hits crafted in the southern choir-tet sound, pioneered by ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 25, 2020

“I’ll Serve Him” Ken Heath & the True Disciples Keep Hope Music (release date: March 20, 2020) By Bob Marovich The latest single by the Richmond, Virginia-based quartet Ken Heath & the True Disciples rolls along on a simple message about discipleship and the blood of Jesus that has kept him and his family safe. Like 2019’s “Moving Forward,” the group’s new song has that quintessential quartet strut rhythm and a classic call-and-response vamp. “I’ll Serve Him” is a sure-enough hand clapper that the group no doubt extends on live programs for maximum spiritual impact.

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“Meet Me Where I’m At” – Trampolines

“Meet Me Where I’m At” Trampolines (release date: April 22, 2020) By Bob Marovich Bristling with hip hop beats and bubbly blasts of EDM, “Meet Me Where I’m At” is a pleading prayer from a troubled disciple who seeks God’s guidance and love, only to discover that both are anywhere and everywhere. Musician/Stuntman/Dancer/Global raconteur Lane Terzieff (Lancifer) and his wife, Cary Terzieff (OhFrikk), aka Trampolines, wrote the song together while in Cambodia doing mission work among victims of sex trafficking. The accompanying video was filmed in Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Trampolines are a Christian Pop/EDM/Hip-Hop worship band based in Los Angeles. ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 18, 2020

“He Made a Way for Me” New Christianaires Carter Classic (2020) www.newchristianaires.com By Bob Marovich The New Christianaires’ single “He Made a Way for Me” has all the quartet goods: an old school up-tempo beat, plenty of call-and-response singing between the lead vocalist and the group, high-octane shouting, and a rollicking extended vamp. Both the lyrical content and arrangement exude the joy and gratitude of those who have been blessed by God. It’s the group’s best single to date. Minister George N. Carter Sr., a member of the original Christianaires of Sontag, Mississippi, reorganized the group in Florida by adding ...

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Frye Family Band – Things Unseen

Frye Family Band Things Unseen Oubache Music (release date: 2020) www.FryeFamilyBand.com By Bob Marovich Family bands in Christian music are ubiquitous and have been since the beginning of the genre. Think of the Rambos, the Gaithers, the Goodmans, the Whites, the Crabbs, and on and on. Another is the Frye Family Band. The group is a fresh-faced ensemble hailing from New Corydon, Indiana, a rural community located on the banks of the Wabash River and just west of the Ohio state line. Their new release, Things Unseen, is a fine sampler of their multi-instrumental skills, earnest lyrics, and harmonies that ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 11, 2020

“Better Days” Joe Daccache Independent (release date: April 3, 2020) By Bob Marovich “Better Days” is a pop-styled song with an inspirational message from Joe Daccache. A thumping beat with swatches of warbling organ, plunky piano, hand claps, and flourishes of brass give the impression of being in the church as well as in the park, as if Cee Lo Green and Kirk Franklin were jamming together. Inspired by his mother’s battle with cancer (she’s currently cancer-free), Daccache wrote “Better Days” with Autumn Marie Buysse and Tony Chetta. The song offers gratitude to God for blessings received, and brings a ...

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Kierra Sheard – Kierra

Kierra Sheard Kierra Karew Records & Entertainment / Provident Label Group / RCA Inspiration (release date: April 17, 2020) www.rcainspiration.com By Bob Marovich In a scene from the LIFETIME biopic The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel, Dr. Mattie Moss Clark stands before top officials of the Church of God in Christ who question her participation in a “worldly” musical presentation. In response, Clark challenges their inflexibility and intolerance. Pushing the musical envelope is a family tradition, and Kierra Sheard, Dr. Clark’s granddaughter, is the latest in the Clark-Moss dynasty to challenge convention. But it has taken an emotional toll ...

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“Heal Our Land” – Kassandra McGhee

“Heal Our Land” Kassandra McGhee (release date: April 2020) http://www.kassandramcghee.com By Bob Marovich On her new single, “Heal Our Land,” Chicagoland-based singer-songwriter Kassandra McGhee takes for her text 2 Chronicles 7:14. Without mentioning the pandemic once, you know instinctively that this gentle, acoustic ballad is a prayer for global healing during COVID-19. In many ways, it doubles as a mantra for such a time as this. Despite being written and recorded during the pandemic, with all of the stay-at-home measures to accommodate, this is McGhee’s best song to date. John King at Manifested Works gave the song its final touches. ...

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