Tag Archives: jgm pick of the week

JGM Pick of the Week: November 29, 2021

“I Believe” Fred Jerkins feat. Bishop Paul S. Morton From the DarkChild Gospel album A Project of Healing By Robert M. Marovich Not the 1953 inspirational pop song nor the James Fortune composition, this “I Believe” was written by Fred Jerkins and is the fifth radio single from A Project of Healing, his 2018 various artists concept album. It is a confident anticipation of victory over life’s troubles—in the album’s specific case, the trouble is cancer. The muscular vocal timbre of Jerkins and Bishop Paul S. Morton sets a dramatic tone for what amounts to a litany of affirmations ending ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: November 22, 2021

“Waves” Strong Tower Church feat. Maurette Brown Clark From the album Fresh Wind – New Waves (release date: October 22, 2021) www.strongtowerlive.com By Robert M. Marovich Strong Tower Church went big on their debut album, recruiting veteran musicians and the likes of Maurette Brown Clark and Charlin Neal as featured vocalists on its live project. The current single, “Waves,” features the effervescent Maurette waxing on the elements as symbols of God’s blessings, miracles, wonders, and new beginnings. “When a fresh wind blows, the unusual begins to happen,” she sings. It’s an expansive P&W piece with CCM and gospel ingredients, and ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week November 15, 2021

“Wonderful” Kim Person KLP Music Enterprise (release date: October 2021) www.kimpersontheartist.com By Robert M. Marovich Kim Person gives the Reverend F. C. Barnes’ classic “So Many Wonderful Things” a loping, shoulder-shaking treatment. Slowing the tempo ever so slightly, Person offers a litany of the many wonderful things about Jesus. Although she gives no specific examples, Person makes it plain that her praise comes from blessings received. “When I call, you’re right on time.” She closes with a flowering of melisma. It’s gratifying when an artist recycles a favorite song in the gospel music canon, and also gratifying to see an ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: November 8, 2021

“God Kept Me”Beau Williams feat. the HamiltonesFrom the album Timeless (release date: September 24, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich “God Kept Me” by longtime vocalist Beau Williams, is a joyous gospel song about the constancy of the Most High. The rhythm guitar drives a handclapping tempo while popular vocal group the Hamiltones answer Williams’ declarations with percussive harmonizing. Lively and enchanting. And Williams can sure enough sing, his high yodel on the refrain evokes Sam Cooke with the Soul Stirrers. Gaining exposure on the television show Star Search in the mid-1980s, the Houston-born Williams had an R&B career on Capitol ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week November 1, 2021

“So Much to Thank God For” New Macedonia M.B. Church Mass Choir feat. Betty Griffin Keller From the CD Faithful (release date: September 4, 2020) https://mynmmbc.org/ By Robert M. Marovich “So Much to Thank God For” is more than a vibrant throwback choral piece from the New Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church Mass Choir. It’s also a testimony for featured vocalist Betty Griffin Keller. Keller, a member of the Cleveland Singers, a soloist with the Southern California Community Choir, and a solo gospel recording artist, celebrates fifteen years of being cancer free. The abundant joy of life is evident in her ...

Read More »

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. ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: October 18, 2021

“There Will Be a Light Again” Kali Joy From the CD Real Life (release date: September 24, 2021) www.kalijoy.com By Robert M. Marovich Christian singer Kali Joy’s “There Will Be a Light Again” may not be the single from her album Real Life, but it certainly ought to be. It’s a gorgeous song of hope that, in its graceful delicacy and empty spaces, exudes the wistfulness of the autumn season, when it’s “time to die, time to let go of what you’ve known and journey on into the dark of the winter.” Kali delivers the life-sustaining optimism in the refrain, ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: October 4, 2021

“You Fight On” Apostle James Pinckney Jr. & Voices of Faith From The Sound of Holiness (release date: November 6, 2020) https://faithtabernaclechurchofzion.com/ By Robert M. Marovich From South Carolina, the Voices of Faith choir, under the direction of Apostle James Pinckney Jr., was one of the darlings of the 2021 Rhythm of Gospel Awards weekend, winning in four categories, including Song of the Year for “You Fight On.” The up-tempo song about persistence and endurance has the soul of a wooden-church congregational hymn supported by tambourines, washboard, cowbell, and a House of God-style steel guitar. The choir sings with verve ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week September 28, 2021

“More than Enough” Tiff Jones Independent (release date: August 27, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich “More than Enough” is a gorgeous meditation on the transformative power of God’s love, made all the more beautiful by Tiff Jones’ restful delivery. Her vocals and the delicate musicianship flow like gently cleansing water. The harmonies on the lyrics about peace and grace are scrumptious. A key change at the end would have made it even more affecting. It’s the first songwriting credit for co-writer Nicole Thomas, a Chicagoan now living in the near western suburb of Oak Park (Donald Robinson is the other ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: September 20, 2021

“Jesus Christ is Lord” Carmella Green Cloud Records (release date: December 18, 2020) www.cloudrecordsllc.com By Robert M. Marovich “Jesus Christ is Lord” by Carmella Green is another outstanding sacred single from Cloud Records, an emerging label with a small but mighty roster of accomplished vocalists. Despite being a soprano, Carmella Green delivers this song in a deep, dramatic voice, like a trained senior choir soloist. She does toss in a few vocal flowers, mostly at the end, but in general, she sings the worship opus in an operatic style. With its text drawn from Philippians 2:10-11 (“every knee shall bow, ...

Read More »