Tag Archives: gospel music

“I Tried Him For Myself” – Ellen Hayes & Harmonee

“I Tried Him For Myself” Ellen Hayes & Harmonee True Inspiration Music Group (2015) www.meetellenhayes.com A breezy but insistent mid-tempo rhythm propels this soulful selection from Detroit family group Ellen Hayes & Harmonee. On “I Tried Him For Myself,” mother (Ellen) and daughters (Harmonee) offer their testimony of God’s greatness, based on experience. He made a way, he opened doors, he opened eyes. They “know too much about Him” to disbelieve. What’s especially notable about this single is Harmonee—LaToya Bellafant, Cynthia Gross and Carmen Hayes—whose background vocals are stunning. Maybe part of it is the mixing of Grammy Award-winner Eric ...

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Gerald “Da Gospel Truth” Jones Presents The Independent Spirit, Vol. 1

Various Artists Gerald “Da Gospel Truth” Jones Presents The Independent Spirit, Volume 1 (release date: September 4, 2015) www.ispiritmusic.com By Bob Marovich Industry insiders will tell you that some of the best gospel music is not being heard on mainstream gospel radio. It’s being produced by independent, or indie, artists. That should not surprise anyone. It is the case with most music genres. It has been that way for decades. Artists typically do their finest work during their “hungry” or “salad” days. And every artist was once an independent. James Cleveland. Kirk Franklin. Mahalia Jackson. The Caravans. The father of ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: August 31, 2015

“Worthy is the Lamb” Eminence (2015) www.cdbaby.com/cd/eminence2 On its first single, “Worthy is the Lamb,” New York-based gospel ensemble Eminence demonstrates kinship with the vocally aerobic sound of the late O’Landa Draper. Sections of soothing harmony on this majestic praiser transition abruptly to passages of throaty, dramatic angularity, and then back again, in a mashup of gospel and senior choir techniques. The group will garner interest for its demonstrative attack of lyric lines alone. Written by Karl Jackson with musical production by Gary Mayes, “Worthy is the Lamb” is reminiscent of 1990s gospel choirs but is as contemporary as this moment.

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Akita Steen Smith – A Long Time Coming (EP)

Akita Steen Smith A Long Time Coming Akita Steen Smith (2014) http://altmgtmktc.com/akita-steen/ By Bob Marovich “It’s been a long time coming,” Akita Steen Smith sings on the title track of her five-cut EP. No doubt it has been a journey, but A Long Time Coming suggests that the Detroit singer is not yet at the finish line. This independently-produced project by indie vocalist Smith is contemporary gospel steeped in smooth jazz arrangements and musicianship. Less is more, as the saying goes, and it would have been good advice for this project. In more instances than fewer, too much is going on musically, especially ...

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Juzang – Back 2 Life (EP)

Juzang Back 2 Life (EP) www.juzangmusic.com By Bob Marovich You may be asking yourself: what’s a Juzang? It’s a trio of singing sisters—Guielle, Patria, and Marisa Juzang—from Huntsville, Alabama. The lovely young ladies released their EDM-fueled inspirational single, “Back 2 Life,” this past spring. They return with a five-track EP of the same name that gives listeners a chance to hear more of their sweet harmonies. The title track, with its explosive punctuation of electronica, is still the group’s strongest offering. Nevertheless, the EP demonstrates that the trio does not need to hide behind musical pyrotechnics, however effective they may be, ...

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Brian Nhira Premiers Video for “Back Where You Belong”

Today, Oklahoman gospel artist Brian Nhira premieres the video for “Back Where You Belong,” a song about the impact of fatherlessness on a child as he or she grows to adulthood. Nhira hopes the song and video will stimulate a conversation about fatherlessness and the need for reconciliation. The song is from Nhira’s debut album, Hope’s Stand, available on iTunes. For more information, visit www.briannhira.com.

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JGM Pick of the Week: August 24, 2015

“You Can’t Give Up” Paul Porter From the Motown Gospel CD F.R.E.E. (2014) www.motowngospel.com Paul Porter lets his quartet roots show in this bluesy gospel song about staying encouraged in the midst of unbearable personal circumstances. Backed by a quartet, Porter sings and eventually shouts lyrics that contain what I call the spiritual ‘but’: sickness might be “getting worse and you don’t know what to do,” or “life for you has been so rough,” but hold on, put your trust in the Lord, and don’t give up–he will see you through. Porter knows whereof he sings. Stricken with a brain aneurysm in ...

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“Thank You, Thank You Jesus” – Chicago Mass Choir

“Thank You, Thank You Jesus” Chicago Mass Choir From the forthcoming New Haven Records CD We Give You Praise (single digital release date: September 11, 2015) www.chicagomasschoir.com The consistently top-notch Chicago Mass Choir provides a stinger of a mid-tempo praise song on “Thank You, Thank You Jesus.” Riffing lyrically on the “How I Got Over” message, the choir, led by the effervescent Evangelist Lemmie Battles, lofts praises to God for all he’s done.  A cancer survivor, Battles has a lot to be thankful for, so when she squalls during the song’s apex, you know it’s heartfelt. “Thank You, Thank You ...

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“God Has Done” – Bishop Kenneth Robinson & Chosen

“God Has Done” Bishop Kenneth Robinson & Chosen From the forthcoming album Churchin’ with Chosen (2015) The group’s name suggests it’s a small choir, but make no mistake: Bishop Kenneth Robinson & Chosen is a gospel quartet, complete with shouts, squalls, and leaps into falsetto. On “God Has Done,” the group instructs the listener to trust God, because he’s already done what he said he would do.  They give the song that energizing drive-tempo quartet rhythm—some might call it a “hip slapping” beat, but who hip slaps anymore? One of the “Singing Bishops” featured on a 2008 Light Records CD ...

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Chicago Mourns Passing of Bishop Jerry D. Goodloe

By Bob Marovich President Yvonne Seabrooks of the Chicago Area Gospel Announcers Guild informed JGM that Bishop Jerry D. Goodloe, pastor and overseer of Lighthouse Baptist Church of Chicago, has passed away. Born January 17, 1923, in Nashville, Tennessee, Bishop Goodloe moved at age four to Detroit, and then to Chicago in 1946. In Chicago, he attended Liberty Baptist Church under the leadership of Dr. D. Z. Jackson, and was part of First Church of Deliverance in the 1950s, where he sang in its famous radio choir. Goodloe entered the ministry and with seven members, started Lighthouse Baptist Church on ...

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