Reviews

“Healer” – Lady Renee

“Healer” Lady Renee www.LadyRenee.org To a conventional CCM melody penned by Australian artist Michael Guglielmucci, Lady Renee sings praises to the Lord with rising passion and gusto that can only come from the wellspring of personal conviction. Towards the end of the song, Lady Renee lines out a litany of issues, including depression, oppression, cancer, and AIDS, but the battle she fought was infertility, which resulted in several miscarriages. Yet and still (as the old folks would say), she and her husband finally conceived a child, which no doubt fueled her emotional outpouring on the single. Lady Renee is Chief ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: July 13, 2015

“The Promise” Tiff Joy Tyscot Records/Walkway Music Group/VMan Entertainment Chicagoan Tiffany Joy McGhee, known as Tiff Joy, wrote and was featured on “Amazing,” the title track of Ricky Dillard & New G’s latest, and arguably most popular, album. “Amazing” earned her a Stellar Award for Song of the Year. We hear Tiff Joy again on “The Promise.” This smoothly-produced, radio-ready single is a declaration to remain steadfast in faith and hope, because when “God said it, that settles it.” She carries the song in her sandy alto until the vamp, when she shouts the song’s explicit and final declaration: “It ...

Read More »

AsOne – s/t

AsOne AsOne 360 MusicWorx/Capitol Christian Distribution/Universal Music Group (release date: June 23, 2015) www.AsOneOfficial.com By Bob Marovich Interracial gospel/sacred singing groups go back more than a century—from the days of Polk Miller & the Old South Quartette at the turn of the twentieth century to Homer Rodeheaver’s singing with the African American Wiseman Sextette; and from Gene Viale (of Puerto Rican heritage) in the Cleveland Singers, Elizabeth Meagher in the Exodus Singers, and the multicultural Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. The color of the skin counts less than the color of the voice, and there are rich hues in the voices and ...

Read More »

“My Everything” – The Selvys

“My Everything” The Selvys Lunjeal Music Group/Malaco Music Group www.malaco.com With the Showers, foreverJONES, the Jones Family Singers, and the Murrills, you’d think that family gospel groups are the latest music fad. In truth, family gospel groups have been around since the beginning. The Ward Singers, Brown Sisters, Davis Sisters, Gay Sisters, Ingramettes, Hightower Brothers, and Pilgrim Jubilees are just a few who spring immediately to mind.  There are scores more. The Selvys of Earle, Arkansas, have been singing the glory down as a professional gospel group for 25 years. Organized by Reverend Jesse Selvy Jr. and Johnnie Selvy, the ...

Read More »

Mike Lee – All I Need (EP)

Mike Lee All I Need Mike Lee Music (release date: June 16, 2015) www.mikeleemusic.com By Bob Marovich Fort Wayne, Indiana. worship leader and mixed martial arts gym owner Mike Lee follows up his full-length national debut LP Awakening Hearts with a seven-track acoustic EP called All I Need. With a final push, courtesy of crowdfunding, the EP was released to the public on June 16. Despite juggling several challenges, notably a father in chemotherapy for lung cancer and a brand new baby, Lee makes the world sound bright and breezy on the EP with his simple melodies, introspective lyrics, and ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: July 6, 2015

“He Touched Me” Dr. LouDella Evans-Reid and the Traditional Gospel Choir www.loudellaevansreid.com If you like that aggressive, churchy gospel choir sound that came straight outta Chicago, false coda and all, you will love “He Touched Me.” This Thurston Frazier chestnut is given a full-throttle reading by the Traditional Gospel Choir, presented by Rev. Bryant Jones and directed by Dr. LouDella Evans-Reid. Both Jones and Reid have plenty of trad cred. Jones is a pastor and the son of gospel singer Jeannette Robinson Jones and the late Rev. Billy Jones. Reid is the longstanding and aerobic directress of the Fellowship Missionary ...

Read More »

E. L. Williams – Where Sin Met the Blood

E. L. Williams Where Sin Met the Blood Tate Music Group (2015) www.tatemusicgroup.com By Bob Marovich There was a time when bass singers were compulsory for any self-respecting quartet, but today they are as rare as hen’s teeth, save for classical music and opera, where the basso profundo remains the voice of maturity and wisdom, and retro doo-wop groups. Gospel quartet was once notably gifted with such legendary bottom-supporters as George McCurn (Pilgrim Travelers), Jimmy Jones (Harmonizing Four), Dickie Freeman (Fairfield Four, Skylarks), and Thomas Spann (Brooklyn All Stars), the latter being among the last of his breed still on ...

Read More »

Sada K – Long Story Short

Sada K Long Story Short (released January 2015) www.sadakmusic.com By Bob Marovich “Everyone has a story,” Sada K says in the opening moments of her solo CD, Long Story Short. Her story, she admits, was stained with tears, but it’s “time to shine the light.” And for forty minutes, that’s what Sada (like Jayda with an S) does. The album is a fourteen-track testimony that chronicles the singer’s ups and downs, and her ultimate victory. The testimony is real. The Kansas City-raised Sada, lead singer for Christian pop band Press Play, had her singing career nearly derailed when she developed ...

Read More »

“Empty Me” – Javon Inman

“Empty Me” Javon Inman www.javoninman.com Set for release on July 7, “Empty Me” is the latest single from award-winning independent gospel artist Javon Inman. Performed with background vocalists, “Empty Me” is a passionate and bracing mid-tempo ballad on which Inman cries out for divine intervention because “the plans of men,” aka a person’s own agenda, does nothing but cause problems. “I’m placing my life in your hands,” he pleads. “Empty me of me.” Inman’s high note leaps are mini shouts as the song’s dynamic tension builds. Born in Ohio but now a Washington, DC, area resident, Inman came to the ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: June 29, 2015

“Back 2 Life” Juzang From the EP Back 2 Life www.juzangmusic.com Check out the home page of the website of Alabama-based female gospel/inspirational group Juzang, and you will see the trio peacefully slumbering. Make no mistake: the ladies aren’t slumbering on their single, “Back 2 Life.”  They make a joyful noise by coupling sweet harmonies with powerful pulsating blasts of EDM. The song encourages listeners to put their trust in Jesus because “he’s got that power.” Representing power on the single is a sonic explosion of thumping electronic rhythm, courtesy of producer Fred “Blaze” Crawford. Gospel music runs in the ...

Read More »