Archive for the ‘Artist News and Updates’ Category

Chicago’s Pleasant Green Choir Gets In The Mix With New Music

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

PG Choir ChicagoChicago is the ultimate destination for Gospel music and this is reinforced by the weekly (and sometimes daily) addition of new quartets, groups, choirs and solo acts.  In the exception category is the Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church where Pastor Walter Matthews greets the members and guests each Sunday morning on Chicago’s south side.  From the exterior, the church would give the appearance as one of the many places of worship where people gather weekly, but when any one of the Pleasant Green choirs hit the stand, you are in for some exuberant sounds of joyful noise.

Minister of Music Elaine Pheloan describes it as such, “We are just a group of ordinary people that God has placed together for worship and to unite people through the power of life changing music.  The music ministry of Pleasant Green consists of people of all ages from the children to the seniors who love the Lord and take seriously the mandate to make His praise glorious. We are blessed with some amazing singers, anointed musicians and skillful songwriters, God takes what we have and it all comes together.”

On their new single Oh the Blood, Pleasant Green calls upon Grammy and Stellar Award nominated songwriter and producer Montage Pheloan (Ricky Dillard and New G, Isaac Carree, Chicago Mass Choir) and co songwriter Paris Baker to present a Sunday church styled track worthy of Chicago, and the song delivers.

Pastor John Gray Lands Show on OWN

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016
johngray2
The Oprah Winfrey Network announced today it has given an eight-episode series order to The Book of John (working title) from Leftfield Pictures, a weekly one-hour dramedy docu-series featuring the life of John Gray, associate pastor at Joel Osteen’s world-famous Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. The series will join the network’s popular Saturday night programming lineup this spring.
The Book of John , is a dramedy docu-series featuring the life of John Gray.  Known for his loud, hilarious, unconventional and gravitating ways, Gray has traveled the world utilizing his gifts of music, comedy and preaching to help bring people together from all walks of life and share the Gospel in his unique and uncompromising way.  In the new series Gray will give viewers intimate access into his home life and world renowned ministry as he helps people in his community overcome life challenges, while facing his own relatable struggles as a husband and father. The series is produced by Leftfield Pictures.  Executive producers are David George, Jordana Hochman and Joe Weinstock from Leftfield Pictures, with Rich Wilkerson and Jason Kennedy serving as consulting producers.

Candy West Live Drops August 12th

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Candy West is a name synonymous with Gospel music.  In over 2 decades, she has performed and traveled as a background and featured vocalcandywestist with artists including Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Marvin Sapp, Myron Butler, Mary Mary, Snarky Puppy and Erykah Badu. She now gets ready for the release of her solo debut, Candy West Live.

“This record is the soundtrack of faith. It’s the soundtrack for a believer that wants a real relationship with God,” shares West. “One of my favorite songs on the record is one of the most honest songs I’ve written and probably one of the most honest songs I’ll ever sing: it’s called Contentment. The song talks about being between purpose and destiny; where it’s uncomfortable, but you still know and are trusting that God has a plan.”

With production assistance from Candy West, Myron Butler and Deonis Cook and songwriting by West, Butler and Shanika Bereal, the CD hits digital outlets on August 12th.

Houston’s Angela Bennett Sings A New Song

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

angela bennettGood things come out of Houston, and Angela Bennett is indeed a good thing.  The powerhouse singer makes a stunning debut with the release of Rock Steady, a Louisiana Zydeco flavored track produced by Bobby Sparks and Mark Simmons giving the listener concrete evidence that Jesus is the sure foundation.

Bennett hails from a musical dynasty (the late Carole Allen Simmons is her mom) and she and her siblings nurtured their gifts while singing in the choir at Greater Emmanuel Church of God in Christ.  The COGIC experience brought her to glean from the wisdom of Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, Sara Jordan Powell, Douglas Miller and Bettye Ransom Nelson.  As her gift made room , Shirley Joiner and Carl Preacher (of BCS fame) came recruiting her for membership in the Southeast Inspirational Choir.  Opportunity would knock again leading to a two-year acting stint in Japan.  Bennett made her return to the US and found a place in music ministry at the Windsor Village United Methodist Church under the leadership of Pastor KirbyJohn Caldwell.

“I’m so excited for this new season”, states Bennett.  “Convinced that God orders our steps and knows how to get us to where we need to be, I can say that I am happy for the journey and excited for the places God is taking me. I am a yielded vessel ready for the Master’s use.”

Rock Steady is available at digital outlets and heads to radio this week.

Rusty Watson Proclaims The Greatness of God In His Solo Debut

Saturday, August 6th, 2016

GOD-CD-Cover-Front-7-16Rusty Watson is known for his music.  He has written for Rodnie Bryant and CCMC, Ricky Dillard’s New Generation Chorale, Bishop TD Jakes and the Potter’s House Mass Choir and the GMWA Women of Worship.  Watson is most recognized for his composition For My Good, which appeared on the Grammy nominated Love Alive V CD of Bishop Walter Hawkins and the Love Center Choir.  Now, the St. Louis native begins anew with the release of God, his debut solo single hitting digital retail outlets on August 5th.

Watson shared these words about the song and his writing inspiration, “”I am a lover of the Word”, God has equipped and conditioned me to be able to write music that reaches the heart.  Genesis, the book of beginnings adeptly opens with these words, in the beginning God, so I wanted to make that my place of beginning this new chapter as well.  God is a song that I wanted everybody to know who I was talking about with no confusion.  Its a song that honors God the great and God the magnificent, the Supreme God of the Universe in all of His sovereignty.  When we stop and think of all that God is, its enough to make you shout, He’s the Alpha, the Omega, Jehovah, El Shaddai, no one greater, no one above Him, no one before Him and definitely none like Him.”

Watson heads to Louisville, Kentucky for the Dorsey Convention in addition to making several other stops across the country as the single makes waves at radio.

Leo Davis Writes The How To Manual For Effective Music Ministry

Friday, August 5th, 2016

Leo Davis BookLeo Davis has spent 40 years “singing to the Lord a new song” and ensuring that the singers and musicians under his tutelage mastered the art of not just being loud, but also skillful.  After 25 years of ministry at the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, Davis pens his first book, No Gimmicks.  The book offers an autobiographical look at the life of this celebrated servant leader and master musician/choir conductor as well as  a wealth of  information from his life experiences to motivate persons in music and ministry to reach for higher heights.

A Chicago native who began playing organ for church services at age 15, Davis was exposed to the individuals that helped to shape Gospel music including Dr. Charles Clency, founder of the Voices of Melody, accompanist for the Queen of Gospel Music Mahalia Jackson and choir trainer in the early years for Dr. Charles G. Hayes’ Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer choir.  Clency would serve as mentor and model for Davis.  The book goes on to give practical insight on major issues facing music ministry leaders in churches today.

No Gimmicks is available at online retailers including Amazon.com

New Music From William Becton

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Becton SingSinger/songwriter, producer and two time Stellar Award winner Pastor William Becton makes his re entry into Gospel music after over a decade with the release of Sing Unto The Lord A New Song.  Becton is forever remembered for Be Encouraged. The song made its debut on the Billboard Gospel charts at #3, and Broken, the album propelled to #1 for over 11 weeks in addition  the song charted on the Billboard R&B singles chart at #59  and continued its ride for 21 weeks.

Becton says the new single is a homecoming of sorts, “It’s a return to ‘real music,’ classic song creation, and the pure power of praise.” Sing Unto the Lord hits digital retail outlets on August 19th.

 

Allstate Gospel Superfest Headed to TV One

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Allstate GospelThe ever popular Allstate Gospel Superfest finds a new broadcast home at TV One  during the 2016 holiday season.  This show in its 18th year was founded and is produced by Bobby Cartwright, Jr. and  has had a syndicated run for 16 consecutive years.  This year’s celebration took place at  Coppin State University in Baltimore and featured performances from  J. Moss, Karen Clark Sheard, Jonathan Butler, Lonnie Hunter & Structure, Beverly Crawford, Jonathan McReynolds, James Hall & Worship & Praise, Tim Bowman, Jr., Dorinda Clark Cole, Alexis Spight, and Patrick Lundy’s Ministers of Music.

The reigning Queen of Gospel, Pastor Shirley Caesar was on hand to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award and the two hour telecast is hosted by actress Vivica A. Fox.  Look for the Allstate Gospel Superfest debut in November with encore performances throughout the month of December.

 

Better Makes Its Debut At Number 1

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Hezekiah Walker Azusa The Next Generation 2-Better-Album CoverBishop Hezekiah Walker is all smiles as his latest CD Azusa The Next Generation 2-Better makes its debut at #1 on Billboard’s Current Gospel Albums chart,a #3 debut on Billboard’s Top Christian & Gospel Albums chart and enters the Billboard 200 chart at #88.

“Better,” the lead hit single has maintained the #1 position on the Billboard Gospel Airplay chart for ten consecutive weeks while holding the top spot on the Billboard Gospel Digital Songs chart for three consecutive weeks.

Jekalyn Carr Hosts Two Night Revival Event For The Life Project CD Release

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Jekalyn Carr 2On August 5th, Jekalyn Carr’s live CD The Life Project hits stores and digital retail outlets.  Buzz has followed this project since its recording last year in Memphis, Tennessee largely fueled by the success of the radio single, You’re Bigger.  You’re Bigger continues to hold its own at the #2 spot on the Billboard Gospel Airplay chart.

Carr heads to Birmingham, Alabama for a 2 day revival and joint CD Release celebration at the Bethel Baptist Church on August 4th and 5th.  A host of guests will be on hand including Cora Jakes Coleman, Casey J and Todd Dulaney.

GOSPELflava spoke with Carr about her many travels and the live recording The Rising Star of Jekalyn Carr