Tag Archives: gospel music

Evangelist Myrna Summers: God Gave Her a Song and Now a Ministry

By Bob Marovich In 1970, Evangelist Myrna Summers burst on the gospel music scene on the strength of “God Gave Me a Song,” a composition she wrote and performed with the Interdenominational Youth Choir of Washington, DC and Maryland. It was so popular, Atlantic Records handed her a recording contract. The song earned a Grammy nomination. Summers is now parlaying her more than forty years of success as a music minister to help fellow church musicians and singers understand that music ministry is “More than a Song.” “Music people, that’s where my heart is,” Summers told the Journal of Gospel ...

Read More »

“Jesus Oh What a Wonderful Child – The Walls Group

“Jesus Oh What a Wonderful Child” The Walls Group From the EP Sounds of Christmas With “Jesus Oh What a Wonderful Child,” The Walls Group puts a contemporary lacquer on Margaret Allison and the Angelic Gospel Singers’ Christmas classic, “Glory, Glory to the New Born King.” Once the most popular Christmas song in the African American community, it was overtaken by Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas.” Still, as The Walls Group demonstrates, you can bring an old carol back to life by lifting the tempo and tossing leads back and forth like the Harlem Globetrotters pass the ball around.  They sing ...

Read More »

Janice Gaines – Greatest Life Ever

Janice Gaines Greatest Life Ever Motown Gospel (release date: October 9, 2015) www.motowngospel.com By Bob Marovich While listening to Janice Gaines sing “The Break-Up Song,” on her debut album, Greatest Life Ever, it struck me that she could have been a fourth member of Destiny’s Child.  She can ride a rhythm as effortlessly as Bey and them. At the same time, Gaines has a worship leader’s heart of joyful exuberance, meaning she could deliver a DC stinger, if warranted, but she would follow it up not with a snarky glance but with a smile and a wink. All this is to ...

Read More »

Deitrick Haddon: “We Are All God’s Masterpieces”

Last week, Deitrick Haddon spoke with Bob Marovich of the Journal of Gospel Music about his new album, Masterpiece, which Entertainment One will release this Friday, November 6. JGM: Masterpiece, the album, is being described as sort of a musical maturation on your part. Is that a fair assumption? DH: Absolutely. It definitely reflects where I am in my life right now. That’s how I create records: I’m inspired by my life. What I have experienced in my life tends to show up in my music. JGM: On Preachers of LA and in performance, you come across as very real, ...

Read More »

Apostle Dr. Ross D. Garrison Jr. – We Will Worship, Volume 1

Apostle Dr. Ross D. Garrison Jr. We Will Worship – Volume One Lions Roar Productions (2011) By Bob Marovich It makes sense that Apostle Dr. Ross D. Garrison Jr.’s first live Praise & Worship CD was recorded at Love Center Ministries in Oakland, California, on July 11, 2011, exactly one year to the day after the passing of Bishop Walter Hawkins. The album, We Will Worship – Volume One, has more in common with the Hawkins Family’s choral outings than with today’s definition of Praise & Worship music. In fact, the album features so many delightfully traditional gospel elements that ...

Read More »

Howard Ziwa – Dawn

Howard Ziwa Dawn – Volume 1 www.ziwamusic.com By Bob Marovich Howard Ziwa’s Dawn—I’m tempted to call it an EP because it has eight tracks and weighs in at under thirty minutes—has its high points and low points. Let’s start with the high points. The EP’s finest selections, “Alele” and “Let It Be,” are fueled by the brisk polyrhythms, vertical praise lyrics, and instrumental sensibilities of the gospel music from Ziwa’s native Africa (he was born in Kampala, Uganda). Those familiar with African gospel music know that it is often ignited by insistent drums and an ostinato riff on keyboard or ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: October 19, 2015

“Hear Us” Maurice Griffin MGM Chicago Music Group www.mauricegriffinonline.com Maurice Griffin went from being in the Chicago-based gospel group New Direction to winning the Gospel Music Workshop of America Gospel Treasure competition in 2007, then to being a finalist on Season Two of BET’s Sunday Best. He was nominated for a 2013 Stellar Award for Best Artist of the Year. Part of the reason for Griffin’s upward trajectory is his vocal agility and capacity to read a praise lyric with just the right mix of conviction and pacing. He demonstrates all of this on “Hear Us,” a single that he released last ...

Read More »

Stryper – Fallen

Stryper Fallen Frontiers Music srl (release date: October 16, 2015) www.stryper.com By Bob Marovich For Christians about to rock, we salute you. Immediately following the Gothic a cappella harmonies that open Fallen, Stryper’s eleventh full-length original album, the four-man Christian metal band rock relentlessly until the CD screeches to a stop some fifty minutes later.  Guitars thrash, gnash, and gnarl, drums and bass craft complex rhythmic shapes, and Michael Sweet lofts soaring cries and glass-shattering high notes into the heavens. The godfathers of Christian metal deliver the goods on every track of Fallen. “Yahweh,” written with Clint Lowery of Sevendust and ...

Read More »

Bishop Andrew J. Ford II & the Anointed Voices – EP

Bishop Andrew J. Ford II & The Anointed Voices EP from the forthcoming CD We Still Serve a Mighty God www.fordmemorial.com By Bob Marovich By means of an EP and the current radio single, “A Mighty Good God,” Bishop Andrew J. Ford II & The Anointed Voices of Ford Memorial Temple are giving gospel music enthusiasts a taste of their forthcoming CD, We Still Serve A Mighty God. A choir director since his teenage years, Ford parlayed his fondness for gospel choral singing into the founding of Sweet Rain Records. The label recorded such artists as the Wilmington Chester Mass ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: October 12, 2015

“You Should Have Been There” Virginia Aires www.VirginiaAires.com The Virginia Aires’s new single is a mid-tempo rouser with a backbeat that exudes the sheer joy of personal salvation. The before and after effects of being saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost is a familiar narrative in gospel music. It nearly always receives the spirited vocal and musical treatment that the Virginia Aires employ, and for good reason.  When “your feet get light,” it’s no time for contemplation or drama. About midway through the vamp, the quartet shifts from the personal to the communal, asking how many in the ...

Read More »