Tag Archives: alabama

Vetrea Slack Ruffin – Rain Down on Me

Vetrea Slack Ruffin Rain Down on Me Heavenly Spirit Music (release date: March 30, 2019) www.VetreaSlackRuffin.com By Bob Marovich Some people celebrate turning sixty years old by throwing a party. Others go on vacation, or buy themselves something special. Evangelist Vetrea Slack Ruffin celebrated her 60th year of life by releasing an EP. Rain Down on Me is about twenty minutes of singing by the award-winning gospel singer-songwriter from Alabama and an eight-minute lesson from the pulpit, courtesy of her pastor-husband, Dr. Paul Ruffin. The two opening song selections are modern and boisterous. “Raise Up Judah” is a conventional call-and-response ...

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Ray Holland & the New Boyz of Triumph – Keep on Running

Ray Holland & the New Boyz of Triumph Keep On Running Sharp Records (release date: May 23, 2019) www.sharprecordsusa.com By Bob Marovich With notable exceptions (e.g., Thomas Spann of the Brooklyn All Stars), bass voices in gospel quartet have been gone for quite a while. That’s why it’s a delight to even hear a low baritone voice in a quartet. That’s what you get with Ray Holland & the New Boyz of Triumph. Keep on Running is the latest CD from the New Boyz of Triumph, a group that hails from Talladega, Alabama. Besides Holland, members are Wesley Haley, the ...

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“The Greater the Trials, the Greater the Blessings” – Mary Pugh & the Pugh Singers

“The Greater the Trials, the Greater the Blessings” Mary Pugh & the Pugh Singers Overboard Records (2019) https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/marypughthepughsingers By Bob Marovich On “The Greater the Trials, the Greater the Blessings,” Grove Hill, Alabama, female quartet Mary Pugh & the Pugh Singers offers an encouraging paradox that sounds as if it came straight from the Sunday morning pulpit. “Looking back over the years / I’ve been through some storms,” Mary sings, adding that she knew God would “show up in the rain.” To reinforce its James 1:12 message about the reward of being tried by fire and enduring, the group quotes ...

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“What You Gonna Do” – Ruth Black and the Harmonettes

“What You Gonna Do” Ruth Black and the Harmonettes By Bob Marovich On their new single, “What You Gonna Do,” Ruth Black and the Harmonettes of Alexander City, Alabama, ask sinners to consider whether they will be ready when Jesus comes. They mince no words in calling sinners out, either. Peace breakers, drug addicts, “thief in the night,” backsliders, alcoholics lying on the barroom floor—all are summoned not for shaming but for reclaiming souls for Jesus. “What You Gonna Do” has that relentlessly bouncing southern soul quartet groove that moves seamlessly from verses into a vamp that finds the Harmonettes ...

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RIP: Pastor Shawn Jones

By Bob Marovich The Journal of Gospel Music was saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Pastor Shawn Jones of the Alabama quartet Shawn Jones and the Believers. Here is the group’s biography, from their Facebook page: “Pastor Shawn Jones (Formally of The Alabama Spirituals) & The Believers started singing in the year of 2000 at the First Baptist Church in Rockford, AL. They appeared on shows with gospel great like Lee Williams & The Spiritual QC’s, Rev. Andrew Cheers & The Song Birds, Darrell McFadden & The Disciples, Slim & The Supreme Angels, and Dorothy Norwood. “After a ...

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“O My Soul” – The Southeastern Gospel Music Workshop Choir

“O My Soul” The Southeastern Gospel Music Workshop Choir From the NGE Records Let God Arise (Live) (release date: August 1, 2016) Available on digital music outlets By Bob Marovich The Southeastern Gospel Music Workshop Choir’s debut single, “Let God Arise,” is the type of aurally aerobic song that praise teams use to open a worship service, and therefore also comprises a live album’s opening moments. It is the kind of song popular with today’s gospel radio programmers. But the choir’s slower and more reflective “O My Soul” grabbed my attention. “O My Soul” possesses in grace, dignity, and reverence ...

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Conversations with the Gospel Legends: Pastor Lottie Woods-Hall

This is a very important interview for anyone who wants to know more about the Civil Rights Movement. Pastor Lottie Woods-Hall was on the front lines of the 1963 Birmingham Movement. She talks about her work with the movement, going to jail with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., singing to encourage the marchers, and coming to Chicago to work with the Harold Bailey Singers. Conversations with the Gospel Legends with Bob Marovich. Guest: Pastor Lottie Woods-Hall. from PCC Studio on Vimeo.

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RIP Rev. Johnny “Hurricane” Jones

From Lance Ledbetter of Dust-to-Digital: Rev. Johnny L. ‘Hurricane’ Jones: 1936-2015 Sad news to report: early Monday morning we lost a gospel music legend. Rev. Johnny L. Jones succumbed to what his family believes was a brain aneurysm. It was one of our greatest honors to work with Rev. Jones on his 2009 album Jesus Christ from A to Z and the 2010 double-album The Hurricane That Hit Atlanta, which the New York Times described in the following way: “Some of these tapes are woolly, with errant screams from the congregation, feedback from the church amplifiers and rough edits, but ...

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“Heaven Belongs to You” – The Alabama Gurlz

“Heaven Belongs to You” The Alabama Gurlz From 4 Winds Records CD “The Gurlz” Live (2014) www.malaco.com “Y’all ready to go to church?” Stephania Johnson asks the church audience kindly. Not receiving a proper response, she growls in frustration: “Y’all don’t want to go to no church with me!” That does the trick, and the congregation connects with the Alabama Gurlz as they commence with “Heaven Belongs To You,” an evangelistic call-and-response with a jaunty tempo and led by Johnson with demonstrative insistence. The premise is simple: Heaven is yours to lose. It is a singular example of the ladies’ ...

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Juzang – Back 2 Life (EP)

Juzang Back 2 Life (EP) www.juzangmusic.com By Bob Marovich You may be asking yourself: what’s a Juzang? It’s a trio of singing sisters—Guielle, Patria, and Marisa Juzang—from Huntsville, Alabama. The lovely young ladies released their EDM-fueled inspirational single, “Back 2 Life,” this past spring. They return with a five-track EP of the same name that gives listeners a chance to hear more of their sweet harmonies. The title track, with its explosive punctuation of electronica, is still the group’s strongest offering. Nevertheless, the EP demonstrates that the trio does not need to hide behind musical pyrotechnics, however effective they may be, ...

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