Tag Archives: Memphis

On Jesus’ Program – The Gospel Soul of O.V. Wright

By Opal Louis Nations Overton Vertis Wright was perhaps one of the finest gospel and soul-blues singers to emerge from out of the Volunteer State. He was born to Emanuel and Helen Wright on October 9, 1939, in Lens, some thirty miles west of Memphis, Tennessee. His first public appearance was made atop a soap box in 1945 at the Temple of Eads. Even then Wright seemed to possess perfect pitch and total control over his voice. By the age of twelve Wright was singing in the choir of the Golden Leaf Baptist Church, pastored by Rev. Hamblin who recognized ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: June 5, 2017

“I Am Blessed” MarQuez Curtis feat. Tiffanie “Tutu” Agee Mary Elizabeth Music Group (2017) By Bob Marovich For those wondering what Tiffanie “Tutu” Agee of the Truthettes has been up to lately, it’s joining MarQuez Curtis in giving effusive testimony for blessings bestowed by God—blessings that neither singer takes for granted. That’s the premise of “I Am Blessed,” a spirited hand-clapper that blends the sleekness of contemporary gospel with the churchiness of quartet singing, complete with a vamp that could have gone on even longer. From Memphis, Tennessee, MarQuez Curtis attends Light of Glory International Church (LOGIC) under the leadership ...

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Sharon Moore – Jesus Wants to Bless You

Sharon Moore Jesus Wants to Bless You Heavenly Calm Records By Bob Marovich Those who attended the 2016 Rhythm of Gospel Awards weekend in Memphis, Tennessee, heard the singer and songwriter Sharon Moore perform “Jesus Wants to Bless You,” the title track of her latest album, in a number of showcases. With a beat and melody evocative of A Taste of Honey’s 1978 disco hit, “Boogie Oogie Oogie,” Moore sings that Jesus doesn’t just want to bless you, he wants to “press down, shake it together” your blessings.  That’s the songs hook.  So many blessings you won’t have room to ...

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“Satan, We’re Gonna Tear Your Kingdom Down” – Shirley Caesar

“Satan, We’re Gonna Tear Your Kingdom Down” Shirley Caesar From the Greenleaf Gospel Companion Soundtrack, Vol. 1 www.malaco.com Never mind Shirley Caesar the holiday meme sensation. The mighty traditional gospel singer gets down to what she has done effectively for more than sixty years on “Satan, We’re Gonna Tear Your Kingdom Down.” To the intimidating thrum-thrum of marching warrior feet and penetrating harmonies from the choir, Pastor Shirley declares holy war on the Prince of Darkness. This old church song has never lost its ability to rattle the church rafters. The single comes from the Gospel Companion Soundtrack, Volume 1, ...

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Karlos Nichols – Live in Memphis: Hope! with The Covenant

Karlos Nichols Live in Memphis: Hope! With The Covenant The Kane Group (release date: August 16, 2016) Available from Amazon.com By Bob Marovich Live in Memphis: Hope! is the debut album by Karlos Nichols, a Memphian who received his music education in New York City and came home to impact his community as a preacher, educator, songwriter, singer, director, musician, and clinician. Covenant is a small mixed choir that ably supports Nichols on this album of mostly original songs (all but one was written or co-written by Nichols). One Covenant member in particular, Britne’ Brown-Lauderdale, is a classic squaller. Her work ...

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Dr. Mark Williams -When a Man Worships

Dr. Mark Williams When A Man Worships ATAP Music Group (released: August 2016) www.DrMarkWill.com By Bob Marovich Although Dr. Mark Williams is originally from Cincinnati and now lives in Nashville, his latest solo release, When A Man Worships, sounds straight outta Memphis. That’s because on most of the album’s dozen selections, the musicians (guitar, bass, drums, keys, organ, horns, even flute) support him with an easy-going patina of jazz and streaks of spicy soul a la Stax Records. I say “most,” because a few tracks vary from the album’s overall Quiet-Storm-meets-McLemore-Avenue vibe. “Free At Last,” for example, has a Caribbean touch, ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: September 5, 2016

“Faith Can” Debbie Cochran From the album Faith Can (single released September 2, 2016) www.cdbaby.com/cd/debbiecochran5 There’s nothing like country music to evoke the angst of heartbreak. When combined with spirituality and faith, country music can turn heartbreak into inspiration. That’s what you get with “Faith Can,” a country ballad composed and sung by country singer-songwriter Debbie Cochran to celebrate the courage of fourteen-year-old competitive gymnast Kate Foster. Foster’s acute myeloid leukemia indirectly caused her to lose half of her left leg but none of her passion or conviction for life. Now wearing a prosthetic leg, Foster is back in training. Her ...

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Various Artists: Greenleaf: The Gospel Companion Soundtrack, Vol. 1

Various Artists Greenleaf: The Gospel Companion Soundtrack, Vol. 1 Malaco Records (release date: August 26, 2016) www.malaco.com By Bob Marovich If Trolls is expected to be the pop soundtrack of the year, Greenleaf: The Gospel Companion Soundtrack, Vol. 1 gets my vote for inspirational soundtrack of the year. Greenleaf, the OWN television series about a family-run megachurch in Memphis, features a cast that includes Merle Dandridge, Keith David, Lynn Whitfield, Deborah Joy Winans, and Oprah Winfrey, who is also one of the show’s executive producers. The fourteen-track first volume reinforces in song the program’s themes of belief, the vulnerability of faith when confronted ...

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“Live the Life You Dance About:” Vanessa Odom on the Praise Dance Phenomenon

By Bob Marovich Once upon a time, there was an artistic expression of worship, inaugurated and performed by youth, that wasn’t accepted by all members of the church. I’m not talking about gospel music, or Christian hip hop. I’m talking about praise dancing. Like its musical forebears, praise dancing was once seen as anathema to the Sunday worship service. Today it is more broadly embraced, but Vanessa Odom of St. Luke Gospel Expressions, representing St. Luke Community Christian Church in Chester, Pennsylvania, knows there’s a long way to go. A dancer her entire life, Odom was first exposed to praise ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: June 27, 2016

“Christian Walk” Darren Deac From the Quality of Life Music album Christian Walk www.cdbaby.com/cd/darrendeac Just because we walk in the path of righteousness doesn’t mean we can’t throw a little shape to our step. That’s what Christian Hip Hop artist “Darren Deac” Edward demonstrated to the audience at the Rhythm of Gospel Awards main event last Saturday evening in Memphis, Tennessee. The “Christian Walk” is a modified two-step, a sanctified shuffle. The song has an infectious hook and an explicit message that expounds the life-giving power of service and prayer. From Newark, New Jersey, Edward started his career in secular ...

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