Tag Archives: detroit

Bishop J. Drew Sheard Presents GEI Live

Bishop J. Drew Sheard Presents GEI Live Karew Records (release date: September 30, 2016) www.karewrecords.com By Bob Marovich GEI Live is a family affair: church family and blood family. Recorded live on August 17, 2015, at Greater Emmanuel Institutional (GEI) Church of God in Christ in Detroit, Michigan, Bishop J. Drew Sheard Presents GEI Live finds the extended and esteemed gospel singing Clark Family and the GEI membership all-in. The album’s key messages of hope, faith, trust, and the importance of praising God for always having our back and keeping His promises are particularly relevant in this post-modern world. The bliss ...

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Kierra Sheard’s Bridges Tour Closes Gap between “Faith and Real Life”

By Bob Marovich The intimate Mayne Stage theater on Chicago’s North Side reverberated with blasts of EDM, raucous drums, snarling electric guitar, thumping bass, chiming keyboards, and an Apple computer churning out beats like a jukebox. The vocalists had the standing room only crowd on its feet, hands waving, dancing, and offering exuberant applause after each song. I’m not describing a rock or R&B concert but the Bridges Tour, starring contemporary gospel artists Kierra Sheard, Jojo Martin, and Jor’Dan Armstrong. Singer-songwriter, recording artist, actor, fashion designer, and media presence Sheard, whose mother is Karen Clark Sheard and grandmother the late ...

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Bill Moss Jr. Live With Third New Hope: Songbook of Praise & Worship

Bill Moss Jr. Live with Third New Hope Songbook of Praise & Worship Salathiel Records www.billmossmusic.com By Bob Marovich Motor City singer-songwriter Bill Moss Jr.’s newest release, Songbook of Praise & Worship, is exactly what it is advertised to be. It’s a collection of ready-to-learn P&W songs rendered by Moss and a small but melodious choir from Detroit’s Third New Hope Baptist Church, where the album was recorded live on December 20, 2015. Besides offering a collection of P&W songs, each distinct from one another and all suitable for devotionals, the album contains a thematic undercurrent: the restorative property of ...

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“Zion Praise” – Clareta Haddon

“Zion Praise” Clareta Haddon From the album Contagious www.claretamusic.com Introduced with a “Sing, ReRe” by brother Deitrick, Clareta Haddon-Jackson drops into a rock steady rhythm for “Zion Praise.” Emulating the clipped lyrical patter of reggae artists one moment and lofting gospel shouts heavenward the next, Clareta reminds Zion (i.e., the church) that “everything you do is about God’s glory.” Coming from the Haddon Family, it’s not surprising that Clareta pushes the envelope in music and fashion—she is recognizable by her blue-tinged rocker ‘do and slate blue lipstick. It’s also not surprising that she can sing. The whole Haddon Family, all the ...

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R.E.V. – Beyond Armageddon

R.E.V. Beyond Armageddon (2016) www.revgospel.com By Bob Marovich R.E.V. and Beyond Armageddon are the brainchildren of Detroiter Dennis M. Schultz. A lead and bass guitarist who for years balanced his day job with his passion for music, Schultz has had the notion to do this album since the 1990s. Some of the songs were written twenty years ago. He finally assembled the musicians and singers to create this album. The instrumentals, such as “Seasons Past (Deep Reflection),” “Eternal Voyager,” and the title track, are straightforward inspirational jazz pieces with Mike Joseph (alto sax), Michael Elder (tenor sax) and Darren McKinney (soprano sax) ...

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Carl B. Phillips & Friends – Great Rain

Carl B. Phillips & Friends Great Rain Prove Me Productions (release date: January 29, 2016) https://www.reverbnation.com/carlbphillips By Bob Marovich The photo on the back of the CD booklet for Carl B. Phillips & Friends’ Great Rain shows an Ivy League-attired Phillips standing next to a clock, a briefcase and umbrella in his hands. If, as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, this photo is saying that Phillips is prepared, but waiting patiently, for his bountiful shower of blessings. Waiting with expectation for a movement from God in one’s life is a current that runs throughout this live project ...

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Bishop Andrew Merritt & the Straight Gate Mass Choir – Saturate Us

Bishop Andrew Merritt & The Straight Gate Mass Choir Saturate Us Bajada Records (release date: December 22, 2015) www.saturateus.com By Bob Marovich The praise and worship choir, which one could argue was pioneered in the 1980s by Carol Cymbala and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, tempers the soul-stirring sounds of the gospel choir by employing fewer vocal acrobatics and blue notes, but maintaining the latter’s thunderous fervor. This choral style is ubiquitous in gospel music these days, but Detroit’s Straight Gate Mass Choir, under the leadership of Bishop Andrew Merritt, was among the first to bring it into the urban church. Making records ...

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Herbert “Pee Wee” Pickard, Noted Gospel Accompanist, Dies

By Bob Marovich Traditional gospel music enthusiast Jordan K. Phillips informed JGM that Herbert “Pee Wee” Pickard, noted organist and pianist who accompanied the Gospel Harmonettes, James Cleveland and the Voices of Tabernacle,  and many other gospel artists, passed away today. Mr. Pickard,  a resident of Detroit, was a child prodigy.  Anthony Heilbut (The Gospel Sound) told JGM recently that as a preteen, Pickard caught the attention of Lionel Hampton around the time that Dinah Washington was the group’s lead singer.  Heilbut laughed that had Pickard joined Hampton and Washington, they would have invented soul music ten years before Ray Charles. Pickard not only ...

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“Jesus” – Rodriquez Linson & Ministry

“Jesus” Rodriquez Linson & Ministry Linson Enterprise & BigBoyMusicGroup www.cdbaby.com/Artist/RodriquezLinsonMinistry Detroit organist Rod Linson & Ministry’s single, “Jesus,” is an intense call-and-response invocation of the Lord’s name and goodness. With flourishes of thunderous harmony, the ensemble sings in a minor key but resolves the motives in a major key. Nominated for four 2016 Rhythm of Gospel Awards, the group released its debut album, Oh Lord, Hear My Cry (Psalms 141) in late 2014. Fellow Detroiter Dr. E. LaQuint Weaver contributes two lead solos on the album.

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Jon Plair – Can You Imagine

Jon Plair Can You Imagine (self-released) www.jonplair.com By Bob Marovich Jon Plair surrounded himself with talented musicians and singers for his latest album, Can You Imagine, and it’s telling in the quality of the project. Plair, a native of Kalamazoo, Michigan, who now calls Detroit home, functions on the album as a master of ceremonies, a bandleader, or even a preacher, for that matter.  His authoritative interaction with his background vocalists, as well as the messages of hope and encouragement in his songs, evoke James Fortune & FIYA. In fact, Plair’s music is so evocative of Fortune & FIYA that ...

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