Tag Archives: philadelphia

Zak Williams & 1/Akord – The Next Chapter

Zak Williams & 1/Akord The Next Chapter Enon Music Group (release date: July 12, 2019) By Bob Marovich While the name Zak Williams & 1/Akord sounds like it might be a male-led gospel group, the group is actually a small choir. And on the group’s latest offering, The Next Chapter, the ensemble sings with the full-throated and thunderous sonority of a choir twice its size. The album, presented by Dr. Alyn E. Waller, Pastor of Philadelphia’s Enon Tabernacle Church and produced by Zak Williams, features songs written by a variety of songwriters, including Williams himself. “Unpredictable God” is the radio-friendly ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: August 5, 2019

“I’ll Be Alright” Larry Hill feat. Ervin “Bigman” Williams RonKay Music Group (release date: May 1, 2019) www.ronkaymusic.com By Bob Marovich Though “I’ll Be Alright” is ostensibly a solo outing for Philadelphia gospel singer Larry Hill, it thrums with the sound of good old fashioned southern soul quartet. One reason is the presence of quartet guitar wizard Ervin “Bigman” Williams, who offers up a quick, whimsical lick for an intro and proceeds to weave guitar riffs in and out of the singing and chugging rhythm section. Then there’s the background harmonies and the shouting vamp that goes on for a ...

Read More »

Bishop Andrew Ford II Passes Away at 66

Bishop Andrew Ford II, Pastor of Ford Memorial Temple in Philadelphia’s Nicetown community, passed away on Friday, July 19, 2019, at age 66. From Bishop Ford’s Facebook page: Bishop Andrew James Ford II is a visionary with a clear insight for the Next Generation and New Millennium church. He is the Senior Pastor of Ford Memorial Temple, Inc., Philadelphia, PA, as well as the establishmentarian and Presiding Prelate of the Next Generation Fellowship Ministries, Inc., a national interdenominational fellowship of churches, clergy, and church leaders from various ecumenical backgrounds. He’s a member of the Joint College of African American Pentecostal ...

Read More »

Christa Deana

Christa Deana Self-titled Hitman Records (release date: December 7, 2018) www.christadeana.com By Bob Marovich Philadelphia singer-songwriter Christa Deana (pron. Duh-nay) opens her self-titled CD with a forthright narrative about her calling, accepted at a very young age, to be a fisher of souls. But, she recounts, upon encountering one painful challenge and disappointment after another in pursuit of her calling, she almost gave up and even contemplated suicide. Angry at God for putting her in such a precarious position, she said: “I threw my Christianity on the floor and built it back up from scratch.” That made all the difference. ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: April 8, 2019

“All That I Have (One God)” Lamont Sanders DarkChild Gospel / Bear Tag Entertainment By Bob Marovich In his muscular yet flexible baritone, Lamont Sanders delivers this pop-influenced rhythm ballad about giving back to God, who has given so much to us, especially his only begotten son. The background vocalists share the spotlight on this solid song and message for the Lenten season.  Lots to like here. The Willingboro, New Jersey, native earned a scholarship to study musical theater at the University of the Arts (UArts) in Philadelphia and can play seven instruments. The way he works this song demonstrates ...

Read More »

Gospel music’s impact on rock and soul music is focus of new radio documentary

“Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul” will be broadcast by US public radio stations during Black History Month (February) Note: Journal of Gospel Music’s Editor-in-Chief Bob Marovich is honored to have been interviewed for this remarkable radio documentary. PHILADELPHIA (JANUARY 15, 2019): A new radio documentary that explores the history of black gospel music and illustrates its significant influence on the formation of rock and soul music will be broadcast by US radio stations in February, during Black History Month. Hosted by GRAMMY award-winning gospel singer CeCe Winans, Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul is produced by Philadelphia public radio ...

Read More »

Dr. Alyn E. Waller Presents Fresh Anointing – Totally

Dr. Alyn E. Waller Presents Fresh Anointing Totally Enon Music Group (release date: May 11, 2018) By Bob Marovich What is most interesting about Totally, an album by Enon Tabernacle’s young adult choir Fresh Anointing, is how many older hymns the group includes in the mix. For example, the choir gives “Blessed Assurance” a staccato reading with surges of high-voltage harmonies (though the composer credits should more properly read as by Fanny Crosby and Phoebe Knapp, with the arrangement by Sean Tillery). Fresh Anointing’s 2017 single “Holy Holy” is the liturgical classic given a big and austere treatment fitting for a ...

Read More »

“Silent Night” – Pastor Alyn E. Waller

“Silent Night” Pastor Alyn E. Waller From Christmas with Pastor Alyn E. Waller (release date: November 27, 2017) By Bob Marovich Don’t let the introductory avalanche of synthesized sound stop you from hearing Pastor Alyn E. Waller’s affecting take on this timeless carol. He improvises skillfully—not too much, not too little—to excavate the gospel within the soul of this simple melody. The dreamy sax that you hear leading the interlude becomes the second voice on the second verse.  Nicely done. Dr. Waller is Senior Pastor of Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Read More »

RIP Howard Carroll – the “Dean of Gospel Guitar”

By Bob Marovich The Reverend Joe Williams informed JGM this morning that Mr. Howard Carroll, longtime singer and guitarist with the Dixie Hummingbirds, and long considered the dean of gospel guitar, passed away this morning in Philadelphia’s Mount Airy community. He was 93. “He did things with the guitar that no one ever did,” Williams told a crowd at Philadelphia’s Clef Club in 2016 during a presentation of the Gospel Guitar Award to Carroll. “No one ever did it in gospel music. He actually changed the way gospel music became because of the original things he did with the guitar. Then some ...

Read More »

“Holy, Holy” – Fresh Anointing

“Holy, Holy” Fresh Anointing Enon Music Group (release date: March 17, 2017) Available from digital media outlets By Bob Marovich Released in March of this year by the young adult choir Fresh Anointing of Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, “Holy, Holy” is a contemporary take on the nineteenth-century hymn. Garland “Miche” Waller, Enon’s minister of music, packs his adagio arrangement of the beloved hymn with the bold, round harmonies characteristic of the modern gospel choir. Fresh Anointing builds the song’s dynamics incrementally, but as soon as they hit the song’s emotional apex and you expect a key change or big, dramatic ...

Read More »