Tag Archives: Memphis

JGM Pick of the Week:  July 25, 2022

“Jesus Knows” Lisa Knowles-Smith and the Brown Singers EvoWorld Music (release date: May 13, 2022) By Robert M. Marovich For their new single, Lisa Knowles-Smith and the Brown Singers draw on key lyrics from the folk spiritual, “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen.” But that’s where the comparison ends. Whereas the spiritual is slow and mournful, “Jesus Knows” is rapid-tempo and optimistic. Propelled by a twangy rhythm guitar, Smith and the Brown Singers emote not from a place of sorrow but from a sense of spiritual happiness. Church aphorisms spring off their tongues with delight as they revel in the ...

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“Lord of All” – Carolyn Wright

“Lord of All” Carolyn Wright Independent (release date: April 3, 2022) By Robert M. Marovich Ms. Carolyn Wright lit up the Rhythm of Gospel Awards in Jacksonville, Florida, last month with her lead vocals for one of the many talented church choirs that were in attendance. I wasn’t alone in my plaudits—many present at the event singled her out for the poised, polished, and passionate singing you hear on her single, “Lord of All.” Written and produced by Courtney Franklin, “Lord of All” has the musical majesty of a contemporized hymn. Just as importantly as the song’s message and noble ...

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JGM Pick of the Week – May 16, 2022

“Shake ‘Em Off” David E. Johnson Jr. feat. 1K Phew Trucast Music Digital (release date: March 25, 2022) www.DavidEJohnsonJr.com By Robert M. Marovich On “Shake ‘Em Off,” Memphis native David E. Johnson Jr. summons the percussive go-go sound of Washington, DC,  to bid good riddance to the devil. Johnson launched his gospel career in October 2021 with the original version of “Shake ‘Em Off,” co-written with Makeba Riddick-Woods. The extended version features a double-time rap interlude from Christian hip-hop artist Isaac “1K Phew” Gordon. The dynamic refrain is ready-made for full-body congregational participation. Plenty of kinetic energy in this piece.

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“Now I Know” – Ted & Sheri feat. The Walls Group

“Now I Know”Ted & Sheri feat. The Walls GroupBlacksmoke Music Worldwide (release date: February 4, 2022) By Robert M. Marovich Combining the veteran duo of Ted Winn & Sheri Jones-Moffett with The Walls Group family band works so well on “Now I Know” that it makes one wonder why it took so long. The collective declares their gratitude to God who has carried them through the sunshine and rain and loves them no matter what. “Now I Know” really comes to life during the vamp, when individual members sing their testimonies while their companions keep up the chanting. A bouncy ...

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God’s Children – It’s So Amazing

God’s Children It’s So Amazing Independent (2018) https://www.facebook.com/godschildrenmemphis By Robert M. Marovich On It’s So Amazing, the Memphis, Tennessee-based Shirika “Re Re” Flowers and God’s Children (and also Re Re’s eldest children), run through a battery of gospel quartet-style songs, rendered with a churchy vibe and with frequent vamps for evangelical emphasis. Although the album notes do not include the names of specific lead singers for each of the album’s ten tracks, aurally it appears as if every member of the troupe has a chance to solo at least once. Young solo voices are particularly audible on “It Was Jesus,” ...

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Journal of Gospel Music Wins Rhythm of Gospel Award

The Journal of Gospel Music garnered its first competitive award on Saturday, September 4, when it received the Gospel Internet Promotion & Marketing Group of the Year Award from the Rhythm of Gospel Awards. The 13th annual Rhythm of Gospel Awards was held at the Guesthouse at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. Bob Marovich, founder and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Gospel Music, expresses his heartfelt thanks to Dr. Mark Rogers and the Rhythm of Gospel Awards team and to those who voted for the site. It’s especially meaningful coming from an organization that, like the Journal, supports the efforts of ...

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“Stayed On Him” – Terrian

“Stayed On Him”TerrianFrom the Gotee Records EP Genesis of Terrian(release date: February 26, 2021)www.iamterrian.com Robert M. Marovich If you didn’t know better, you’d think DOE is the vocalist on “Stayed on Him.” It’s actually Terrian Bass, aka Terrian, a Memphis-based singer-songwriter and member of TobyMac’s DiverseCity. The only gospel artist selected as one of Pandora’s Artists to Watch in 2021, Terrian navigates a lyric like a test driver navigates curves. Her voice is pleasant and her energy buoyant. Terrian demonstrates her singing skills on the sing-song and hook-laden “Stayed on Him,” released on the multi-cultural Christian indie, Gotee Records. The message ...

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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 ...

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RIP: Rev. John Wilkins, Gospel Singer and Musician

By Bob Marovich Gospel music collector and enthusiast John Glassburner informed JGM that the Reverend John Wilkins, son of blues singer Robert Wilkins, passed away October 6 at age 76 after a two-month battle with COVID-19. Bob Mehr of the Memphis Commercial Appeal does a far better job than I could writing Rev. Wilkins’ obituary, so please read it here:https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2020/10/06/rev-john-wilkins-obit-dies-memphis-music-blues-gospel/5902177002/ Here is a video of Rev. Wilkins cutting a 78 RPM record for The 78 Project: Here is JGM‘s review of Rev. Wilkins’ five-star album, You Can’t Hurry God (Fat Possum Records, 2010): http://journalofgospelmusic.com/gospel/reverend-john-wilkins-you-cant-hurry-god/. JGM sends its condolences to Reverend Wilkins’ ...

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“Love” – Donnell Russell & Free Worship

“Love” Donnell Russell & Free Worship feat. Jai Reed, Tonya Boyd Cannon, Cory Ricks & Caren Green The Rite Note Ent. (release date: June 5, 2020) www.donnellrussell.com By Bob Marovich Donnell Russell & Free Worship’s “Love” is a crossover single in lyric and melody. To a quiet storm R&B arrangement, the singers remind listeners that “when all hope is gone,” where there is “injustice and hatred,” love is the answer. The inevitable rap interlude portrays life without love. Short but smooth and brimming with talented featured soloists, “Love” is a song written with today’s problems in mind. It offers the ...

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