Tag Archives: north carolina

“Hope is Alive” – Tevis Harris & FaVor

“Hope is Alive”Tevis Harris & FaVorIndependent (release date: November 4, 2021)www.tevisharris.com By Robert M. Marovich Strains of Handel’s “For Unto Us a Child is Born” opens Tevis Harris & FaVor’s Christmas single, “Hope is Alive.” The song proclaims Christ’s birth as the anticipation of a more peaceful, more just, more joyous world, and a blissful life to come on the last day. The song’s intense musical conclusion exudes the conviction of the lyrics. Tevis Harris & FaVor, whose 2021 single “Begin Again” was reviewed by JGM, hails from Rocky Mount, NC. Given the number of gospel artists per capita in ...

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Gene Hoskins – Homecoming (Deluxe Edition)

Download Gene HoskinsHomecoming (Deluxe Edition)Shanachie Entertainment (release date: October 29, 2021)www.shanachie.com By Robert M. Marovich Gene Hoskins, a mental health therapist and gospel singer from North Carolina, combines his passions to provide insight and encouragement on Homecoming (Deluxe Edition). Eliding seamlessly, the first two selections, “Prodigal P.O.V.” and the title track, are the physician healing himself. Hoskins meanders on an introspective electronic R&B path, a sort-of gospel recitative on his journey back to spiritual clarity. The album truly comes alive, however, with “Make It With Jesus,” an explosively churchy piece. The single, which hit #14 on Billboard’s Gospel Singles chart, ...

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Various Artists – Sacred Soul of North Carolina

Various ArtistsSacred Soul of North CarolinaMusic Maker Foundation / Bible & Tire (release date: October 15, 2021)https://biglegalmessrecords.com/collections/bible-tire By Robert M. Marovich Just before the pandemic shut down the world, Alice Vines of the Glorifying Vines Sisters of Farmville, North Carolina (crate diggers will know their singles on Pinewood and Sound Hut), gathered ten other local artists in the small town of Fountain, northwest of Greenville. Reminiscent of record producer Ralph Peer’s 1927 Bristol, Tennessee, sessions, the groups came to Fountain prepared to record. In this case, it was Tim Duffy’s Music Maker Foundation and Bruce Watson’s Bible & Tire, not ...

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Johnny Ruffin Jr. – I’m Gonna Praise the Lord

Johnny Ruffin Jr. I’m Gonna Praise the Lord JBP Music (release date: June 19, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Like Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson, Johnny Ruffin Jr. of North Carolina celebrates old-school quartet singing. That’s the feeling you get from his independently-released album, I’m Gonna Praise the Lord. While most songs have contemporary arrangements, Ruffin sings like a veteran quartet lead singer. He is most effective on covers of gospel classics like the Dixie Hummingbirds’ “So Much to Shout About” and the Jackson Southernaires’ “I Need You to Hold My Hand.” Notwithstanding the unnecessary blasts of synth, Ruffin and Stanley “Li’l ...

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Ruth Black and the Harmonettes – He Woke Me

Ruth Black and the Harmonettes He Woke Me Raymarkable Music, Inc. (release date: August 13, 2021) www.raymarkablemusic.net By Robert M. Marovich Production by Ray Braswell Jr. at his Raymarkable Studios in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, is a seal of quality for any quartet project, as it for the latest Braswell-produced CD, Ruth Black and the Harmonettes’ He Woke Me. The five-member female quartet from Alexander City, Alabama, offer ten quintessentially deep southern soul quartet selections. The album toggles between high-energy songs like “Weeping May Endure” (where the group bears an aural resemblance to the Ingramettes) and “I Know I’m Blessed;” ...

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“Begin Again” – Tevis Harris & faVor

“Begin Again” Tevis Harris & faVor (release date: January 11, 2021) www.tevisharris.com By Robert M. Marovich “Begin Again” by Dr. Tevis Harris and faVor is a lovely song with a message that is inspirational but also steeped in Scripture. The melody and arrangement have an easy, heart-tugging 1980s Peabo Bryson vibe that fits perfectly with the lyrical declarations of starting over. And on top of that, the group declares, God is calling you to begin again. Midway through, Harris is joined by fellow Rocky Mount, North Carolina, native Wanda Barnes of the famous Barnes Family. faVor, a group of Harris’s ...

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“America Bless God” – Bonita Burney Simmons

“America Bless God” Bonita Burney Simmons Independent (release date: January 7, 2021) www.bonitaburneysimmons.com By Robert M. Marovich In the introduction to “America Bless God,” the award-winning North Carolina gospel singer Bonita Burney Simmons offers an invitation to worship by quoting the patriotic anthem written by Irving Berlin in 1938, but then flips the title and transitions into a brand new song. Simmons looks back on 2020, with its hurricanes, pandemic, and political division, and declares that it’s time to come together and give God praise. Some of the lyric lines don’t fall trippingly from the tongue but the sentiment is ...

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“The Sound of Revival” – Edwrin Sutton

“The Sound of Revival” Edwrin Sutton From the Black Smoke Music Worldwide CD The Revival (release date: May 8, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Gospel singer-songwriter Edwrin Sutton sets the nineteenth-century Presbyterian hymn “Revive Us Again” to a contemporary rhythmic call-and-response motive between him and his troupe of background singers. Sutton’s raw-edged singing during the song’s come-to-Jesus vamp evokes an evangelist at a tent revival, Bible aloft, walking the aisles, shouting the spirit down, and turning up the temperature near to praise break levels. Third cousin to soul superstar Otis Redding, Edwrin Sutton is North Carolina-born and living in the ...

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“Into This Place” – Bradie Frink & Ordinary People

“Into This Place” Bradie Frink & Ordinary People www.bfop.vision By Robert M. Marovich “Into This Place” is an antidote for the sameness of much P&W music. This lovely, liquid praise ballad, set in a minor key, benefits from a tender lead feature from Terrell Carter and sumptuous harmonies from Bradie Frink & Ordinary People, their singing anything but ordinary. The song has character, the production has crispness, and the musicians accompany the singers rather than compete with them. Originally from Washington, DC, and now living in North Carolina, Bradie Frink Jr. has served as the minister of music at numerous ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: April 5, 2021

“Fighter” Patreka Wortham (release date: March 5, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich “Fighter” is sufficient confirmation why North Carolina gospel singer Patreka Wortham took home top honors at the 34th Annual Stellar Awards Independent Artist Showcase in 2019. Written, she told Buzzmusic, at a point in time when she was “experiencing a big dose of ‘life,’” “Fighter” became her “pep talk” to herself. But the declarative power in her voice overwhelms the mantra-like lyrics. Patreka Wortham isn’t just singing a song of liberation, she’s proclaiming to the devil with her whole existence that messing with her comes at a significant ...

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