march 2011

By Bob Marovich

On her debut album, The Intervention, Macey J. Wright heeds her mother’s advice, and is duly rewarded.



Rejoice & Shout, a new documentary film by Don McGlynn reaches all the way back to 1902, when Virginia’s Dinwiddie Colored Quartet made the first African-American religious recordings, and traces gospel’s history and evolution, tying the history of traditional gospel quartet music to the socio-economic and civil rights struggles of African Americans throughout the 20th Century. ‘If this movie hadn’t come out,’ says Ira Tucker Jr., son of the Dixie Hummingbirds’ late, great lead singer Ira Tucker Sr., “I don’t think this story would ever have been told.”

Gospel’s Lost ‘B’ Sides Reveal Artists’ Civil Rights Consciousness:
A Baylor University professor says a surprisingly large number of lesser-known “B” sides on vintage records of gospel songs championed civil rights, suggesting Christian artists were interested in bettering the here and now as well as proclaiming hope for the hereafter--Kingsmen’s Randy Crawford Battles Staph Infection; Heart Surgery Looming: The Kingsmen’s RANDY CRAWFORD, who rejoined the quartet in 2010 after having been a member in the early 2000s, has been off the road since mid-June as a result of a staph infection in his heart, which will necessitate heart surgery.--Valarie Walker Joins Heavens Highway: “Although I’m really new to the group, I can already tell God is in the midst,” Walker says. “Heavens Highway has made me feel right at home.”


shawnSHAWN MCLEMORE, One Percent Miracle Any Minute NowThe "One Percent Miracle" in the title of McLemore's latest solo album, his fourth, refers to his July 2010 heart attack, when the doctors gave him a one percent chance of recovery. Not surprisingly, the artist, having recovered, peppers the album with messages of God-given hope in the midst of life's trials.  He affirms that no matter the problem, God can fix it. In fact, "it's already done."

presheaPRESHEA HILLIARD, Live Out Loud--To Preashea Hilliard, "LOL" means Live Out Loud. And loud--in energy, enthusiasm, volume and message--is exactly what her debut project, Live Out Loud, exudes.


selahSELAH, Looking At You Loving Me--Like a Beat poet, Selah, born in Washington, DC, pours out verse like water from a pitcher, consonants and vowels rolling rivers of sound as the music encourages her like an appreciative audience. Throughout this project, Selah's message is that Satan is the enemy--not individual people, situations or races--and that God is the true king.

swinginVARIOUS ARTISTS, Swingin' On The Golden Gate, Vol. 2: A Survey Of Bay Area Gospel--Gospel historian and compiler Opal Nations stays close to home this time, scouring his San Francisco-Oakland stomping grounds for a variety of vintage gospel sounds. The result is Swingin' on the Golden Gate, Volume 2, a two-CD, 53-track compilation featuring 53 different artists.

ascensionJ. SPENCE, Ascension--Inspired by Luke 24, J. Spence has taken his message to the streets to save souls. Not surprisingly, Ascension emphasizes the importance of discipleship and evangelism to, as the artist articulates on "Peculiar," "fulfill the book story."

perryBOBBY PERRY AND RAIN, Conquerors--Bishop Robert C. "Bobby" Perry II is pastor of The Kingdom Church in Boston, and RAIN (Royal Agents Influencing Nations) is his gospel singing group. Conquerors is their sophomore release. RAIN has a tight, professional sound, plenty of fine vocalists from which to choose (in addition to Natalie Wilson, Jason Nelson and Major Johnson-Finley guest) and benefits from fine production and direction.

Recent Issues

(For all back issues go to the Archive)

Video File





Founder/Publisher/Editor: David McGee
Contributing Editors: Billy Altman, Laura Fissinger, Christopher Hill, Derk Richardson
Logo Design: John Mendelsohn (
Website Design: Kieran McGee (
Staff Photographers: Audrey Harrod (Louisville, KY;, Alicia Zappier (New York)
Mailing Address: David McGee, 201 W. 85 St.—5B, New York, NY 10024