Tag Archives: los angeles

The Zion Messengers (self-titled)

The Zion Messengers (self-titled) 1500 Or Nothin Gospel (release date: 2013) By Bob Marovich Thanks to Snoop Dogg and his best-selling Bible of Love, gospel music enthusiasts outside of Los Angeles are now familiar with Charles “Uncle Chucc” Hamilton and the Zion Messengers. The quartet is featured prominently on that collection’s “Going Home.” You can hear echoes of the Zion Messengers, circa 2018, on their self-titled and self-produced debut CD released five years earlier. Their vocal strength is especially evident on the album’s drive-tempo numbers such as “After While” and “I’m Depending on You.” As the musicians play out the latter track, ...

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The Zion Messengers – I’m Ready

The Zion Messengers I’m Ready 1500 GOSPEL (release date: September 1, 2015) By Bob Marovich If you’ve heard Snoop Dogg’s gospel album, Bible of Love, you’ve heard the Zion Messengers. They are the young quartet from Los Angeles that sings on Bible of Love‘s “Going Home.” But you don’t get to appear on Bible of Love without gospel music experience. Indeed, the Zion Messengers released their own album, I’m Ready, back in 2015. The quartet sounds just as confident on this earlier album as they do on Snoop Dogg’s. Although endeavoring to make I’m Ready as contemporary as possible, the ...

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The Essential Beverly Crawford, Volume 2

Beverly Crawford The Essential – Vol. 2 JDI Records (release date: February 2, 2018) By Bob Marovich Gainesville, Florida, gospel singer Beverly Crawford is a steadfast traditionalist, and God bless her for it. She is among the most popular of those singers who perpetuate the audience-rousing squalling and shouting characteristic of old time evangelism, and who still sings songs packed with church aphorisms and mother wit. As was the case with the first volume of The Essential Beverly Crawford (2005), neither “It’s About Time for a Miracle” nor “Sweeping Through the City” are included on The Essential – Volume 2, despite ...

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RIP Dr. Rodena Preston, Musician, Director, GMWA Executive

By Bob Marovich JGM was saddened to learn from Gayle Lecus and others in Southern California today that Dr. Rodena Preston has transitioned from earthly labor to heavenly reward. Rodena’s music career was fostered by her mother, Mrs. Robbie Preston-Williams, who had her daughter playing piano at age three. By age nine, Rodena was accompanying the junior choir at the Victory Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Her brother, Billy Preston, went on to play the organ and achieve success as an organist and vocalist in both the gospel and pop music worlds. Later, Rodena joined the Ladies of Song and was the ...

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RIP Alonzo Atkins, Choir Director, Worked with Rev. James Cleveland

By Bob Marovich JGM learned that choir director Alonzo Atkins passed away. Atkins had a longstanding tenure working with the Reverend James Cleveland. He directed the Voices of Tabernacle of Detroit, Michigan, after Cleveland relocated to Los Angeles. When Cleveland opened his Cornerstone Baptist Church in Los Angeles, he summoned Atkins to be the church’s minister of music. Atkins also worked with the Southern California Community Choir, also under the leadership of Rev. James Cleveland.  Atkins helped with the music at Cleveland’s funeral. In 2001, Atkins began directing Pastor John P. Kee’s New Life Fellowship Choir. Many will also remember Atkins from his ...

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William E. Johnson III – One God

William E. Johnson III One God WEJ Music (release date: January 28, 2017) https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/williamejohnsoniii By Bob Marovich The Latin words on the Great Seal of the United States, e pluribus unum (out of many, one), could be the subtitle of William E. Johnson III’s One God. Unified praise by a community of worshipers to one God with many names is the thematic and musical thread running through the Los Angeles-based Praise and Worship leader’s album, recorded live at Antioch Church of Long Beach, California. Johnson’s high tenor is pulpit-honed, big and bold. It lends muscle to the album’s energetic opening ...

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Eagle Rock Gospel Singers Preview New Song and Video

The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers premiere their video of “Lay Down Low,” a new song recorded in a historic nineteenth-century Episcopal church in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles. The song is from the group’s forthcoming album, No Glory. “‘Lay Down Low’ started with a simple little melody for the verses. I wrote what I thought could be a concise telling of the story of Jesus using that melody as a springboard. I wanted something bittersweet for the chorus that had some teeth and gave the story an arc. I used a melody that could be percussively barked and had no home ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: January 2, 2017

“I Will Be Waiting” Guro Elverhoi (released October 20, 2016) www.guromusic.com “I Will Be Waiting” is a new single from Guro Elverhoi, a talented singer with a delicate and beautiful voice that evokes a young Joni Mitchell. Led by an acoustic guitar, the song is a wispy Christian folk ballad brimming with similes about seeking God’s guidance patiently. From Roeyken, Norway, where she directed a local youth choir and received a Cultural Scholarship for her many contributions to the area’s arts scene, Guro graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2015. She is now based in Los Angeles, where she ...

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The Rance Allen Group – Live from San Francisco

The Rance Allen Group Live from San Francisco Tyscot Records (release date: October 28, 2016) www.tyscot.com By Bob Marovich “I’m loving me some of y’all,” gushed an obviously pleased Bishop Rance Allen to the audience gathered to hear the Rance Allen Group at the Second Annual Charles Reid Gospel Festival in Richmond, California, north of San Francisco. From the response of the audience, the love was mutual. The Bay Area program was recorded live by Tyscot Records and released as Live from San Francisco, the Rance Allen Group’s 25th album and third live project. They return for this live album ...

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Attention Songwriters: Ami Rushes is Looking for You

LOS ANGELES, CA (Tuesday, October 4, 2016) – Gospel recording artist Ami Rushes is gearing up for her sixth album and she wants to make you part of the process. As Rushes continues to uplift and inspire with her Sunday morning classics, praise and worship anthems and foot-stomping, hand-clapping Gospel Music; she’s seeking songwriters to contribute music for her not-yet-titled 2017 release that will be produced by the award-winning Kurt Carr. “I love ‘Standing Up For Jesus’ and spreading His message through Gospel Music and I’m looking to work with some fresh, new songwriters on music that will encourage God’s ...

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