Tag Archives: Motown Gospel

Backstage with Motown Gospel Artist Gene Moore

By Bob Marovich Last December, gospel artist Gene Moore was on top of the world. He had recently gotten married to the love of his life, and things were looking up. He had released his debut album, The Future, on Motown Gospel in 2016. Then the trials started. “First, my wife’s car broke down and we were sharing a car for about six months,” Gene said. “Then I lost three of my jobs due to layoffs and changes in administration. I had to file for unemployment. I started to drive for Uber and Lyft. I told my wife I felt ...

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Gene Moore – Tunnel Vision

Gene Moore Tunnel Vision Motown Gospel (release date: August 23, 2019) www.motowngospel.com By Bob Marovich The nine radio-sized songs on Tunnel Vision, Gene Moore’s second album for Motown Gospel, focus on the importance of keeping the faith and maintaining hope that things will get better. While faith is a staple of Christian belief, it is a mainstay of human life, regardless of religious belief or lack of belief. The opener and radio single, “Won’t Be Moved,” begins laying out the album’s message of personal encouragement by riffing on the lyric motive of “I Shall Not Be Moved,” the gospel hymn ...

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Janice Gaines – Lead Me

Janice Gaines Lead Me (release date: March 22, 2019) www.janicegaines.com By Bob Marovich Janice Gaines’ Lead Me is a brief but satisfying journey through the hymnbook. It is also a far better showcase for her affecting vocal delivery than Greatest Life Ever, her 2015 album for Motown Gospel. Whereas that album aimed to attract a mass audience by offering generous helpings of bumping bass and electronica, it seemed ill-fitted to Gaines’s more grounded talent. This album, on the other hand, employs the less is more philosophy, meaning it is more authentically rooted in gospel’s one foundation: the church. As if ...

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Damon Williams: “If the Chart Could Become a CD, It Would Be WOW Gospel.”

By Bob Marovich In 1998, Damon Williams eagerly purchased a copy of the first-ever WOW Gospel two-CD compilation. “It was a big moment in gospel music,” Williams, who was recently named Vice President of Marketing for RCA Inspiration, shared with the Journal of Gospel Music. “To find something that had the year’s best gospel songs all in one place, by the top artists, was extremely appealing to me as a consumer and a burgeoning industry executive.” On the 20th anniversary of the best-selling franchise, the 2-CD WOW Gospel 2018 hits stores today. While it will be Williams’ first time working ...

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Gene Moore – The Future

Gene Moore The Future Motown Gospel (release date: July 28, 2017) www.motowngospel.com By Bob Marovich It doesn’t take hearing gospel artist Gene Moore singing “Summer Soft” to feel Stevie Wonder’s inspiration throughout Moore’s EP, The Future. “Summer Soft” is the bonus track on a project that has a Wonder feel all over it (sans harmonica), especially during its more rhythmically animated tracks. And it’s available on Motown Gospel, so there’s that connection to Wonder’s roots, also. Moore’s voice, like Wonder’s, is handsome, flexible, and melodic. Yet it is only when he is singing with a minimum of accompaniment, as on the ...

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Bill Hearn, Christian/Gospel Music Executive, Dead at 58

NASHVILLE, December 11, 2017—William Ray “Bill” Hearn, a highly admired and revered music industry executive who led the Nashville-based market-leading Capitol Christian Music Group (CCMG) as its Chairman & CEO, passed away yesterday at age 58 in Nashville, Tennessee. Hearn successfully combined an unwavering vision, a commitment to excellence, and an arsenal of exceptional talent to make CCMG the leader in the Christian/Gospel music industry. Hearn was instrumental in the formation and leadership of that company, having played a leading role in the sale and highly-successful transition of family-owned Sparrow Records – founded by his father, Billy Ray Hearn – ...

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Royce Lovett – Love & Other Dreams

Royce Lovett Love & Other Dreams Motown Gospel (release date: July 14, 2017) www.motowngospel.com By Bob Marovich Royce Lovett is one of the most distinctive voices on the Motown Gospel roster. Not surprisingly, his new album, Love & Other Dreams, is as artistically unpredictable as its creator. The guitar-playing Tallahassee, Florida, singer-songwriter splashes a palette of neo-soul on coded messages about survival in modern society. The album feels like a somnambulant journey of a soul gasping, as if drowning, for the oxygen of freedom. Where can lung-expanding oxygen be found?  Lovett answers on the album’s hypnotic current single, “Up for Love:” it’s in the clouds, where there are ...

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Tasha Cobbs Weds Producer in Private Ceremony

GRAMMY®-Winning Recording Artist Tasha Cobbs Weds Acclaimed Music Director & Producer Kenneth Leonard In Surprise Private Ceremony Atlanta, GA— GRAMMY® Award-winning recording artist Tasha Cobbs shocked friends, family and fans this weekend with a surprise wedding to longtime beau, acclaimed music director and producer Kenneth Leonard, Jr. On Friday, March 3, 2017, the pair exchanged vows before an unsuspecting group of family and close friends who believed they were gathering for a private dinner party. News of the wedding surprised many as it saturated social media, but the nuptials had actually been in the works for quite some time. “We’ve ...

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Phil Thornton on WOW Gospel 2017: “A Source of Hope and Inspiration”

By Bob Marovich What does it take to compile an annual survey of the Best of the Best in gospel music? Phil Thornton knows. As Senior Vice President and General Manager for RCA Inspiration, which just released WOW Gospel 2017, the latest in a twenty-year string of two-CD samplings of the finest in African American gospel music, Thornton is now an integral part of the process. “I remember purchasing the collections years ago,” he told the Journal of Gospel Music. “Actually being part of the process feels like I’ve come full circle. It’s an honor to be involved with a ...

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Various Artists – Heal: Songs of Hope for our Nation

Various Artists Heal: Songs of Hope for our Nation Motown Gospel (release date: January 13, 2017) www.motowngospel.com By Bob Marovich Gospel music often functions as protest music. Either explicitly, as during the Black Power Movement of the late 1960s, or implicitly, with semi-coded lyrics like the spirituals before them, gospel songs fight back against an oppressive world with messages of faith and encouragement that trouble won’t last always. Heal: Songs of Hope for our Nation from Motown Gospel offers ten examples of how contemporary gospel music is poised to carry on the fight against evil and oppression in today’s uncertain political climate. The ...

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