Reviews

Greg Delaine with Brother 2 Brother – 99 1/2 Won’t Do

Greg Delaine with Brother 2 Brother 99 ½ Won’t Do Trumpet Records LLC (2016) www.gregdelaine.com By Bob Marovich On 99 1/2 Won’t Do, Central Florida contemporary gospel quartet Greg Delaine and Brother 2 Brother combines sweet harmonies with hard lead singing and plenty of preaching/testifying. What they have done on this, their latest album, is to recreate the informality of the live program in the recording studio. Extended stories and vamps are techniques quartets use to play to the audience; Brother 2 Brother does it here, but sans audience. The lyrics present simple truths by blending church wisdom, personal belief, movable couplets ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: June 6, 2016

“You Covered Me” Pastor Marlon Lock Available digitally www.pastormarlonlock.com Stellar-nominated gospel artist Pastor Marlon Lock of Milwaukee delivers a gentle contemporary ballad about how he got over: it was all because of God’s protective covering.  Lock delivers this forthright declaration with melodic tenderness but he’s moved by the end to shout a little for having gotten over. Lock’s quartet-flavored “He Delivered Me” was not only a Pick of the Week last year but became one of the Journal of Gospel Music‘s top 10 gospel singles of 2015. “Pastor T,” as Lock is affectionately known, pastors the church his grandfather founded: ...

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Latice Crawford – Diary of a Church Girl (EP)

Latice Crawford Diary of a Church Girl (EP) EchoPark ARTS Entertainment (release date: May 20, 2016) www.laticecrawfordonline.com By Bob Marovich The word “testimony” could be substituted for “diary” in Diary of a Church Girl, Latice Crawford’s introspective and autobiographical follow-up EP to her self-titled debut album. Many know Crawford as second runner-up on BET’s Sunday Best during the show’s second season.  The five-track Diary of a Church Girl is a chronicle of the singer’s journey to overcoming loss, financial issues, and anxiety through a renewed spiritual commitment.  Most importantly, Crawford notes, the EP is “my desire to be accepted and ...

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Anthony Nelson & the Overcomers: Love Jesus, Love People

Anthony Nelson & the Overcomers Love Jesus, Love People New Heavens & New Earth Music (January 29, 2016) www.antheovercomers.com By Bob Marovich Earlier this year, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, contemporary gospel group Anthony Nelson & the Overcomers released its debut album, Love Jesus, Love People. Nelson, an engineer by training and an ordained deacon and multi-instrumentalist by calling, organized the ensemble three years ago after going through tough personal challenges, including losing both his parents. Despite the ensemble’s Louisiana roots, don’t expect any fais do do on the album. Evoking an eclectic variety of music influences—from Shirley Caesar to Hillsong Worship to ...

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Mighty Men of Faith – Believe in His Promises

Mighty Men of Faith Believe in His Promises N2L Records (2016) www.mightymenoffaith.com By Bob Marovich Since forming at a 2009 Men’s Day Celebration in Palo Alto, California, Wendell Basey and the Mighty Men of Faith have recorded a handful of albums and have garnered several honors, including two at last year’s Rhythm of Gospel Awards, one being for Quartet CD of the Year for 2014’s Nothing But Grace. The Mighty Men of Faith’s new album, Believe in His Promises, finds the indie group working within its trademark neo-quartet sound—bright, chirpy arrangements with plinky piano and frequent lead vocal exchanges between ...

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Tyscot Records: Feel Good! 40 Years of Life Changing Music

Various Artists Feel Good! 40 Years of Life Changing Music Tyscot Records (2016) www.tyscot.com By Bob Marovich What started out as a hobby for an Indianapolis, Indiana, dentist and his nephew is now the oldest existing African-American gospel music label in the country. Tyscot Records is celebrating its fortieth anniversary in the music business with a retrospective CD: Feel Good! 40 Years of Life Changing Music. The title comes from the name of the label’s first offering, a full-length album by the Radio Choir of Christ Church Apostolic, where founders Dr. Leonard Scott and L. Craig Tyson were members. The ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 16, 2016

“Will You Be Ready” Roy & Revelation 4 Winds Records / Malaco (2016) www.malaco.com On their new single, “Will You Be Ready,” Stanley Roy Ladson and his group, aka Roy & Revelation, give Christian eschatology a 1960s party dance beat, making the strong medicine more palatable. Implicit in the Hopkins, South Carolina, gospel quartet’s expression about “my Jesus” is that they are beckoning others to follow from within salvation’s inner circle.  They are saved and want you to be, also. While the radio edit has all the ingredients to sell the song over the air-lanes, the eight-plus minute extended version provides listeners ...

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Lisa Barron & Joyful Sounds – Show Me the Way

Lisa Barron & Joyful Sounds Show Me the Way Faith Productions (2015) www.cdbaby.com/Artist/LisaBarronJoyfulSounds By Bob Marovich Although at first blush it may seem as if Lisa Barron & Joyful Sounds is a female quartet, the EP Show Me the Way finds the group working mainly in the piano/organ-led gospel group tradition, more specifically the leader-group style that has been popular for the past 25 years or so. Show Me the Way is the debut release from Barron & Joyful Sounds, a Texas group organized in 2013. The Longview, Texas-born Barron has been singing in church since around age nine, especially ...

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The Original Gospel Creators of Atlanta – Blessed by the Best

The Original Gospel Creators of Atlanta Blessed by the Best Sharper Brothers Records (2016) www.sharprecordsusa.com By Bob Marovich The Original Gospel Creators of Atlanta deliver a decent album in Blessed by the Best. Buoyed by crisp electric guitar work from Terrain Foster (first cousin to the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi’s Sandy Foster), the ten selections find the quartet toiling lyrically and melodically in a traditional bent, though the tracklist includes new songs as well as old favorites. One of the new songs, “Oh Lord,” is an unabashed request for Jesus to return. It opens with a cappella singing and transitions ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 9, 2016

“Better Days” Le’Andria Johnson Available from digital media outlets Since hearing her 2011 debut EP, The Awakening of Le’Andria Johnson, I have considered Le’Andria Johnson to be one of modern gospel music’s most expressive voices. Paired with the right songs, such as her debut single, “Jesus,” she can be downright lethal. “Better Days” is one of those right songs. Its relaxed but intense vibe provides a soulful accompaniment to a message of encouragement in the midst of life’s many storms. Knowing Johnson’s story, “Better Days” could easily be autobiographical, but regardless, it’s certainly a testimony for anyone living in these ...

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