Tag Archives: Texas

Marvin Sapp – Substance

Marvin Sapp Substance Elev8 Media & Entertainment / Thirty Tigers (release date: June 10, 2022) www.marvinsapp.com By Robert M. Marovich “There is no failure in God” is an apt summation of the thematic content of Substance, Bishop Marvin Sapp’s 15th album and latest solo effort. Though varied in arrangement, the songs essentially come back around to messages of faith in God as the rock in a weary land. Examples of the album’s varied musical palette include “Serve the Lord,” which Sapp calls a song “for my mother.” It has a smooth modern quartet sound with the classic kick drum backbeat, ...

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“Beautiful Day” – Trenton Kirksey ft. Nikki Ross

“Beautiful Day” Trenton Kirksey ft. Nikki Ross Independent (2022) www.Facebook.com/MusicByTrent By Robert M. Marovich “Beautiful Day” is the debut single from Trenton Kirksey, a Houston-based baritone vocalist, songwriter, and conductor. Fellow Houstonian Nikki Ross is the vocalist on Kirksey’s track. To a classically-inspired and Latin-fired arrangement, Ross expresses unbridled joy not just in her experience of reality, with all of the sadness and happiness life brings, but also in the faith that the day forthcoming will be beautiful. To reinforce the point, a full-throated choir chants from 2 Corinthians 5:7—“not by sight but by faith”—behind her. A morning mantra, if ...

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TV One Begins Production of Marvin Sapp Biopic

(SILVER SPRING, Md.) – April 12, 2022 – TV One announced today that filming for its Marvin Sapp biopic is underway. Chaz Lamar Shepherd (“Marvel’s Luke Cage” “The Game”) will take on the lead role as Marvin Sapp. Joining Shepherd is Ambre Anderson (“Power Book II” “Manifest Evil”) who is cast as Sapp’s wife, MaLinda Prince Sapp. The film is scheduled for an August 21 release on TV One. “It is an honor to tell Marvin Sapp’s life story,” said TV One’s Executive Producer Jason Ryan. “His vast contributions to the gospel and American music are undeniable. We know this ...

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Texas Gospel Music Excellence Awards Names JGM’s Bob Marovich 2022 Gospel Promoter of the Year

The Journal of Gospel Music is grateful to the Texas Gospel Music Excellence Awards for selecting its Editor-in-Chief Robert M. “Bob” Marovich as its Gospel Promoter of the Year for 2022. The award ceremonies and related activities took place February 24 to 27 in Houston, Texas. For 24 years, the Texas Gospel Music Excellence Awards (TGMEA), founded by Pastor Larry Davies, has been one of the top gospel award shows in the country. It was his desire then, as it still is today, to reward independent artists for the excellence they have shown through their ministry. “What a wonderful surprise,” ...

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JGM Pick of the Week – January 31, 2022

“Let God” Eloise https://www.facebook.com/eloise.skief By Robert M. Marovich With “Let God,” Tyler, Texas, gospel singer Eloise Skief, who goes by Eloise, delivers a lovely meditation on the familiar “let go and let God” trope. The sparse piano accompaniment allows Eloise to improvise vocally, though she doesn’t go overboard. In fact, it’s her controlled ornamentation that sells the song. She takes a repetitive melody line and endows it with sufficient variety to keep the listener engaged. Though she plays it cool here, there’s an underlying energy that suggests she can offer up an explosion of musicality if a song calls for ...

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“It Shall Pass” – Dr. James Mable Jr.

“It Shall Pass” Dr. James Mable Jr. From the Uncle G Records album The Journey 2.0 (release date: September 18, 2020) www.JamesMableJr.com By Robert M. Marovich “I’m about to take you all the back to Navasota, Texas,” Dr. James Mable Jr. declares, referencing his hometown, as he leads the background vocalists with the fervor of a quartet lead vocalist on “It Shall Pass.” It’s a song of encouragement—“whatever you are going through, it shall pass”—and a reminder that because God is in control, trouble don’t last always. The joy that comes from knowing this fact almost leaps out of Mable’s ...

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“I’m Gonna Say Thank You Lord”

“I’m Gonna Say Thank You Lord” Ricky Paul From the independent CD Just a Country Boy (release date: March 26, 2020) https://www.heavensound.com/artists/rickypaul.htm By Robert M. Marovich Gospel quartet music and country music are not as dissimilar as one might think. Artists from each genre heard one another on the radio and copied the best of what they heard. Their southern roots and branches go back decades. Still, African American gospel soloists who consider their style “country” are few and far between. The last one JGM encountered was Alice McAfee Williams (Al Mac Will). Her 2009 introduction at the Gospel Music ...

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Gail Stewart & Prayz4 – s/t

Gail Stewart & Prayz4 Self-titled Independent (release date: July 12, 2017) By Robert M. Marovich What is immediately evident about the self-titled CD by the Texas-based family gospel group Gail Stewart & Prayz4 is its emphasis on modernizing traditional hymns and gospels. For example, the group gives the nineteenth-century hymn “I Need Thee” a mid-tempo R&B treatment, complete with bongos and snarling guitar, while Gail’s breathy soprano directs the rest of the singers toward a bluesy vamp. “Where He Leads Me” bathes the basic premise of the original hymn in a cornucopia of sounds, melodies, and new lyrics sufficient to ...

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Grand Opening of the Black Gospel Archive and Listening Center at Baylor University

By Robert M. Marovich On Friday, November 12, 2021, Baylor University opened the doors to its new Black Gospel Archive and Listening Center. It is an extension of the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project, funded initially by Charles Royce and helmed by Baylor professor Robert Darden. JGM’s Bob Marovich was honored to be part of the grand opening celebration program, where he and Prof. Darden discussed “Why Gospel Music Matters.” You can take a quick tour of the new facility via this video from Waco, Texas, Fox affiliate channel 44:

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JGM Pick of the Week October 25, 2021

“Open Up the Windows of Heaven” Lucinda Marie Independent (release date: August 10, 2021) www.LucindaMarieMusic.com By Robert M. Marovich Lucinda Marie, the self-described “former pastor’s wife,” puts on her stylish shouting shoes, lifts the hem of her long dress ever so slightly, and holy dances through this up-tempo piece. The lyrics, which quote from Malachi 3:10, provide Lucinda and her background vocalists plenty of room for call-and-response. She starts the long vamp with “Fill my cup” and it leads to plaudits abundant. A real stomper in the finest perspiration-drenched church-wrecking tradition. From Austin, Texas, Lucinda Marie (Taylor) has a Ph.D. ...

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