Tag Archives: new york

JGM Pick of the Week – July 12, 2022

“Grace Over Me” Mike Geo Independent (release date: July 8, 2022) www.MikeGeoMusic.com By Robert M. Marovich What Staten Island CCM artist Michael Giordano, aka Mike Geo, offers in “Grace Over Me” is a fizzy, energetic outpouring of gratitude for salvation. When the walls are closing in, Geo closes his eyes and remembers that God’s grace covers him. His charming tenor and acoustic guitar work deliver a cheery enthusiasm, a Jonathan McReynolds-meets-Jamie Grace vibe. The song is simple, short, and to the point.

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After Seven Decades, it’s Johnny Ray Daniels’ Season

Robert M. Marovich Ray Kroc was 52 when he opened his first McDonald’s restaurant in 1955. Col. Harland Sanders was in his 60s when his “Finger Lickin’ Good” Kentucky Fried Chicken became a national sensation. Duncan Hines didn’t license his name for cake mixes until age 73. And Johnny Ray Daniels didn’t release his first solo album until age 76. It’s never too late for your season. Although Whatever You Need (Bible and Tire, 2022) is Johnny Ray Daniels’ debut solo album, the North Carolinian has been making music for seven decades. Born in Greenville, North Carolina, Daniels sang with ...

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Gregory King – Jesus Paid It All

Gregory King Jesus Paid It All The LAB Works Studio / Nadjaron Productions (2012) By Robert M. Marovich Although Nobody Can Do Me Like Jesus,” “Payday is Coming,” and the title track of Gregory King’s 2012 album may share titles with popular hymns and gospels, that’s where the similarity ends. What you hear are newly-composed songs by King cloaked in an ‘80s funk sensibility. Thumping bass, Morris Day-era polyrhythms, pop melodies, slick call-and-response, and bits of electronica highlight this throwback album. Even King’s measured vocals, eschewing melisma for dance floor cool, evoke ‘80s R&B. Among the several featured soloists on ...

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JGM Pick of the Week – December 27, 2021

“Covered” Anisa Fowler RNU Records (release date: November 12, 2021) www.anisafowler.com By Robert M. Marovich “Covered” identifies Long Island’s Anisa Fowler as an emerging gospel singer-songwriter of note. The melodic ballad, which Fowler co-wrote with Joshua Arnoux, reckons with the anxiety of the times by reminding listeners that no matter how close they are to giving up, Jesus is the remedy. The lyrics follow Kenneth Morris’ formula of presenting a problem in the first half of the verse and offering a solution in the second half (I call it the Kenneth Morris “But”). The shift from problem to solution is ...

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“The Sound of Revival” – Edwrin Sutton

“The Sound of Revival” Edwrin Sutton From the Black Smoke Music Worldwide CD The Revival (release date: May 8, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Gospel singer-songwriter Edwrin Sutton sets the nineteenth-century Presbyterian hymn “Revive Us Again” to a contemporary rhythmic call-and-response motive between him and his troupe of background singers. Sutton’s raw-edged singing during the song’s come-to-Jesus vamp evokes an evangelist at a tent revival, Bible aloft, walking the aisles, shouting the spirit down, and turning up the temperature near to praise break levels. Third cousin to soul superstar Otis Redding, Edwrin Sutton is North Carolina-born and living in the ...

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David Wright – Let the Organ Play

David Wright Let the Organ Play Godfather Records (release date: February 12, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Typically, we hear Pastor David Wright leading the New York Fellowship Mass Choir. For Let the Organ Play, the choir takes a rest and Wright lights up the Hammond B3 to play an instrumental litany of church favorites. The album’s song selection includes COGIC favorites (a variation on the “Yes Lord” chant and the infrequently-recorded “This is the Church of God in Christ”), classic gospels and hymns, and contemporary pieces, such as “Oh Happy Day,” the New Jersey Mass Choir’s “Praise Him,” and ...

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“Get Ready” – Darwin Hobbs

“Get Ready” Darwin Hobbs FairTrade Services / Tyscot Records (release date: January 15, 2021) On “Get Ready,” singer-songwriter Darwin Hobbs quotes from 1 Corinthians 2:9 (“eye has not seen, nor ear heard”) to drum up excitement about the miracles just beyond his/your/our horizon. The new single features Hobbs’ husky voice, strong as it’s ever been, and an equally robust team of background vocalist and musicians, including ‘Mo Horns. Though stitched together from various studios in various locations, thanks to the COVID-19 lockdown, the production comes together effortlessly. Co-written with Apostle John W. Stevenson, who officiated at Hobbs’ 1993 nuptials, “Get ...

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“I Hear Rain” – Edwrin Sutton & Kingdom Culture

“I Hear Rain” Edwrin Sutton & Kingdom Culture Blacksmoke Music Worldwide (release date: May 2, 2019) “I Hear Rain” is a song of encouragement in a time of despair. Its spoken call and sung response between Sutton and Kingdom Culture evokes James Fortune and Kirk Franklin’s own use of the technique. The coming storm is nothing to fear, the ensemble sings, because the rain means greater is coming. In anticipation of the gathering clouds and the eventual downpour of blessings, the group builds the song’s tension, though it ends before the sweet release. This is a case where the longer ...

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“It’s Like Fire” – Lady Bartee

“It’s Like Fire” Lady Bartee BRG Records (2018) https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/ladybartee By Bob Marovich Lady Bartee sounds a little like Janelle Monae or the late Amy Winehouse on the amalgam of sonic intensity that is her latest single, “It’s Like Fire.” Raised Pentecostal, Bartee knows a thing or two about Holy Ghost fire, and she expresses it with barely restrained passion on this haunting and atmospheric minor-keyed song. Less a melody than a repeated riff that ebbs and flows in intensity, “It’s Like Fire” marches fearlessly forward and ends with sky-raking crackles of thunder that presuppose the lightning. A native of Poughkeepsie, ...

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“Reset” – Jonathan J. Wimbush

“Reset” Jonathan J. Wimbush From The Calling (EP) www.jonathanjwimbush.com By Bob Marovich Christian urban contemporary artist Jonathan J. Wimbush rode “Reset” and The Calling EP from which it came through the 2018 Rhythm of Gospel Awards this summer. He garnered three statues in the process. To a taffy-like gait of burbling electronica and background vocals, Wimbush rues on “Reset” that he wishes there were a magic button or magic potion to help him get his life back in order (he was inspired in part by the iconic Staples’ “Easy” button). In the bridge, he unveils what that reset is: prayer. Watching the ...

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