Tag Archives: south carolina

JGM Pick of the Week: June 29, 2020

“Another Chance” The McDuffies McDuffie’s Music Group (release date: March 13, 2020) By Bob Marovich The McDuffies’ single, “Another Chance,” is bittersweet. In this unhurried quartet ballad, lead vocalist Ricky McDuffie sings about the times that God “looked beyond his faults” to bestow upon him another chance, even when he “didn’t deserve it.” God woke him up, he adds, “when I could have been dead and gone, sleeping in a cold grave,” and even reversed some bad news he received from his doctor. All encouraging. But alas, when it’s your time, it’s your time. Since recording the song, the illness ...

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Various Artists: Carolina’s Got Talent

Various Artists Carolina’s Got Talent Ruffboyzmusic Group LLC and Overboard Records (release date: April 17, 2020) By Bob Marovich From the looks of the Billboard gospel charts, you might think traditional gospel music is dead and gone, but that’s not the case. In the Carolinas, for example, plenty of wooden church-honed singers, groups, and quartets are active. But hearing many of them means traveling to the Carolinas to attend the multi-artist gospel programs hosted by local radio stations. With 90% of the country in stay-at-home mode, the multi-artist program has to come to you. A sampling of the traditional sound ...

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Travis Greene – Broken Record

Travis Greene Broken Record RCA Inspiration (release date: November 1, 2019) www.rcainspiration.com By Bob Marovich Broken Record is Travis Greene’s fourth full-length album and continues the youthful sacred fusion of his previous work. Against convention, the album opens with a slow, introspective song called “The Breaker.” It is only after this thoughtful piece has faded that the album moves into a lively gear with the countrified worship song, “Great Jehovah.” Greene later reprises this galloping tempo on a song of gratitude called “No One Else.” Also bucking convention, Greene doesn’t use a church or auditorium to record the initial tracks ...

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Absolution – Breakthrough

Absolution Breakthrough Independent (release date: March 14, 2019) By Bob Marovich On the album Breakthrough, Absolution adopts an ‘80s R&B vocal group style mixed with elements of smooth jazz to deliver religious and inspirational songs inspired by personal experience. The mixed-voice group Absolution was organized in North Augusta, South Carolina, in 2014 by singer-songwriter Wayne Mims and lead guitarist John Henry Walker. The members’ ages run from teenager to senior, so it seems as if they found a happy medium in laying down ’80s-vintage smooth R&B as their musical foundation. While the members of Absolution don’t go into great detail ...

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“Selfie Song” – Jada Redmond

“Selfie Song” Jada Redmond From the 4Red Music EP My Season (release date: January 4, 2019) https://tpministries.wixsite.com/jada By Bob Marovich For decades, gospel music has mined spiritual metaphors out of the latest technology. Bessie Griffin sang about Heaven’s radio, Charles Taylor about God’s television, and the Friendly Brothers called Jesus through the intersession of the telephone operator. And speaking of telephones, there’s the congregational favorite, “Jesus on the Main Line.” The latest example is teen singer Jada Redmond’s single, “Selfie Song.” To an unrelenting Jamaican beat and a hook-laden chorus with a percussive “Snap! Snap!” that just aches for a ...

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Pastor Bobby Cohen & Men of God – Dream Come Alive

Pastor Bobby Cohen & Men of God Dream Come Alive Cohen Records Available at digital music outlets By Bob Marovich “Born Again,” the drive-tempo opening selection on Pastor Bobby Cohen & Men of God’s Dream Come Alive, signals that the album is a traditional-leaning project. And it is, though the quartet smooths some of the rough edges to make the music relevant for contemporary audiences. Elder Cohen, pastor of Christian Fellowship Church in Greer, South Carolina, and owner/manager of gospel music radio station WPJM 800 AM, formed the Men of God in 2012. In addition to “Born Again,” Dream Come Alive includes a slow-burner ...

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Fred Williams – Do a New Thing

Fred Williams Do a New Thing (independent; release date: March 17, 2017) https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/fredwilliams32 By Bob Marovich Living the holy life appears to be the overriding theme of Fred Williams’ independently-produced Do a New Thing. On the title track, the Aiken, South Carolina, singer-songwriter and music minister references Isaiah 43:18-21 in showing gratitude for God’s plentiful blessings, as well as reminding us of our responsibility to do the right thing: pay the blessings forward. During “On this Journey,” he asks God to show him the way to holiness, a state of existence he examines in detail earlier in the CD on “A Holy Life.” Other songs, such ...

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Alfonzo Udell & Chosen Chorale: It’s Not Over

Alfonzo Udell & Chosen Chorale It’s Not Over Independent (release date: July 6, 2018) Available on Amazon.com By Bob Marovich What could have been a routine-sounding project by a small gospel ensemble, It’s Not Over by Bishop Alfonzo Udell & Chosen Chorale has two things in particular going for it: the quality of its songs and outstanding lead vocalists. Brooklyn-born but now based in Columbia, South Carolina, where he pastors High Times Fellowship, Udell wrote all ten of the selections on the album. The songs reference classic contemporary gospel in both lyric and feel. The mantra “keep the faith” recurs on the album, ...

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Jerrell Golden: J Rocks the Mic…for Jesus

By Bob Marovich Anyone who witnessed Tappahannock, Virginia, rapper J Rock during freestyle battles heard a young, hungry, and confident artist who didn’t just want to emulate Jay-Z: he wanted to be better than Jay-Z. But behind the scenes, the story looked different. “I was hooked on drugs and did a lot of bad stuff,” Christian hip hop artist Jerrell Golden told the Journal of Gospel Music. “Me and my mom, we weren’t seeing eye to eye, so she kicked me out,” he said. “And honestly, I deserved it. I went through a spell of being homeless, going from friend ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: July 2, 2018

“Chainbreaker” Angela “Missy” Billups E’Mazin Entertainment (release date: May 15, 2018) Available digitally By Bob Marovich New York-based singer Angela “Missy” Billups is known for both traditional church wreckers and rhythmic praise ballads. Her latest single, “Chainbreaker,” is right in the middle in terms of tempo, while the lyrics are consistent with the message she has sung at a variety of speeds: that God can release us from the physical and emotional chains that bind us. But you gotta believe. “Chainbreaker,” which Billups sang to an appreciative audience at the Rhythm of Gospel Awards ceremony last month, was produced by ...

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