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Urban Gospel, Page 2

Tasha Cobbs | Grace

Tasha Cobbs - Grace
 
Tasha Cobbs | Grace
EMI Gospel
By Peggy Oliver
 
When someone declares, “you were born to sing,” sometimes those compliments would ring true or it might be a bunch of hype. Unquestionably, Tasha Cobbs was born to sing. But Cobbs was born to accomplish even bigger things than just her obvious vocal skills. That critical gift is leading the masses into the presence of God that many gospel fans and industry cohorts have gravitated to.

Jonathan Butler | Grace and Mercy

Jonathan Butler - Grace and Mercy
 
Grace and Mercy
Jonathan Butler
(Rendezvous)
by Darnell Meyers-Johnson
 
Jonathan Butler signed his first recording contract at twelve years old.  By the time he was fifteen, he was already an established recording artist in his native South Africa.  By his own admission, he was also a drug addict whose soul was seeking salvation.  Guidance would come through a friendship with a fan who introduced him to the Christian faith.  That fan would later become his brother in law.

Anita Wilson | Worship Soul

Anita Wilsonm - Worship Soul
 
Anita Wilson | Worship Soul
(EMI Gospel)
By Peggy Oliver
 
On most live gospel recordings, it is customary for the church’s pastor or gospel music luminary to introduce the artist to the congregation.  During the introduction for Worship Soul by Anita Wilson, her mentor Donald Lawrence pays this worship leader and singer/songwriter a significant compliment: “With a style all her own and a tone all her own.” 

J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise | After This

J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise - After This
 
J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise
After This
(Light/E-One)
By Peggy Oliver
 
When I first stepped foot in church during the early sixties, my attention focused on the precious, riveting harmonies of the choir. It did not matter if the choir embodied a hymn, spiritual or the Psalms, this part of the weekly church service was my absolute favorite moment. As I started taking my relationship with Christ more seriously, choir ministries took on a slightly different meaning, equivocating more than just some pretty voices that have sheer technical skill.

Shirley Murdock | Live: The Journey

ShirleyMurdock_LiveTheJourney
 
Shirley Murdock | Live: The Journey
By Peggy Oliver
 
There are plenty of saints – to sinners – to saint’s stories within the gospel music industry. It is quite commonplace for artists to maturate their voices in the church before taking the gifts to the secular side for such a season; before they recall the strong foundation they received thru solid Christian teaching. Shirley Murdock was raised on gospel in her hometown of Toledo, Ohio but her claim to fame was as part of the R&B/futuristic funk outfit Roger Troutman & Zapp.

John Jay | The Secret to Life

John Jay - The Secret To Life
 
John Jay |The Secret to Life
By Peggy Oliver
 
John Jay may not be a household name in the gospel industry — yet. However, by no means, does it diminish the fact that his talents have been solidified through his body of work and in a variety of musical settings. From appearances at Jazz Aspen Snowmass to the Holy Hip Hop Awards, Jay’s gospel journey can certainly not be put in any kind of box.

Kim Burrell | The Love Album

Kim Burrell - The Love Album
 
Album Review: Kim Burrell | The Love Album
By Peggy Oliver
 
When Kim Burrell was introduced to the gospel world on Everlasting Love in 1998, the anticipation was justified; from her fellow peers to being rewarded with the prestigious Stellar Award for urban gospel excellence. Many musicians were awed by her rich husky voice dropped an array of gorgeous colors with stunning timing and total ease.

Myron Williams | Thankful

Myron Williams - Thankful
 
Myron Williams | Thankful
By Peggy Oliver
 
Since the inception of Juanita Bynum’s Flow Records a few years ago, Myron Williams’ production stamp has graced the labels recordings, such as the groundbreaking Gospel Goes Classical with Bynum and Jonathan Butler. Before Flow Records spouted as one of gospel’s pleasant surprises in 2006, Williams and his brother Demarcus Williams directed MDM & Voices; one of many reasons why their hometown of Dallas flourished with suburb youth choirs in the late nineties along with God’s Property.

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