Tag Archives: Gospel Music Workshop of America

JGM Pick of the Week: May 31, 2021

“I Am With You” Tameka Ferebee Tameka Ferebee Productions (release date: February 12, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Gospel singer-songwriter Tameka Ferebee’s “I Am With You” is a melodic evocation of the parental love that God has for each of us. The lyrics are written from God’s point of view, the ultimate parent who encourages and consoles his children, especially during the darkest times. Strings swirl dramatically around a delicate melody led by piano. Ferebee becomes more vocally confident as the song moves into the bridge, and explores her high soprano range en route to the big finish. The singer ...

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RIP Madeline Thompson, Ward Singer, GMWA Honoree

By Robert M. Marovich Eric Maurice Clark shared the sad news that gospel singer Madeline Thompson has passed away. Clark had interviewed Thompson for the February 2021 issue of his Inside a Gospel Music Historian’s World magazine. From Philadelphia, Madeline sang with her sister Julia in a duo called the Thompson Sisters. They even sang with the Imperial Gospel Singers at one point. In 1960, Mother Gertrude Ward wanted the two young ladies to join the Ward Singers; the departure of several foundational members to form the Stars of Faith left a gaping hole in the national gospel group. Only ...

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“Wait” – Kevan Peabody

“Wait” Kevan Peabody Twinkem Productions (release date: October 16, 2020) www.twinkemp.com By Robert M. Marovich Taking Proverbs 3:5-6 in part for his text, veteran gospel singer Kevan Peabody implores listeners on “Wait” not to despair but to trust and “wait on the Lord.” To a traditional-flavored but sonically robust arrangement featuring piano and warbling organ, Peabody croons his declarations in a mellow tenor peppered by blues notes. “Trust and never doubt,” he sings, “God will always bring you out.” The song, written by Steven Roberts, has the feel of a church solo augmented by a full studio backing. Bay Area ...

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“Get Right Church”- The Gospel Legends

“Get Right Church” The Gospel Legends From the OTH Records CD Just One Touch (release date: December 11, 2020) www.thegospellegends.com By Robert M. Marovich One day about fifteen years ago, I was at the Gospel Music Workshop of America when someone handed me an invitation to meet a group called the Gospel Legends at their booth in the exhibitors’ hall. Intrigued, I accepted the invitation, expecting to shake hands with a group of seniors from various veteran quartets. I’m sure the Gospel Legends of South Carolina smiled at the surprise on my face when I laid eyes on a group ...

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“Trust in the Lord” – Danielle Sunny Bryant

“Trust in the Lord” Danielle Sunny Bryant Ndamix Music Group (release date: November 13, 2020) By Robert M. Marovich On “Trust in the Lord,” Danielle Sunny Bryant encourages the discouraged by setting Proverbs 3: 5-6 to a meaty contemporary arrangement. Bryant’s attractive vocalizing toggles between modern and traditional, demonstrating her comfort with both styles. Starting out even-keeled, she moves the song toward the vamp, where the background vocalists do the melodic lifting so she can turn up the temperature and deliver a bluesy evangelism. The preferred extended version gives listeners a larger dose of Bryant’s vocal proclivities, including falsetto whoops ...

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RIP: Bernard Pinder (Newberry Singers, Utterbach Ensemble)

Willy Leiser and Linwood Heath informed JGM that Bernard Pinder has passed away. Here is a brief bio, courtesy of andre-café.com: Bernard Pinder is an anointed gospel singer whose gift has allowed him to travel extensively across the country as well as overseas. Bernard has sung before some of the most influential people in the world today, yet is as excited about singing at the smallest storefront church, as he is to sing before great men. It is a blessing to hear Bernard sing and he is an undisputed favorite in the Delaware Valley. His life is devoted to the worship ...

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Greg Harris – Reaching

Greg Harris Reaching KNEntertainment / Sabbath Day Records (release date: January 5, 2020) By Bob Marovich Reaching, the new studio CD by Pastor Greg Harris of Little Rock, Arkansas, features a handful of songs of praise, inspiration, and gratitude sung in several styles by Harris and a small choir. JGM’s introduction to Pastor Harris happened in 2009 with his appearance at the Gospel Music Workshop of America and a subsequent review of his live album from the same year. Reaching demonstrates Harris’s growth as a gospel singer. The two album standouts hearken back to old-fashioned Sunday morning singing. “He’s Coming ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: March 16, 2020

“Never Forget” Atlanta Chapter of the GMWA Mass Choir Aspire International Music Group (release date: February 22, 2020) www.atlantagmwamasschoir.org By Bob Marovich The choir representing the Atlanta Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA) gives the classic Soul Stirrers hit from 1954, “Jesus I’ll Never Forget,” a distinctive choir-tet arrangement. Joining the mass choir on lead vocals is GMWA stalwart Bishop Richard “Mr. Clean” White. White, squalling vocalist Evangelist Saundra Cepeda, and the choir take the listener back to what church used to sound like—but with a twist, courtesy of jazzy chords and chord changes in the bridge. ...

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“All of My Help” – Northern Delaware Chapter of GMWA Recording Choir

“All of My Help” Northern Delaware Chapter of GMWA Recording Choir Enon Music Group (release date: January 18, 2019) By Bob Marovich With the full-throated energy of a workshop choir, which it is, and the intrepid technique of New G, the Recording Choir of the Northern Delaware Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America pounds out the thunderous and aerobic “All of My Help.” The choir, directed by Minister Wayne E. Carter Sr., affectionately known as “the Maestro,” supports soloist Tamba Giles on this musical version of Psalm 121. Collectively, they deliver the message of the Psalm with the ...

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“Going” – Christina Bell

“Going” Christina Bell Malaco Music Group (2018) www.malaco.com By Bob Marovich When I first heard the Shreveport, Louisiana, female gospel group Zie’l singing a Ward Singers classic a cappella at the 2005 Gospel Music Workshop of America, I knew then it would be a group to watch. Though Zie’l tended to favor the smooth-and-sassy style of Virtue on their Genesis and Pronounced ZY-EL albums, their finest moments came when they worked within gospel’s firm foundations, such as on “Purify Me,” “Surely God is Able,” and “Is My Living in Vain.” Nevertheless, they always sounded better live. One of the principal ...

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