Tag Archives: chicago

“Never Lost” – Tribl

“Never Lost” Tribl featuring Joe L. Barnes, Lizzie Morgan & Melvin Crispell III Tribl Music (album release date: November 11, 2021) www.tribl.com By Robert M. Marovich If you follow gospel music, you are aware of the rise of worship collectives like Elevation Worship, Nashville Life Music, and the recent Grammy Award-winning Maverick City Music. Worship collectives, which are often multicultural in composition, possess a style that falls somewhere between CCM and gospel. Sometimes this blend, designed to appeal to an increasingly multicultural megachurch environment, lands the groups’ music on the CCM and gospel charts at the same time. Tribl is ...

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“Jesus is Lord” – Calvin Bridges

“Jesus is Lord” Calvin Bridges PNEUMA/Spirit Recordings, Inc. (2022) www.calvinbridges.org By Robert M. Marovich Celebrated singer-songwriter and gospel music instructor Calvin Bridges, known for his hit composition “I Can Go to God in Prayer,” takes listeners to church again with “Jesus is Lord.” This song of worship brims with ‘80s Tommies swagger. The muscular-voiced Bridges engages in bracing call-and-response with the choristers who support him with full-throated energy. I can hear the song’s Hallelujahs lighting up radio post-Easter. “Jesus is Lord” was recorded live at Chicago’s historic Greater Harvest Baptist Church for Bridges’ 2019 solo project, Gospel Church Generations.

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Psalmist Raine & the ReFresh Team – ReFresh Worship Live 3.3

Psalmist Raine & the ReFresh Team ReFresh Worship Live 3.3 ReFresh Institute (release date: March 25, 2022) www.BeReFresh.com By Robert M. Marovich One thing is certain about Psalmist Raine’s ReFresh Worship Live 3.3: it keeps on going and going and going. The final disc of the three-volume ReFresh Worship Live 3: The Fellowship of Sons and Brethren by newly-ordained Apostle Larraine McCaa, known as Psalmist Raine, has a musical stream of consciousness quality. Indeed, fashioning an improvised extended worship piece was intentional: though some songs were rehearsed in advance, others were created on the spot by the singers and musicians ...

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“I Do, Don’t You” – Kergyma Community Choir

“I Do, Don’t You” Kergyma Community Choir From the Kergyma Music Group album Choir Life (Deluxe Version) (release date: June 24, 2021) www.kergyma.org By Robert M. Marovich I appreciate when a contemporary gospel group pulls out the hymnbook and updates an old standard for today’s audiences. That’s what the Kergyma Community Choir does with “I Do, Don’t You.” They and lead singer Darnell Williams (of the Williams Singers) give the hymn such bounce that one could mistakenly think it was written last year. But the hymn on which this version is based, Melville Miller and E. O. Excell’s “I Know ...

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“Praise Him” – Mud Morganfield

“Praise Him”Mud MorganfieldDelmark Records (release date: August 20, 2021)www.delmark.com By Robert M. Marovich Although Chicago’s Delmark Records is best known for its estimable blues and jazz catalogues, there’s a sacred single in the mix, brought to you by a most surprising source: Mud Morganfield, the eldest son of electric blues pioneer Muddy Waters. Expressing the religious experience in his own way, Morganfield conjures “Praise Him” as a hoodoo brew built on a pinch of blues, a dollop of gospel, and a generous scoop of Memphis-style soul. A salvation story sets the scene for this haunting praise song. Morganfield participates in ...

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JGM Pick of the Week September 28, 2021

“More than Enough” Tiff Jones Independent (release date: August 27, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich “More than Enough” is a gorgeous meditation on the transformative power of God’s love, made all the more beautiful by Tiff Jones’ restful delivery. Her vocals and the delicate musicianship flow like gently cleansing water. The harmonies on the lyrics about peace and grace are scrumptious. A key change at the end would have made it even more affecting. It’s the first songwriting credit for co-writer Nicole Thomas, a Chicagoan now living in the near western suburb of Oak Park (Donald Robinson is the other ...

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“Making Angels” – Tracy Worth

“Making Angels” Tracy Worth Independent (release date: September 10, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich It’s been a minute since we’ve heard from Tracy Worth, but the South Suburban Chicago singer sounds as if her voice hasn’t changed one day from her 2010 video “Christ Is All” or, for that matter, her 2005 radio hit, “I’ll Follow You,” featuring Melvin Williams. Despite the angelic title, the plaintive song is a plea for a stoppage of the violence that too often takes the youngest among us. “God don’t need no help making angels,” Worth declares, and she’s right. “We’re gonna lose a ...

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Journal of Gospel Music Wins Rhythm of Gospel Award

The Journal of Gospel Music garnered its first competitive award on Saturday, September 4, when it received the Gospel Internet Promotion & Marketing Group of the Year Award from the Rhythm of Gospel Awards. The 13th annual Rhythm of Gospel Awards was held at the Guesthouse at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. Bob Marovich, founder and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Gospel Music, expresses his heartfelt thanks to Dr. Mark Rogers and the Rhythm of Gospel Awards team and to those who voted for the site. It’s especially meaningful coming from an organization that, like the Journal, supports the efforts of ...

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“With Thee I Wed” – Curtis Fondren feat. Desmond Pringle and Felicia Coleman-Evans

“With Thee I Wed (The Wedding Song)” Curtis Fondren feat. Desmond Pringle & Felicia Coleman-Evans Independent (release date: June 18, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Longtime Chicago gospel musician Curtis Fondren offers something for the wedding trade in “With Thee I Wed.” This ’80s-esque slow jam evokes the tracks on Fred Hammond’s love album, complete with vow-like lyrics and honeyed melody and arrangement. The song spotlights two extraordinary talents, Desmond Pringle and Felicia Coleman-Evans, both of whom are soloists in their own right. They deliver the appropriately smooth-as-silk singing. Coleman-Evans in particular could sing the fine print on a credit ...

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“Diamond” – Emilia Walasik

“Diamond” Emilia Walasik (release date: May 13, 2021) www.emiliawalasikmusic.com By Robert M. Marovich Christian singer-songwriter Emilia Walasik could be my sister from another mother. Like me, she was raised Catholic, is from Chicago, possibly also Polish-American, writes songs, has served as a worship leader, and is drawn to the emotionality of gospel music. But Walasik has done one better: she has converted her songs into recordings. The melodic and pop-influenced “Diamond” is one of them. Accompanied by strings and keys, Walasik works squarely within the CCM environment. At once a love song, “Diamond” also references the unconditional love that only God ...

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