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*MARY MARY LIVES LIFE OUT LOUD ON TV by Bob Marovich—Mary Mary, aka Tina and Erica Campbell, otherwise known for their hit song ‘God in Me,’ are starring in a ten-episode reality series that is ‘a genuine portrayal of the herculean balancing act the women perform every day as they manage multiple demands of career, staff, marriage and children (born and unborn).’ As Tina tells gospel editor Bob Marovich: ‘Hopefully women will be inspired by seeing two real women as sisters, moms and wives trying to balance their career with raising a family.’
*GOSPEL NEWS & NOTES: Ending an absence of more than 30 years, the REBELS QUARTET has re-organized, and will travel on a limited schedule through the Southeast. The newly constituted group includes bass singer RICK FAIR, who is celebrating his 40th year in gospel music by returning to the group with which he began his career.
MARVIN SAPP, I Win--Marvin Sapp's ninth solo CD, I Win, could have easily been named for his current single, ‘My Testimony.’ The live recording has the performance elements of a cathartic testimony/lesson from a man who learned from experience that ‘what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.’
VOICES OF PRAISE, I Give My All--What's immediately notable about Voices of Praise is its deliciously sweet harmonies. The blend is bright and fresh-faced, like Forever Jones or the Irish pop group the Corrs. Old-schoolers like me hear something of the folk group the Seekers in the Voices of Praise's crisp tonality. Their harmonies are so tight a thin razor could not fit between the notes.
J.J. HAIRSTON & YOUTHFUL PRAISE, After This--It's hard to be more musically energetic than J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise. Their high-octane, intense and dramatic full-throated singing packs more punch than a container load of Red Bull.
ANDREA HELMS, Moving Forward--Moving Forward is the seven-track debut CD of BET Sunday Best Season 4 first runner-up Andrea Helms. Produced by H. Doobie Powell and released earlier this month, the album is a compilation of the contemporary gospel and P&W songs that carried Helms to the finals of the popular television program.
STEPHEN HURD, O That Men Would Worship--The album is more than an assembly of songs. It represents Hurd's attempt to encourage more men to embrace the act of worship. ‘My goal,’ Hurd says, ‘is to get men, and especially men of color, to realize that worship is not a feminine sport. I think when men see other men worship, it gives them freedom to worship without feeling emasculated.’
SONGS THAT SING YOU TO SILENCE--This may well be the prettiest and most relaxing CD you hear all year. Designed as a meditative means to bring one to an inner place of worship, the album is the product of a South African quintet that blends jazz, classical and even Portugese-influenced musicianship. Vocalists Carrol Hall and Danellia Daniels grew up as pals in Apartheid-plagued South Africa. They combine their voices with guitar, double bass, piano and drums to do the conjuring.