Tag Archives: malaco music group

Christina Bell – Still Faithful

Christina Bell Still Faithful Malaco Music Group (release date: July 30, 2021) www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich There’s no place like home. So that’s just where Christina Bell went, to her hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana, to record a live worship service and package it as Still Faithful. Bell’s star has risen from her days in the youth choir at Shreveport’s Bright Star Baptist Church, to membership in the popular female gospel group Zie’l, to solo artist, and then actress, playing Twinkie Clark in Lifetime’s Clark Sisters biopic. Although Bell demonstrates dramatic flair on Still Faithful, it’s all about the singing. ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: August 2, 2021

“Still Faithful” Christina Bell feat. Fred Hammond From the Malaco Music Group CD Still Faithful (release date: July 30, 2021) www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich With or without assistance from gospel legend Fred Hammond, “Still Faithful” is former Z’iel member Christina Bell’s best solo single yet. To a lilting melody, Bell declares on the title track of her new album that regardless of the day’s pains and tragedies, and there are many, don’t worry, God is there for you. Hammond is in full agreement, grateful that God prevented potential problems from happening in his life. In true gospel song fashion, ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: July 19, 2021

“I’d Rather Have Jesus” True Believers Malaco Music Group / 4 Winds (release date: June 23, 2021) www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich From the opening vocal harmony riff and the incessant piano triplets to the ultra-soulful lead vocals by Castro Coleman, “I’d Rather Have Jesus” sounds like a 1960s soul record but it is as new as a minute ago. Lyrically, the song by the True Believers quartet evokes the 1922 hymn with the same title, about forsaking the riches of the world for the wealth of eternity. The twist is that Coleman references the modern era when he describes ...

Read More »

“You Are” – Byron Cage

“You Are” Byron Cage AIR / Malaco Music Group www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich Stellar Award-winning “Prince of Praise” Byron Cage delivers his latest single, “You Are,” a conventional mid-tempo P&W. Cage alternates between singing and incrementally thunderous exhorting as the background singers keep the song moving forward. While the melody and lyrics are consistent with other contemporary P&W fare, including Cage’s own catalog, the chorus, with its call-and-response litany of adjectives to describe God, is what’s most compelling. The song is from Cage’s September 2019 Atlanta International Records album Isolation (a prophetic title considering the past sixteen months).

Read More »

“In Jesus’ Name” – BeBe Winans

“In Jesus’ Name” BeBe Winans From the Malaco Music Group / Regimen Records CD Need You www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich A repetitive riff played on an old upright piano drives a swaying gospel waltz tempo on BeBe Winans’ latest single, “In Jesus’ Name.” To a sing-song melody, the song doubles as praise and a reminder of the Lord’s constancy. There’s plenty of strong vocalizing from Winans and his BGVs. From the five-star album Need You.

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: February 22, 2021

“Pull Together” Roy & Revelation Malaco / 4 Winds Records (2021) www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich “When you look in the mirror / Are you proud of your reflection?” That’s what Roy & Revelation want to know on their new single, “Pull Together.” When people continue to be judged by the color of their skin and not the content of their character, it’s time to take a stand…again. That’s the only way we can make the world a better place, they sing. And those who don’t want to join the multicultural protest, well, they need to reconsider the purpose of ...

Read More »

“I Made It” – Darius Paulk

I Made It”Darius PaulkAIR / Malaco Music Groupwww.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich The intro to singer-songwriter Darius Paulk’s new single, “I Made It,” is straight out of the James Cleveland songbook. Percussive piano, check. Chirping organ, check. Gospel waltz tempo, check. The lyrics, on the other hand, offer a timeless message: surviving the trials and tribulations of life is the result of God’s goodness. But Paulk reminds the listener that it’s not always easy to keep the faith. He gets real: “The pressures of life are so hard to bear / And sometimes it seems like no one cares.” Later ...

Read More »

RIP: Val Alexander (Gospel Keynotes)

By Robert M. Marovich Debra Robinson informed JGM yesterday that Val Alexander, longtime singer and guitarist for the Gospel Keynotes, passed away on Wednesday, December 16, 2020. Alexander can be heard on Gospel Keynotes recordings as early as 1970. Here is a brief bio on the Gospel Keynotes: From Tyler, Texas, Willie Neal Johnson – affectionately known as “Country Boy” – began his professional singing career when Rev. C. W. Jackson invited him to join a local group, the Five Ways of Joy Gospel Singers, while he was still a teenager. The Five Ways of Joy instilled in Johnson a ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: November 2, 2020

“Hallelujah Anyhow” Canton Spirituals feat. Al Green Malaco Music Group www.malaco.com By Bob Marovich Highway 51 links Canton, Mississippi, to Memphis, Tennessee. So does the single “Hallelujah Anyhow,” as it links the Canton Spirituals and the Reverend Al Green. The combo works. Keep in mind that Green came from gospel and, after entering the ministry, went back to gospel, earning GRAMMY Awards for his gospel albums. A conventional quartet song written by the Canton Spirituals’ Harvey Watkins Jr. and producer Stan Jones, “Hallelujah Anyhow” finds Watkins and Green, elder statesmen of church and church music, sharing nonspecific testimonies about illness ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: September 21, 2020

“I Can’t Give Up” Byron Cage From the AIR / Malaco Music Group CD Isolation www.malaco.com By Bob Marovich It turns out the title of multiple Stellar Awardee Byron Cage’s September 2019 album, Isolation, was prophetic. But on “I Can’t Give Up,” the album’s latest single release, Cage and his background vocalists declare that their present circumstances don’t define them. “I’m built to win,” Cage enthuses, singing on his own behalf as well as on behalf of the listeners. The troupe sets pulpit-honed wisdom such as “I’ve come too far” and “no weapon formed against me shall proper” to an ...

Read More »