Tag Archives: houston

Celebrating the Life of Gospel Legend Shawn McLemore

For Immediate Release (Houston, Texas) The music community is mourning the loss of a Gospel music legend with the passing of Shawn McLemore after an extended illness. “Shawn was a great spirit with enormous talent and personality to match”, says Blacksmoke Music Worldwide CEO Kerry Douglas. “To see him take the stage and have absolute command of the room was just magic. He was genuine, he had a great sense of humor and when he sang, God listened. Shawn was a gift to us and he will surely be missed.” Life began for Shawn McLemore in Los Angeles, California, where ...

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Ray Bady Named New Pastor of Valley Kingdom Ministries

From a press release: Apostle H. Daniel Wilson, Pastor of Valley Kingdom Ministries International (VKMI) in Chicago, and founder of the platinum-selling group, Shekinah Glory Ministry, has launched a year-long transition that will welcome Ray Bady as the 5,000-member church’s new leader in 2022. “I am not retiring,” says Apostle Wilson, who has been the church’s pastor for 37 years. “So many only see two paths for pastors, either dying or retiring. Neither of these are on my radar just now. I will not take these gifts of God to the grave. This is not my end. I’m just getting ...

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Gregory Gay Joins Blacksmoke Music Worldwide Team

(Houston, Texas) Blacksmoke Music Worldwide and Kerry Douglas Radio Promotions expands its bandwidth with the addition of Gregory Gay to its ranks. “Gregory Gay has been a fixture in the inner workings and behind the scenes of Gospel music for over two decades”, says Blacksmoke CEO Kerry Douglas. He has been a much loved minister of music and choir trainer/vocal coach (he can sing a little bit too) , a radio personality, a music editor, contributor to several books on Gospel and a management, marketing and publicity strategist. He knows the history of this great music and celebrates its continued ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: March 23, 2021

“It Was the Blood” Minister James Willis & Nu Praze From the CD The Book of James V. 1 http://minjamesawillisjr.com By Robert M. Marovich Blood songs are especially relevant during the Lenten season, and Minister James Willis & Nu Praze deliver one in “It Was the Blood.” The musicians and singers embed bluesy notes in this simple but effective song that all but calls for congregational participation on the chorus. Powerhouse vocalist Treva Jones is her remarkable self as featured soloist, especially during the vamp, when she offers a litany of ills that Jesus’s blood has healed. Despite surges of ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: February 15, 2021

“Pick You Back Up” Michael David Harrison feat. Beverly Crawford Independent (release date: January 31, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich If the jaunty piano opening doesn’t wake the dead from their slumber, Beverly Crawford’s characteristic evangelistic vocalizing will do the trick. Pick You Back Up” was produced by Linton Weems and penned by up-and-coming songwriter Michael David Harrison. Originally from Virginia but now living in Houston, Harrison mines that churchy traditional vibe to provide this unsubtle reminder that when you stumble and fall into the arms of the devil, the Lord is there to pick you up. If you are ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: August 11, 2020

“Trust and Believe”Mona MooreIndependent (release date: July 2, 2020)Available on iTunes By Bob Marovich Mona Moore’s affecting treatment of the dramatic “Trust and Believe” is what sells the single. From Houston, Texas, Moore reminds the listener that God is a “miracle worker,” so don’t fret: “God will do what he said He will do.” The lyric inspiration comes in part from Psalm 46:10 (“Be still and know that I am God”). Like a veteran vocalist, Moore begins softly, almost whispery, then moves incrementally into shouting evangelist mode as the mood of the song alters. “Trust and Believe” continues building to ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: April 28, 2020

“Leap of Faith” YimikaSoul From the Yimikasoulfactory CD Leap of Faith (release date: March 20, 2020) By Bob Marovich Houston, Texas singer YimikaSoul opens “Leap of Faith” like a veteran gospel stomper, her voice big and expansive like an evangelist starting a prayer service. From there, she shares the spotlight with a cheerful choir on this handclapper, reportedly based on personal experience, about how faith can make great things happen. The verse packs ten pounds of lyrics in five pounds of space, but the song’s traditional-sounding chorus, its theatricality, and a vamp with key changes more than make up for ...

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For the Lord – I’m Gonna Do Your Will

For the Lord I’m Gonna Do Your Will Independent (2019) By Bob Marovich From the Soul Stirrers to Endurance, Houston, Texas, has a strong gospel quartet history. For the Lord is another quartet that hails from the 713. As demonstrated on its full-length release, I’m Gonna Do Your Will, the group possesses an easy, relaxed sound, pulling elements from the smooth-singing R&B male groups of the 1990s. That is not to say For the Lord doesn’t have drive tempo tracks up their sleeve. One of them, “Yes I Did,” opens the album. The song is led by Phillip Grant, who ...

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Nikki Berry – Journey to Restoration

Nikki Berry Journey to Restoration Reviving Dreams Enterprises (release date: November 8, 2018) www.nikkiberrymusic.com By Bob Marovich Houston, Texas-based singer-songwriter Nikki Berry is one of the only gospel singers I know who also has a degree in mechanical engineering. I met Berry this summer at the Rhythm of Gospel Awards celebration in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she was crowned Ms. N.I.G.M.A. (National and Independent Gospel Music Awards). Journey to Restoration is her latest album. Striving and overcoming are the thematic strands that hold the project together and are, in her hands, the motive forces of achieving restoration. For example, “The ...

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“Give Him Glory” – Dr. LaTonya Earl

“Give Him Glory” Dr. LaTonya Earl Latonyaearl1@gmail.com By Bob Marovich Houstonian Dr. LaTonya Earl’s sassy single “When I Stopped Playing with Jesus” is distinctive in melody and lyric, but it’s her work on the worship ballad “Give Him Glory” that best sells her skills to the gospel music public. This simple song, with its singularly singable melody, finds Earl at her unbridled best. Like a seasoned gospel soloist, she raises the song’s temperature from cool and even to a breathless apex without coming close to going off the melismatic cliff. The independent artist Dr. LaTonya Earl has earned honors at ...

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