Reviews

“Been Good” – Torry Dulaney

“Been Good” Torry Dulaney Raw Camp Records (release date: May 24, 2019) By Bob Marovich If you didn’t know that gospel wunderkind Todd Dulaney has a singing brother, now you know. Serving as minster of music for the Church at Rock Creek in Little Rock, Arkansas, Torry Dulaney is a solo artist who put out a Christmas album a few years ago. Torry’s latest single, “Been Good,” represents a musical style he calls “R&G,” or rhythm and gospel. This song of adulation and gratitude to the Most High fuses the uncomplicated honesty of modern gospel quartet singing to a beat ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: January 20, 2020

“I’ll Never Stop Praising the Lord”Northern Delaware Chapter GMWA Recording ChoirEnon Music Group (single release date: November 15, 2019) By Bob Marovich With “I’ll Never Stop Praising the Lord,” the Northern Delaware Chapter Recording Choir of the Gospel Music Workshop of America continues to eke every utility from its 2016 album God Be Glorified. Whether intentional or not, Aurelius Palmer’s rollicking composition evokes Ricky Dillard and New G’s 1991 smash “More Abundantly” in its relentlessly optimistic tempo, its cascading choral parts, and its use of the phrase “He gave me life more abundantly.” The full-throated thunderous praise of the choir ...

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Renee Spearman – I Love Him

Renee Spearman I Love Him JDI Records (release date: September 27, 2019) By Bob Marovich The Stellar-nominated songstress Renee Spearman, formerly one-half of the contemporary gospel duo Renee Spearman and Prez, has been working on her own for quite some time. Her first new solo album in seven years, I Love Him, has a battery of producers, a choir directed by Tony Jones, strings, and brass. All but one of the album’s nine selections come from Spearman’s pen. That one, the relaxed “Having You There,” is by David Curry Jr. of the Mississippi Mass Choir. While the current single, featuring ...

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“Jesus Will Fix It” – James Cutts feat. Floyd Mayweather Sr.

“Jesus Will Fix It” (remix) James Cutts feat. Floyd Mayweather Sr. Fight the Good Fight (release date: fall 2019) By Bob Marovich Not every gospel artist can claim to have a world-class boxer in his corner (see what I did there), but James Cutts can. Together, Cutts and Floyd Mayweather Sr., former welterweight boxer who loves gospel music, deliver a quartet-fired remix of their 2017 single, “Jesus Will Fix It.” Mayweather employs up-against-the-ropes fight metaphors to illustrate how Jesus can make a way out of no way. So “don’t quit—no matter how hard it gets.” Throughout, the two trade off ...

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Reba Rambo – Lady

Reba Rambo Lady Provident Label Group / Sony Music (re-release date: December 13, 2019) By Bob Marovich Provident Label Group / Sony Music has just made a beloved recording by Christian singer Reba Rambo available once again, digitally remastered. By 1977, when she released her fifth solo recording, Lady, on Greentree Records, Reba Rambo, the daughter of gospel singers Buck and Dottie Rambo and a member of the Singing Rambos, had been in and out of recording studios for the better part of a decade. Despite initial hesitancy by Reba’s record company to put her solo album out, Lady earned ...

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“Show Me” – Ms. Ruby

“Show Me” Ms. Ruby ARTX Records (release date: October 28, 2019) By Bob Marovich Written and sung out of heartbreak over the loss of her only son, “Show Me” gives Ruby Settles, aka Ms. Ruby, a chance to shout her troubles over. It’s a sung prayer that moves from gently supplicant (but with a touch of suppressed anger) to passionate shouting as Ms. Ruby seeks strength in the midst of her darkest hour. By the end, after she hears “His voice” giving her the direction she seeks, you get the sense that she is on her way to better days. ...

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The Legendary Beyons – Once I Get to Heaven

The Legendary Beyons Once I Get to Heaven Independent (release date: May 15, 2019) https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/thelegendarybeyons3 By Bob Marovich On Once I Get to Heaven, the Legendary Beyons of Portland, Oregon, delivers eleven selections with the velvetiness of a ‘70s soul vocal group but with a shouting lead vocal, courtesy of Thurtis Channel, of a traditional gospel quartet. The quartet counts such soft soul vocal groups as the Delfonics, Whispers, and Esquires as inspirations, and it shows in its delivery and arrangements. For example, with mellow harmonies punctuated by sultry sax, the title track envisions the entrance to Heaven as a ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: December 31, 2019

“He Never Failed Me Yet” Greater Harvest Missionary Baptist Church Sanctuary Choir From The Greater Harvest Experience, Vol. 1: Broadcast Edition (release date: October 29, 2019) https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/johnellnicholasthegreaterharve By Bob Marovich For decades, Chicago’s Greater Harvest Missionary Baptist Church has had a touch of Pentecostalism in its worship and music. Though the church hasn’t recorded in quite some time, its Sanctuary Choir recently released an eight-track live project, two years in the making, called the Greater Harvest Experience. The album captures the Bapticostal feel of the church’s worship services. The album includes “He Never Failed Me Yet,” a full-bodied choral workout ...

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The Many – Love > Fear

The Many Love > Fear Plural Guild (release date: November 15, 2019) www.themanyarehere.com By Bob Marovich The Many is a multicultural vocal group based in Chicago and comprised of the talents of Darren Calhoun, Hannah Rand, and Leslie Michele. On their latest release, Love > Fear, they offer their distinctive brand of relaxed Christian pop, complete with warbling organ, tinkling electric piano, a solid rhythm section, and sugary sweet harmonies. As on the group’s 2017 album, All Belong Here, love is the focus of this collection. In “Extravagant Love,” for example, love is abundant and changes everything. On the title ...

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“Jesus What a Wonderful Child” – Richard Davis

“Jesus What a Wonderful Child” Richard Davis From the R2D Music CD Christmas Rhapsody (release date: November 29, 2019) www.r2dmusic.com By Bob Marovich Richard Davis gives the Angelic Gospel Singers’ “Glory, Glory to the New Born King” a contemporary quartet-style makeover, complete with male background vocalists, a vamp, and enough blue notes and traditional turns to complement the robust rhythm section that carries the song along. It’s nice to hear this carol, for decades the most beloved Christmas song in the African American church community, get some attention in 2019. In addition to operating his R2D Studios, Davis is director ...

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