Singles

“God Said It” – The Canton Spirituals ft. Doug Williams and Darrel Petties

“God Said It”The Canton Spirituals ft. Doug Williams and Pastor Darrel PettiesFrom the Malaco Music Group album Hallelujah Anyhow(release date: January 28, 2022)www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich It’s a Mississippi singers reunion as the Canton Spirituals, Doug Williams of the Williams Brothers, and Pastor Darrel Petties of Olive Branch, Mississippi, assemble to sing that if God said it, “you can count it all done.” To hammer home the point, Harvey Watkins Jr. and Company provide listeners with a few examples from the Old and New Testaments when God did just what He said. I think it’s Doug Williams who interjects ...

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JGM Pick of the Week – May 16, 2022

“Shake ‘Em Off” David E. Johnson Jr. feat. 1K Phew Trucast Music Digital (release date: March 25, 2022) www.DavidEJohnsonJr.com By Robert M. Marovich On “Shake ‘Em Off,” Memphis native David E. Johnson Jr. summons the percussive go-go sound of Washington, DC,  to bid good riddance to the devil. Johnson launched his gospel career in October 2021 with the original version of “Shake ‘Em Off,” co-written with Makeba Riddick-Woods. The extended version features a double-time rap interlude from Christian hip-hop artist Isaac “1K Phew” Gordon. The dynamic refrain is ready-made for full-body congregational participation. Plenty of kinetic energy in this piece.

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“He’ll Do It Again” – Wright Family Singers

“He’ll Do It Again”Wright Family SingersHigher Praise Records (release date: April 15, 2022) By Robert M. Marovich On “He’ll Do It Again,” the Wright Family Singers come as close as anyone currently to the deep groove Muscle Shoals-era sound of the Staple Singers. The female trio even evokes the low alto of Mavis Staples on this song of encouragement, that if Jesus did it once upon a time, he’ll do it for you—in the courtroom, in the sick room, in the midst of confusion and—cue Wilson Pickett—in the midnight hour. Not to be confused with the Wright Family Singers of ...

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JGM Pick of the Week:  May 9, 2022

“I’m Encouraged” Patrick Noble Allen presents Claude Deuce Embrace Your Texture Enterprises (release date: February 24, 2022)www.ClaudeDeuce.com By Robert M. Marovich Written last year by Claude Deuce, who is also the featured vocalist, “I’m Encouraged,” presented by music industry veteran Patrick Noble Allen, is a gospel power ballad about holding onto blind faith, no matter the size of the tribulation. Motivated, no doubt, by a combination of societal and personal tempests, “I’m Encouraged” contemporizes the axiom that trouble doesn’t last always: “Made it through that / make it through this / It won’t always be this way.” The song gets ...

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“Never Lost” – Tribl

“Never Lost” Tribl featuring Joe L. Barnes, Lizzie Morgan & Melvin Crispell III Tribl Music (album release date: November 11, 2021) www.tribl.com By Robert M. Marovich If you follow gospel music, you are aware of the rise of worship collectives like Elevation Worship, Nashville Life Music, and the recent Grammy Award-winning Maverick City Music. Worship collectives, which are often multicultural in composition, possess a style that falls somewhere between CCM and gospel. Sometimes this blend, designed to appeal to an increasingly multicultural megachurch environment, lands the groups’ music on the CCM and gospel charts at the same time. Tribl is ...

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JGM Pick of the Week:  May 2, 2022

“Make It With Me” Ray Curenton Independent (release date: April 22, 2022) www.raycurenton.com By Robert M. Marovich “Make It With Me” is a lovely, introspective, and lyrically intricate song with the soul of a John Legend ballad. Written with Tim Dillinger and co-producer Brandon Adams, “Make It With Me” finds Ray Curenton employing the Passion of Christ—from crucifixion to resurrection—as a metaphor for his own challenges as well as an entreaty for the world to emerge from social and spiritual darkness into light. An angelic choir supports high tenor Curenton nowhere better than during the vamp, when he growls and ...

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JGM Pick of the Week:  April 26, 2022

“I Got Joy” The Dorsetts Independent (release date: January 6, 2022) By Robert M. Marovich Husband-and-wife duo Arnold and Sharee Dorsett—known as the Dorsetts—offer “I Got Joy,” a simple tune with an easy rhythm and a catchy refrain that not only establishes the premise of the song but invites a congregational singalong and possibly a pleasant earworm. The song takes for its text the latter half of John 16:22: “your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” The Dorsetts hail from Wilmington, Delaware. As far as I can tell, this is their debut single.

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JGM Pick of the Week:  April 18, 2022

“Grateful” Earnest Pugh Blacksmoke Music Worldwide (2022) By Robert M. Marovich Earnest Pugh’s current single, “Grateful,” is a gently swaying ballad of thanksgiving for Christ’s love, expressed most ardently in his sacrifice for all humanity. Pugh and his background vocalists riff on the “you didn’t have to do it but you did” trope. The song’s high point comes toward the end, when Pugh lofts a few high notes into the atmosphere, close to Prince territory. Written by Gary Mayes, “Grateful” is the third single from Pugh’s 2020 album, The Outpour Experience, recorded live in Richmond, Virginia, and produced by Michael ...

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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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JGM Pick of the Week – April 13, 2022

“Highest Praise” Terry Fuller Project ft. Justin Mickens Independent (release date: June 24, 2021) https://www.tjmusicgroup.com/ By Robert M. Marovich Accented by rhythmic foot thumps, Terry Fuller Project’s “Highest Praise” is a joyful selection that will set listeners to handclapping and foot tapping. Lead singer Justin Mickens handles vocals like the effervescent quartet lead he is while the background vocalists support with great enthusiasm. The extended vamp—it might even be considered two vamps back-to-back—allow Fuller to engage in tuneful preaching on the subject of the praiseworthiness of God. By the end of the nearly six-minute single, Mickens growls and shouts while ...

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