Tag Archives: Rhythm of Gospel Awards

JGM Pick of the Week – November 21, 2022

“God is Great” Kara Nichole Independent (release date: September 5, 2022) www.karanichole.com By Robert M. Marovich San Antonio, Texas, worship leader Kara Nicole converts the worship language of Psalm 145 into an appropriately joyful song called “God is Great.” The diminutive Kara is in complete command of this performance, singing her own praises while directing the audience to follow her lead in filling the sky with gratitude to God. The relentless rhythm is ideal for the sentiments of the song. Given that Kara was still riding high in the spirit by the conclusion, “God is Great” could have (and perhaps ...

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“Lord of All” – Carolyn Wright

“Lord of All” Carolyn Wright Independent (release date: April 3, 2022) By Robert M. Marovich Ms. Carolyn Wright lit up the Rhythm of Gospel Awards in Jacksonville, Florida, last month with her lead vocals for one of the many talented church choirs that were in attendance. I wasn’t alone in my plaudits—many present at the event singled her out for the poised, polished, and passionate singing you hear on her single, “Lord of All.” Written and produced by Courtney Franklin, “Lord of All” has the musical majesty of a contemporized hymn. Just as importantly as the song’s message and noble ...

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Hood Memorial AME Zion Church Celebration Choir – I’m In His Plans

Hood Memorial AME Zion Church Celebration Choir I‘m In His Plans Bison Disc (release date: February 23, 2021) https://hoodmemorialamez.com/ By Robert M. Marovich Time was, you would have looked long and hard in the AME Zion church writ large and found neither gospel music nor gospel singers anywhere within the four walls. Hymns, yes. Anthems, yes. Spirituals, check. Gospel songs, not so much. Then you hear “It’s About Time to Praise Him” by the joyously full-throated Celebration Choir from the Hood Memorial AME Zion Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and you realize those days are passed and gone. Complete with ...

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“Jehovah Jireh” – Zak Williams & 1/Akord

“Jehovah Jireh” Zak Williams & 1/Akord Enon Music Group (release date: September 17, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich “Jehovah Jireh” celebrates God and old-school (’80s) gospel, Philly style. Representing the City of Brotherly Love, Zak Williams & 1/Akord offer a praise song with an agile arrangement noted for full-throated staccato choral singing, evangelistic exhortations from Williams, a flowing melody, and a hard-hitting rhythm section. Williams namechecks GMWA Mass Choir and Wilmington Chester Mass Choir alumnus Kevin Pringle, not only for added Philly cred but because the recording is a cover of Pringle’s composition. I first learned of Zak Williams & ...

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Gail Stewart & Prayz4 – s/t

Gail Stewart & Prayz4 Self-titled Independent (release date: July 12, 2017) By Robert M. Marovich What is immediately evident about the self-titled CD by the Texas-based family gospel group Gail Stewart & Prayz4 is its emphasis on modernizing traditional hymns and gospels. For example, the group gives the nineteenth-century hymn “I Need Thee” a mid-tempo R&B treatment, complete with bongos and snarling guitar, while Gail’s breathy soprano directs the rest of the singers toward a bluesy vamp. “Where He Leads Me” bathes the basic premise of the original hymn in a cornucopia of sounds, melodies, and new lyrics sufficient to ...

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God’s Children – It’s So Amazing

God’s Children It’s So Amazing Independent (2018) https://www.facebook.com/godschildrenmemphis By Robert M. Marovich On It’s So Amazing, the Memphis, Tennessee-based Shirika “Re Re” Flowers and God’s Children (and also Re Re’s eldest children), run through a battery of gospel quartet-style songs, rendered with a churchy vibe and with frequent vamps for evangelical emphasis. Although the album notes do not include the names of specific lead singers for each of the album’s ten tracks, aurally it appears as if every member of the troupe has a chance to solo at least once. Young solo voices are particularly audible on “It Was Jesus,” ...

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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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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 ...

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“I Will Call Upon the Lord” – Dr. E. LaQuint Weaver II & the Hallelujah Singers

“I Will Call Upon the Lord” Dr. E. LaQuint Weaver II & the Hallelujah Singers (release date: September 1, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Whenever I hear “I Will Call Upon the Lord,” the latest single from Detroit choir Dr. E. LaQuint Weaver & the Hallelujah Singers, I am reminded of the city’s iconic Joe Louis Fist sculpture. The song exemplifies in lyric and arrangement the majestic might of that fist. The song’s testimony to resilience “during these perilous times” and the choir’s steadfast faith in the Lord in the midst of their enemies are manifested in thunderous staccato singing ...

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Official Rhythm Of Gospel Awards Winners 2021

Congratulations to the winners of 2021 Rhythm of Gospel Awards! #1 Contemporary CD Of The YearChester Burke Jr & Company CD-“Jesus, I Bless Your Name” #2 Special Event CD Of The YearNorthern Delaware Chapter GMWA Recording Choir “God Be Glorified” 2017 #3 Traditional CD Of The YearFrederick Shorter & the Blakely Mass Choir CD-“He’s A Wonder” #4 Praise & Worship CD Of The YearVonnie Blackshear CD-“Still Standing” 2014 #5 Quartet CD Of The YeaYoung Men 4 Christ Fulfilled CD – “Feel the Music from Within” #6 Rhythm Of Gospel CD Of The YearApostle James F Pickney & The Voices Of ...

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