What I'm Listening To...

New Releases worth checking out...

Today is the release of another WOW Gospel compilation cd, but instead of purchasing a cd full of songs you've heard numerous times on the radio, why not branch out and check out an independent artist instead? I recommend purchasing AM:PM (Anthony McGahee & Praise Motivated)'s It's Our Time and Earl Jones Jr.'s, I'm Gonna Wait. Formerly known as Anthony McGahee & Voyces, Milwaukee's own AM:PM release is reminiscent of popular contemporary gospel artists such as Hezekiah Walker and Ricky Dillard, in fact, Ricky Dillard is featured on the track, Never Would Have Made It which can be heard on the group's MySpace page. Earl Jones Jr. reigns from Brooklyn, New York, home to many well known gospel artists, so it's no wonder that one of gospel's greatest, Jones' mentor, Rev. Timothy Wright, is a feature guest on this release. While I haven't purchased either yet to provide a complete review, you can guarantee that I'll be purchasing these releases soon and hopefully you will too.

For more info:

* Visit Earl Jones Jr.'s website and MySpace page, or visit Digstation to purchase I'm Gonna Wait.

* Visit AM:PM website and MySpace page, or visit Digstation to purchase It's Our Time.

Digging Through The Crates: Monique Walker / Jeffrey White

There's been a few requests for songs that featured Monique (Williams) Walker before she recorded with Love Fellowship Crusade Choir, so after digging through the crates I found one for you all. The song is entitled, How Can I Say Thank You written by Jeffrey and Kathleenia White from Prof. Jeffrey White & The Soul Stirring Crusade Choir's 1982 release, Shelter In The Time of Storm. I'm not the biggest fan of Sis. Walker's singing, but I do like her singing on this particular song.

Click below to listen to How Can I Say Thank You:

To listen to He Did It All For Us, recorded by Prof. Jeffrey White & National Mass Choir, visit the following blog post,Old School Throwback: Jeffrey White & National Mass Choir (feat. a young Hezekiah Walker) As always, let me know what you think in the comments below.

I'm Back!!!

Wow, it's been a long time since I've written here, I had no idea it had been this long. The reason for the hiatus was Hurricane Ike at first and I was without power for almost a month, but I was blessed not to have much damage done to my house. The other reason, was a broken needle on my turntable. Now that I have everything in order now, I want to continue sharing gospel music that I have been blessed by and hopefully many of you will be too. I will be uploading more requests that have been asked here and through emails, so just bear with me a little more and it will be uploaded soon. In addition, you may have noticed that some songs on the blog are currently unavailable, the reason is my account has exceeded it's bandwidth. Those songs that are unavailable will be back online on Jan. 2, 2009.

Double Take Tuesday (Late Edition): He's The One

One reason I like Rodnie Bryant & The Christian Community Mass Choir's albums is how they in a way show acknowledgement of those gospel greats that came before them. You can always expect to see at least one or two songs on their albums that have been previously recorded by someone else. One of my favorite remakes of theirs is He's The One written by Ricky Grundy, located on their 1997 Tyscot release, He's A Keepa'. The song was originally recorded by Keith Pringle and The Pentecostal Community Choir on their 1981 release, When All God's Children Get Together on Savoy, but when you have someone like Donald Lawrence producing your album (Lawrence produced Bryant's 1997 album), you can expect for him to take the orginal and give it a fresh take.

On the version recorded by Rodnie Bryant & CCMC, the song is given a total makeover. Upon first hearing the song, you can hear how the addition of the keyboard instrumentation and bringing out the sounds of the drums livens up the song a bit more as opposed to Pringle's version, thanks in part to musicans Cedric Thompson and Daniel Weatherspoon. Keith Pringle and The Pentecostal Community Choir's version is more driven by the piano and the organ, but has a more funkier sound when compared to the laid back sound of Bryant's version. Music aside, another main difference that is heard is Lawrence's arrangement of the song, mainly with the bridge and the vamp. Let's take the bridge, where the choir sings: what manner of man is this, the winds and seas obey him... and Lawrence omits the line if what you're looking for is peace and love and joy, He is the one. While that line provides an easy and smooth transition into the vamp, the music alone does the job just fine. In Pringle's version, however, the choir breaksdown He's the one in pyramid fashion in the vamp, then proceeds to bring it together by singing He's the one in harmony.

Interested in purchasing Keith Pringle and The Pentecostal Community Choir's When All God's Children Get Together album, try here:

* When All God's Children Get Together (on vinyl)

* When All God's Children Get Together (on cassette tape)

**To listen to songs mentioned, click on album cover**

Digging Through The Crates: Georgia Mass Choir

Technically, I'm not digging through my crates on this one, being that I broke the needle on my record player, so I haven't been able to play any records for nearly two weeks. Even though I can't play my records, I've been playing those that I transferred to cd awhile back. One album that I've been spinning lately is Georgia Mass Choir's I'm Free released in 1986 on Savoy Records. With musicians and soloists such as James Bignon, Kenneth Paden, and to name a few, I knew I was set to hear a great album through and through. However it's one song that I can't stop putting on repeat, It's Yours For The Asking. Written by Jeff DavisR. Willis and Milton Biggham, this song with it's bass driven, drum laced beats, it's a song that will get you moving. The song is led by Lillie Scott Holloway, the choir rocks the song out from beginning to end. I hope the song is a blessing to you all.

**To listen to the song mentioned, click on the album cover**

What's New: Niyoki - Rest

**Press Release**

In 2006, D2G Records contemporary gospel and inspirational vocalist Niyoki (pronounced Nie-yo-kee), came on the gospel scene with her debut release, MY EVERYTHING. The project independently sold more than 15,000 copies, and spawned the hit single “He’s Here” (which ultimately reached the #8 position on Billboard’s Gospel chart and was named the 27th most-played gospel song of 2007 by the trade publication R&R (Radio and Records). Now she is back with her sophomore CD entitled REST which hit stores on August 19th via partnership with Executive Music Group and distribution by Fontana.

All 13 songs on REST were written and co-produced by Niyoki in collaboration with her four producers: Ralph B. Stacy (Mario, Dru Hill, Jagged Edge and K-Ci and JoJo); Antonio Neal (EMI Gospel recording artist and producer for Canton Jones, Darlene McCoy, and Kierra “Kiki” Sheard); and up-and-comers Floyd Thomas and Quintin X. Coleman. The first single, “Joy,” was shipped to radio in May, and is currently seated at the #40 on the BDS e-Chart.

Recorded while she was pregnant with her first child (Kedron Nero), REST is a solid collection of songs, each of which has a different sound and feel. REST crosses all musical genres to incorporate R&B, Jazz, rock and hip-hop all laced together with what Niyoki describes as “a central theme of hope and love for Jesus Christ.”

REST includes the beautiful and soothing “I Will Rest,” the high energy and driven single, “Joy,” the praise-filled “Where Would I Be?” and the earnestly prayerful “All That I Have.” These are just a few of the highlights featured on Niyoki’s new project which gives Niyoki a suitable platform on which to showcase the strength of her voice as well as her remarkable contralto-to-mezzo-soprano vocal range. “I was so much more comfortable with this project because I’d been there, done that,” said Niyoki who previously was part of the R&B group Milenia which Prince tapped to perform as his background vocalists. “I’m more settled in my thoughts, with my lyrics, and with what direction I wanted to go with the music. And more importantly, my relationship with God has evolved into a place of peace.”

Listen to Niyoki's latest single, "Joy" from her new album, "Rest".

*** Album is in stores and available for purchase online now***

For more information visit the following sites:

* Niyoki's Official Website
* Niyoki's Official Myspace Page

Thanks to Heather Suomi @ Universal Music Group Distribution for the press release.

Old School Throwback: CLC Youth Choir

Last month when I featured You Don't Know by CLC Youth Choir, there was a request for another of their songs, Jesus, You're Everything To Me. The song was first recorded on their 1991 album, Whatever It Takes (Word), and then later revived on their 1993 live album, Live...In The Spirit (the version which is featured here). Written by the choir's choir director, Glen Woodard, there's one line in the song that says "just to say I love You, would never be enough, to tell You all that You have meant to me", and that wraps up abouth what the song is about. Led by Kimberly Seibold, the choir does a great job in their revival of the song, it sounds more updated than the first time they ministered the song and the addition of the vamp is a nice touch as well.

I couldn't do a throwback to the CLC Youth Choir without including their signature invitational song, The Old Landmark written by Glen Woodard. First heard on the choir's 1990 debut, Anchored To The Rock, and later on their 1993 release, Live... In The Spirit with Sherre Woodard singing lead (the version heard here, is from their debut album). I love the lyrics to this song, it's about how we've all at one time or another have fallen out the will of God and then come back to his loving arms to start anew.

**To listen to songs mentioned, click on the album covers**

Double Take: I Love You

William Hubbard's I Love You continues to be a staple in nearly every church's worship service. The lyrics of this song proclaims the declaration of our love for our Lord. I Love You was first recorded by Edwin Hawkins Music & Arts Seminar Mass Choir on their 1985 album, Have Mercy (Birthright Records), and then later by Walt Whitman and The Soul Children of Chicago on their 1996 release, Growing Up (CGI Records). I figured there wasn't much that really needed to be said about either version of the song, both do a great job of letting the lyrics stand out without the instruments and vocals overpowering it. If you agree or disagree, or just have any other comments about the song, as always let your voice be heard by leaving your comments below.