Tag Archives: birmingham

“Power in the Blood” – Dr. Prince Yelder & the Disciples for Christ

“Power in the Blood” Dr. Prince Yelder & the Disciples for Christ Tyscot Records (release date: April 1, 2022) www.tyscot.com By Robert M. Marovich With a nod to the song’s composer, Bishop Leonard Scott, Dr. Prince Yelder & the Disciples for Christ offer a resounding and high-energy version of “Power in the Blood.” In her commanding alto, lead singer Brenda Card testifies about the power of the blood in a lyrical conversation with the choir, as the musicians pump out a bracing beat. The choir uses its brief solo to deliver majestic New G-style chords and cascading harmonies. The song ...

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JGM Pick of the Week August 23, 2021

“Redeemed” Denita Gibbs IndieBlu / eOne Music (release date: June 25, 2021) www.denitagibbs.com By Robert M. Marovich Denita Gibbs of Birmingham, Alabama (now living in Nashville), is an excellent gospel artist who has not gotten an even break since her 2013 project, the five-star Without You (Audiostate 55 Entertainment). For “Redeemed,” a jumping celebration of salvation, Gibbs employs the talented producer Sean D. Scales, who injects the arrangement with gallons of urban AC swagger. Perhaps this selection will not only express her joy at redemption but be redemptive for her career. She certainly deserves it. This woman can sing!

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 10, 2021

“He’s Way Ahead of You” Denita Gibbs DGW Entertainment (release date: March 6, 2021) www.denitagibbs.com By Robert M. Marovich Now THIS is the Denita Gibbs I remember from her 2013 CD, Without You. The Birmingham, Alabama, native’s declarative vocals on “He’s Way Ahead of You” are locked in from the very start when she sings: “This world is crazy / Spinning out of control / People do the wildest things / And try to rob you of hope.” Having painted the painful scene, Gibbs then reminds the listener to refrain from bitterness because God promised that He’ll never leave you ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: March 9, 2020

“Keep Holding On” Denita Gibbs Intersound / distributed by IndieBlu Music (release date: October 19, 2018) www.denitagibbs.com By Bob Marovich Denita Gibbs of Birmingham, Alabama, entered the national consciousness in 2013 with her five-star sophomore release, Without You. She’s back with “Keep Holding On,” a finger-popping single distinguished by a husky chromatic riff on electric guitar. In a confident, convincing, pop-inflected voice, Gibbs instructs that God will see you through the dark times. Though the single is more than a year old, Gibbs still promotes it in her appearances. A member of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc., a ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: February 24, 2020

“Big” Pastor Mike Jr. Blacksmoke Music Worldwide/Rock City Media Group (release date: May 10, 2019) By Bob Marovich In a time when Kanye West is dominating Billboard‘s Top Gospel Singles and Albums charts, whatever space is left is occupied by legacy artists like Kirk Franklin and Tamela Mann. There’s scant room for new artists. Nevertheless, Pastor Mike Jr. has broken through onto the charts with “Big” and his album Free. As sonically enormous as its subject, “Big” evokes the work of James Fortune & FIYA in its use of spoken calls to sung choral responses, outsized production, and zealous optimism. ...

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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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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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Evelyn Starks Hardy Dies; Member of the Original Gospel Harmonettes

By Bob Marovich Anthony Heilbut informed JGM this morning that Evelyn Starks Hardy, an original member of the Gospel Harmonettes, has died. Hardy, along with Mildred Madison Howard and Odessa Edwards, students at Birmingham’s Parker High School, formed the Gospel Harmonettes in 1940. They were among the first female African American gospel groups to sign with a major label (RCA Victor). In 1947, Hardy heard Dorothy Love Coates sing on a radio broadcast and recommended she join the group.  With Coates, the group became national recording and touring stars, one of the leading lights of gospel’s Golden Age. Heilbut notes ...

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Gregory Brown with the Abundant Life Music Ministry – 29:11

Gregory Brown with the Abundant Life Music Ministry 29:11 The Levite Music Group (2013) www.cdbaby.com/cd/gregorybrown22 By Bob Marovich Released November 3, 2013, 29:11 is the product of Birmingham, Alabama choir Gregory L. Brown and the Abundant Life Music Ministry. The title refers to Jeremiah 29:11: “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” In alignment with this message, Brown’s objective for the CD is to “speak life and minister wholeness to broken hearts.” While the album meets this objective ...

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