Tag Archives: new york

JGM Pick of the Week: September 5, 2017

“Never Give Up on You” Dennis Yancey http://www.igaraa.com/dennis-yancey.html By Bob Marovich Indie gospel artist Dennis Yancey’s “Never Give Up on You” is a simple, effective, and tunefully smooth ballad about maintaining complete trust in God, especially during the tough times, because God has never given up on us. Yancey’s relaxed vocals make his singing sound effortless. Sparkling production by Suga Mike Allen ensures that the message is undeniably clear. It’s reminiscent of their earlier collaboration on the equally compelling ballad of faith, “Though You Slay Me.” From Queens, New York, Dennis Yancey just celebrated his 40th birthday last month. A full ...

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Darrell McFadden & the Disciples – Covering All Areas: Phase One (EP)

Darrell McFadden & the Disciples Covering All Areas: Phase One (EP) DMDMG (release date: April 25, 2017) http://dmdaccess.com/ By Bob Marovich This five-track EP by Brooklyn quartet Darrell McFadden & the Disciples may not, as its title suggests, cover all areas, at least in terms of musical styles. What it does, however, is uplift the traditional sound in some instances and modernize it in others, and that’s good enough for me. Name checking another beloved Brooklyn group, Big Nick and the Gospel Heavyweights, the quartet covers the latter’s “Come On and See About Me,” complete with a slow strutting rhythm ...

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Dawn Turner – God’s Thoughts

Dawn Turner God’s Thoughts (EP) Story Book Music, Inc. (2016) www.cdbaby.com/cd/dawnturner By Bob Marovich Buffalo, New York, native Dawn Turner is a fine church singer. She’s not a shouter, squaller, or melismatic artisan but, as she demonstrates on “God’s Name,” one of the five cuts on her God’s Thoughts EP, she can sure enough deliver blue notes while singing flatfooted. Turner is also a songwriter, and all but one of the tracks on God’s Thoughts are her own compositions. One, “Giving is a Ministry,” is an ode to the importance of tithing and the blessings that come from grateful giving. It ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: October 10, 2016

“Walking in Victory” Angela “Missy” Billups E’Mazin Entertainment (2016) www.cdbaby.com/cd/angelamissybillups6 New York-based singer Missy Billups returns to her traditional roots on her latest single, “Walking in Victory.” This uptempo call-and-response piece, which Billups introduced at gospel conventions this summer, contains a calypso-sounding chorus that offers a vivid image of Billups strutting across the platform in a victory walk. Traditional soul notwithstanding, the song wears a contemporary vibe as Billups exuberantly celebrates spiritual release and declares victory over her family and her future.  I personally enjoy when Missy puts the P&W aside and gets her old school on, as she does ...

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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: July 25, 2016

“All I Need” Ramona J. Sanders From the CD Beginning With Me www.cdbaby.com/cd/ramonajsanders Opening with a tinkling piano and a marching beat, “All I Need” finds New York singer Ramona J. Sanders rendering praises to the Most High, the only one she really needs in her life, with genuine conviction and studied vocal versatility. She is supported by treble background vocalists who help her build the song’s intensity until the moment when the spirit is the highest and praises just spill out of Sanders with gut-wrenching, no-holds-barred passion. Gospel enthusiasts may remember Sanders as a member of the Angel’lics female gospel ...

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Carrington Gaines: “My Music Changed When My Life Changed”

By Bob Marovich “I didn’t know I could sing until I was about fifteen,” Carrington Gaines told the Journal of Gospel Music, “which is pretty late for most gospel artists. Some of them have been singing since they were three!” But as a youngster, Gaines embraced R&B, not gospel, as his music of choice. He also spent a good part of his early life in a spiritual tug-of-war. During his late teens, he said, he could be found partying on Fridays and Saturdays and working in the church’s music department on Sundays. Today, Gaines has embraced ministry and gospel music. His ...

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Livre’ – Jericho: The Tribe of Joshua

Livre’ Jericho: The Tribe of Joshua Glory 2 Glory Records / MBK Records / Sony RED Association Labels (release date: May 20, 2016) By Bob Marovich If part of today’s political rhetoric is about building walls, Livre’ is about knocking them down. Eliminating life’s barriers is the premise of the group’s sonically delightful Jericho: The Tribe of Joshua. At times, the five-member power vocal group from the Bronx (their name is pronounced LIVE-ray and means “free” in Latin) delivers its message in bright, optimistic tones, and at other times, it speaks from a relatable vulnerability. Regardless, the group argues that ...

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“Alright” – Tony Mclendon

“Alright” Tony Mclendon From the forthcoming The Music Church CD I’m a Winner Available on iTunes Taking his cue from a snippet of the vamp from Kool and the Gang’s “Ladies Night,” Tony Mclendon, along with a party of equally enthusiastic supporters and a relentless disco beat, offer up spiritual reassurance that “I got a feeling everything’s gonna be all right.” No heavy religious content, no deep theosophy, just a feel good reminder that “He never let you down” so hang loose and don’t give yourself an ulcer worrying about your problems. McLendon is pursuing the family business. His parents, ...

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“The Wonder of You” – Jenise La Vonne

“The Wonder of You” Jenise La Vonne www.lovejeniselavonne.com Although the wispy classical-and-acoustic-guitar intro of “The Wonder of You” reveals the marvel that Jenise La Vonne feels in the presence of the Lord, her penetrating vocals offer a more dramatic scenario: she’s actually drifted away and is looking to reclaim that time “when I first believed.” Nominated for four 2015 Rhythm of Gospel Awards, indie artist Jenise is a PK who has literally grown up in church. She’s fervent in her delivery, a singer navigating the deceptively complex demands of a gospel song. The innocence that “The Wonder of You” exudes will likely appeal ...

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