“Keep Hope Alive”
Earnest Pugh feat. Dr. Jamal H. Bryant
Shanachie Entertainment (release date: February 9, 2023)

By Robert M. Marovich

Released during Black History Month, “Keep Hope Alive” by Earnest Pugh reminds that while “we shall overcome someday,” we must keep pressing on until that someday comes.

After offering a jazzy snippet of “We Shall Overcome,” Pugh proffers lyrics embedded with quotes from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rev. Jesse Jackson, and on the vamp goes beyond generalities to outline some concrete examples of keeping hope alive, such as passing legislation and standing in unity.

In his rough-hewn preacher’s voice, Dr. Jamal Bryant interjects on “the audacity of hope.” A Black History Month release, sure, but a message that is important every day of the year.

Shanachie has just signed the Emmy Award-winning singer-songwriter and an Earnest Pugh “Best Of” album is due from the label this spring.

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Written by : Bob Marovich

Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Founder of Journal of Gospel Music blog (formally The Black Gospel Blog) and producer of the Gospel Memories Radio Show.