Tag Archives: atlanta

JGM Pick of the Week: April 14, 2020

“While Traveling Through” Shonda English feat. Lemmie Battles From the forthcoming album Travelin’ (release date: March 13, 2020) By Bob Marovich Combine the sanctuary-honed talents of Shonda English and Lemmie Battles, veteran musician Richard Gibbs, and David Walker & High Praise of Atlanta, Georgia, and you have the ingredients of an old-fashioned church rouser, low country handclap and all. “While Traveling Through” doesn’t disappoint. English and Battles sing and shout the glory down as they remind the listener that since this “barren world” is not our home, we are just travelers on our way to a better place. English is ...

Read More »

“Good God” – Benita Jones

“Good God” Benita Jones Tyscot / Integrity (release date: March 6, 2020) By Bob Marovich As Benita Washington, the P&W singer from Selma, Alabama, captured national attention in 2003 after winning the “Gospel Dream” talent search competition in its inaugural season. Her subsequent albums included Hold On (Light/Intersound, 2004), Renaissance: Live in Nashville (ReddApple Seed Ent., 2007), and The Word Remains (Shanachie, 2020). Now, as Benita Jones, she delivers “Good God,” the first single from her forthcoming album. Her full-throttle rendition, backed by a band of musicians pounding out an uncompromising march tempo, turns an unassuming call-and-response worship piece into ...

Read More »

Teenaged Daughter of Gospel Singer Micah Stampley Passes Away

(ATLANTA, GA) October 22, 2019 – It is with a heavy heart that the Stampley family would like to announce the passing of their 15 year old daughter, Mary Stampley, from complications with a seizure. Please keep their family in your prayers and respect their privacy as they deal with this traumatic event. #    # The Journal of Gospel Music sends its heartfelt sympathies to the Stampley family on the loss of Mary. Parents should never have to bury their children. Our heart breaks for you.

Read More »

Beverly Heath – Jesus Boulevard

Beverly Heath Jesus Boulevard BaCE Music (release date: July 8, 2018) www.beverlyheath.com By Bob Marovich The title track of singer-songwriter Beverly Heath’s CD, Jesus Boulevard, sounds like a road the Dixie Hummingbirds could take their “Christian’s Automobile” for a spin. There are blessings awaiting the believer on “Jesus Boulevard,” the Atlanta-based Heath sings. And along the way, one can make passage on “Righteous Way” and “Miracle Road.” All these roads lead to peace of mind. No pun intended, but Heath’s style is what you could call middle-of-the-road (MOR) gospel. It is neither sanctified nor atmospheric. MOR is, in fact, where ...

Read More »

RIP: Dr. Jonathan Greer II, Organist, Choir Director, Church Leader

By Bob Marovich Dennis Bines informed the Journal of Gospel Music that Dr. Jonathan Greer II passed away on Saturday, August 31, 2019. Home going arrangements will be announced as soon as they are known. Meanwhile, here is a brief bio on Dr. Greer, written by me for the Malaco Music Group website and approved by the late Dr. Greer: A gospel organist, choir director and church leader, Dr. Jonathan Greer II was born June 4, 1941, to Bishop Jonathan Greer Sr. and Vanilla “Dear” Thompson. The young Jonathan grew up in his father’s Chicago church, Light of the World ...

Read More »

William Murphy – Settle Here

William Murphy Settle Here RCA Inspiration (release date: March 15, 2019) www.rcainspiration.com By Bob Marovich William Murphy uses home court advantage to his best advantage on his sixth and latest solo album, Settle Here. Recorded live on a rainy evening at Atlanta’s dReam Center Church, where Murphy is worship leader, Settle Here offers ten superb P&W songs instead of replicating a worship service, warts and all, in lockstep fashion. For example, the album opens not with the almost compulsory cookie-cutter aerobic praise piece but with Christian artist Zach Williams’ dramatic “Chain Breaker.” The song, recorded previously by Angela “Missy” Billups, ...

Read More »

Troy Ramey, Popular Quartet Lead Singer, Passes Away

By Bob Marovich The Journal of Gospel Music learned that Troy Ramey, longtime lead singer for the Soul Searchers of Atlanta, Georgia, has passed away. More details will be forthcoming as they are made available. Formerly a house painter, Troy Ramey was first lead for the Soul Searchers since the early 1960s, when they would appear at Bro. Esmond Patterson’s WAOK Gospel Caravan programs. The group first recorded for the local Atlanta label Ziontone and later signed with Musicor, where their 1972 hit, “Great Change,” put the quartet on the national map. By 1976, the group was recording albums and singles for ...

Read More »

For Patrick Lundy, It’s About the “Whole Gamut of Sacred Music”

By Bob Marovich Patrick Lundy and the Ministers of Music mix traditional and classically-infused contemporary gospel into their repertory. While their current single, the unapologetically traditional “Enter His Gates,” continues to impact radio, the group has also recorded an entire album of spirituals and hymns.  This reflects Patrick Lundy’s admiration for, and experience with, the full palette of sacred music. Lundy visited with the Journal of Gospel Music while in Chicago for the annual Chorus America conference. It was almost a foregone conclusion that Patrick Lundy would go into music as a profession. First Missionary Baptist, the church he attended as a child, was blessed with ...

Read More »

Kelontae Gavin – The Higher Experience

Kelontae Gavin The Higher Experience Tyscot Records / Marquis Boone Enterprises (release date: April 27, 2018) www.tyscot.com By Bob Marovich Now in its fifth decade, Tyscot Records has been repaving its road to success by introducing young artists and groups that mix praise and rhythm, often in an attempt to replicate the live worship experience on compact disc. Anthony Brown and Group TherAPy, Ruth LaOntra, Casey J, and Bri Babineaux are just a few examples. The latter two have come to Tyscot through its relationship with starmaker Marquis Boone. Boone, referred to by many as the “Berry Gordy of Gospel,” finds, grooms, ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: October 16, 2017

“Just Like You” Freewill Available October 20, 2017 http://hyperurl.co/f07w9w By Bob Marovich Will Robinson, aka Freewill, teams up with producer Jor’Dan Armstrong on “Just Like You,” an inspirational song about the importance of moving beyond the cultural divide, “past the drama and the issues,” to the realization that we are, deep down, all the same. A schoolteacher from Atlanta, Georgia (and a Chicago White Sox fan, apparently), Freewill explains the song’s concept: “I believe we have a lot more in common than we think, but our differences sometimes stop the opportunity for us to have an open dialogue.” He gets this ...

Read More »