Tag Archives: malaco music group

“Thank You” – Sonny Brown

“Thank You” Sonny Brown Independent (release date: January 3, 2022) By Robert M. Marovich If Sonny Brown’s “Thank You” has a traditional gospel quartet vibe, it’s because Brown has spent part of his career in the quartet field, notably with the Fantastic Violinaires and the Swanee Quintet. In exhalations of gutsy singing, shouting, and at least one good ol’ gospel chuckle, Brown offers effusive praise to God one moment and the next instructs listeners who have faced trials to raise their voices in gratitude. “But didn’t my God step in,” Brown asks, “and didn’t he make a way?” He is ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: January 10, 2022

“Fall On Me” A. Samar Biggham A. Samar Biggham Music Group (2021) www.samarbiggham.com By Robert M. Marovich In case you are wondering, A. Samar Biggham indeed is from that Biggham family. His grandfather is the Rev. Dr. Milton Biggham, veteran choir leader and former executive of Savoy Records. His great-grandmother was a member of the Sykes Gospel Singers of Thomasville, Georgia. The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree, the saying goes. Anthony Samar (A. Samar) has been in the gospel music ministry for about a decade but has been preaching since age 10. Among his accomplishments was appearing in ...

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JGM Presents the Best CDs, Singles and Historic Reissues of 2021

By Bob Marovich As is our custom for this time of year, the Journal of Gospel Music presents its “best of” lists in the category of CDs, songs, and historical releases. The recordings were not chosen as “best of” based on sales, chart status, promotion, voting, fan popularity, number of likes or retweets, committee decisions, throwing darts, reading tea leaves, arm twisting, or anything other than 1) JGM was serviced with the music for review and 2) JGM believes they best represented gospel/sacred music in 2021 in terms of overall music quality. Artists whose music does not appear here: please ...

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“I’ll Meet You” – Canton Spirituals

“I’ll Meet You” Canton Spirituals Malaco Music Group (2021) www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich Dr. Harvey Watkins Jr. and the Canton Spirituals send their love in “I’ll Meet You,” because nobody knows the day or the hour when it will be too late to say a final goodbye. On the other hand, if they don’t get a chance to say farewell, they hope to see you “on the other shore.” That’s the point. The song advises the listener to make it to the Pearly Gates by walking the straight and narrow path. “And if you love everybody, I’m gonna meet ...

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Various Artists – Quartet is in My DNA

Various Artists Quartet is in My DNA 4 Winds / Malaco Music Group (release date: September 10, 2021) www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich On Quartet is in My DNA, the brainchild of Roy Ladson of Roy and Revelation, Paul Porter hosts a passel of current-day gospel singers who dust off classic songs by Ladson’s favorite gospel artists for a down-home, spirit-filled quartet program. All but Porter and Joseph Wooden lead an A and B selection on this project. Nevertheless, Wooden gets to lead off, and he does so with aplomb on the Soul Stirrers’ “Resting Easy,” complete with dynamic repetitive ...

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Christina Bell – Still Faithful

Christina Bell Still Faithful Malaco Music Group (release date: July 30, 2021) www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich There’s no place like home. So that’s just where Christina Bell went, to her hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana, to record a live worship service and package it as Still Faithful. Bell’s star has risen from her days in the youth choir at Shreveport’s Bright Star Baptist Church, to membership in the popular female gospel group Zie’l, to solo artist, and then actress, playing Twinkie Clark in Lifetime’s Clark Sisters biopic. Although Bell demonstrates dramatic flair on Still Faithful, it’s all about the singing. ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: August 2, 2021

“Still Faithful” Christina Bell feat. Fred Hammond From the Malaco Music Group CD Still Faithful (release date: July 30, 2021) www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich With or without assistance from gospel legend Fred Hammond, “Still Faithful” is former Z’iel member Christina Bell’s best solo single yet. To a lilting melody, Bell declares on the title track of her new album that regardless of the day’s pains and tragedies, and there are many, don’t worry, God is there for you. Hammond is in full agreement, grateful that God prevented potential problems from happening in his life. In true gospel song fashion, ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: July 19, 2021

“I’d Rather Have Jesus” True Believers Malaco Music Group / 4 Winds (release date: June 23, 2021) www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich From the opening vocal harmony riff and the incessant piano triplets to the ultra-soulful lead vocals by Castro Coleman, “I’d Rather Have Jesus” sounds like a 1960s soul record but it is as new as a minute ago. Lyrically, the song by the True Believers quartet evokes the 1922 hymn with the same title, about forsaking the riches of the world for the wealth of eternity. The twist is that Coleman references the modern era when he describes ...

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“You Are” – Byron Cage

“You Are” Byron Cage AIR / Malaco Music Group www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich Stellar Award-winning “Prince of Praise” Byron Cage delivers his latest single, “You Are,” a conventional mid-tempo P&W. Cage alternates between singing and incrementally thunderous exhorting as the background singers keep the song moving forward. While the melody and lyrics are consistent with other contemporary P&W fare, including Cage’s own catalog, the chorus, with its call-and-response litany of adjectives to describe God, is what’s most compelling. The song is from Cage’s September 2019 Atlanta International Records album Isolation (a prophetic title considering the past sixteen months).

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“In Jesus’ Name” – BeBe Winans

“In Jesus’ Name” BeBe Winans From the Malaco Music Group / Regimen Records CD Need You www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich A repetitive riff played on an old upright piano drives a swaying gospel waltz tempo on BeBe Winans’ latest single, “In Jesus’ Name.” To a sing-song melody, the song doubles as praise and a reminder of the Lord’s constancy. There’s plenty of strong vocalizing from Winans and his BGVs. From the five-star album Need You.

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