The Gospel According To Torrence | BET.com http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence Gospel music news, views and interviews Fri, 07 Feb 2014 22:50:05 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 Erica Campbell Debuts “Help” CD Cover http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/2014/02/erica-campbell-debuts-help-cd-cover/ http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/2014/02/erica-campbell-debuts-help-cd-cover/#comments Fri, 07 Feb 2014 22:50:05 +0000 Torrence http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/?p=3486 EC_HELPCOVER_full

Move over white dress and make room for that face! Erica Campbell recently released the cover art for her debut solo CD Help. It was shot by the uber popular Derek Blanks. With no clothing as a distraction in cover artwork past, the always beautiful Ms. Campbell decided to give us something simple and to the point. You can pre-order Help starting on Monday, February 10 and before actual CD release which is March 25.

Check out the tracklisting:

1. The Question

2. You Are

3. A Little More Jesus

4. Help

5. I’m A Fan

6. The Atkins House

7. Eddie

8. Looking Like

9. POG

10. More Than A Lover

11. Nobody Else

12. All I Need Is You

13. Changes

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Bruno Is From Mars, Deep Saints Are from Venus? http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/2014/02/bruno-is-from-mars-deep-saints-are-from-venus/ http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/2014/02/bruno-is-from-mars-deep-saints-are-from-venus/#comments Mon, 03 Feb 2014 22:12:28 +0000 Torrence http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/?p=3482 brunomars

Or maybe Pluto, Jupiter? I don’t know. What, you thought I was really gonna go there again? How about not. It looks like it’s becoming a weekly issue where the “social saints” decide that anything on TV that isn’t gospel is sin and anybody watching it regardless of their relationship with God is a sinner. Nope, not gonna do it, but for all those who need a refresher, let’s go back HERE. Why? Because my position remains the same. So if you or someone you know had a deep spiritual issue with watching Bruno Mars’ Super Bowl halftime show? Read this!

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Turn Off Your TV and Call Your Pastor http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/2014/01/turn-off-your-tv-and-call-your-pastor/ http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/2014/01/turn-off-your-tv-and-call-your-pastor/#comments Wed, 29 Jan 2014 00:36:16 +0000 Torrence http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/?p=3474 Firstly, I want to shout out and congratulate the winners in the gospel Grammy categories.

tashagrammyBEST GOSPEL/CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC PERFORMANCE

Break Every Chain [Live]

Tasha Cobbs

BEST GOSPEL SONG

If He Did It Before… Same God [Live]

Tye Tribbett, songwriter (Tye Tribbett)tyetribbettgrammy

BEST GOSPEL ALBUM

Greater Than [Live]

Tye Tribbett

Ok, now that that’s out of the way let’s get to “the issue.” Disclaimer: I didn’t watch the entire telecast of the 56th Annual Grammy Awards because I had a service to sing at and attend and got in a little bit past the midway point. I went back and looked at a few moments for context via my DVR but eh, the Grammy’s haven’t been that good in many years so I wasn’t all that pressed to do it anyway. However, I noticed something very odd during this year’s show. More so than in year’s past I noticed the “social media saints” going IN about every and anything they saw on the show almost to the point of being offended and I wondered “How did this happen?”

Here’s a quick recap of some of what got some of your/their doilies in a bunch:

1. There’s still a remnant of you/us who think anybody successful in any creative medium outside of gospel is a witch, warlock, secret society member or alien spy from some far off planet where the devil lives. These conspiracy theories we place artists in have got to be exhausting and I know your arms must be tired for reaching so far into the paranoid unknown to pull out some perceived Illuminati symbolism in every hand motion, belt buckle and eye shadow you see on TV. Just stop it.

2. Next there was “Oh Lord Katy Perry done gone too far backlash.” I watched a bit of it and was so turned off that guess what I did next? I turned it off. (Actually, I fast forwarded to the next performance I wanted to see but the sentiment is the same.) Let me tell you how liberating that was. But seriously, despite Katy Perry’s recent history in secular music, lyrical content and just her past performances; the idea that lil Katy Hudson would never do such a thing and is such a disappointment because “she knows better” is a bit misguided. Newsflash, Katy Hudson is gone folks. She left here a while ago when she developed a thing for cherry chapstick. Not saying she’ll never return but to turn on the Grammy’s in 2014 and expect her to get up there and sing “How Great is Our God?” Not gonna happen. Let’s just be honest with ourselves.

3. Then there was the “wedding.” I’ll leave that there.

4. Then there was the “Social Media Mother’s Board” again who felt it necessary to criticize and chastise all of the other Christians who were watching it.

Here’s the thing folks… This was the Grammy Awards, not the Stellar Awards. Not the Dove Awards. They aired on CBS affiliates across the country, not on TBN or The Word Network! Now let me be very clear, I’m a full-fledged Bible believing Christian. I’m proud of it, I’ll tell anybody I run into that I loves me some Jesus Christ and if they don’t know him, I’m happy to introduce you to him because he is awwwwwwwwesome. But just like a vegan shouldn’t walk into a BBQ restaurant looking for their next meal, I think we’ve got to be realistic in our expectations with what we DECIDE to subject ourselves to. I don’t go into Bloomingdale’s looking for Gap jeans, they don’t sell those there. Now if you’re personally convicted by what you see watching the Grammy’s or the music it celebrates, you probably should do like I did during the Katy Perry peformance and go watch something else. Remote controllers are anointed for just this purpose. The same goes for all y’all who want to jump on the Scandal, Love and Hip Hop, etc. bash bandwagon. If it offends your spirit, guard your spirit.kerrywashington

If God called you to a specific level of sanctification that causes you to not watch or listen to any type of mainstream or secular programming, that’s cool. I won’t judge it, knock it or poke it with a chopstick. But make sure you don’t taint your witness by trying to force it on someone else. Now we can agree that there are some biblical non negotiables. For instance, it’s safe to say that randomly and unnecessarily shooting someone in the head always was and will always be wrong for everyone. I’m not sure if the same can be said for doing the electric slide at your cousin Flonasia’s wedding reception. Lighten up already.

And for those things that are cut and dry or easy to identify as going against Christian and biblical principles, simply live and preach what you know is right and pray for those who don’t. But what shouldn’t happen is a legislation of your personal brand of holiness. The concept that America is a Christian nation isn’t entirely true. Is Christianity the predominant course of faith in our country, sure but it doesn’t dictate laws and legislation and I’m kind of glad it doesn’t. Why? Because I can go to two different churches on the same block and as doctrine would have it, there’s likelihood that they’d preach and believe different things. So who wins? If we took the belief of the church on the left and made it law, then the church on the right can’t practice what it believes? What if YOU go to the church on the right? There are countries in this world where religion rules government and quite frankly many of them aren’t Christian. And guess what? You, me and whoever else professes to be a follower of Christ would be persecuted. Now wouldn’t that suck? So keep that in mind the next time you try to legislate your beliefs. It could bite you.

Lastly; Barack Obama, Queen Latifah, Macklemore, Ryan Lewis and no other entertainer or politician are your Pastor. Stop looking to them to lead and guide you spiritually. It’s not their job and you shouldn’t want them to.

And for all you who need a scripture reference before you consider anything said to you, see below.

Philippians 2:12 (KJV) – Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your OWN salvation with fear and trembling.

We can talk about this some more if you want. Hit up the comments below!

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New Music: G Mayes and NE http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/2014/01/new-music-g-mayes-and-ne/ http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/2014/01/new-music-g-mayes-and-ne/#comments Fri, 24 Jan 2014 22:40:08 +0000 Torrence http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/?p=3467 gary mayes

Gary Mayes and Nu Era burst onto the gospel music scene with tracks I STILL PLAY today like “We Made It” ( And I taught it to every choir I directed in that era….), “New Creature,” “Don’t Forget The Baby” and “He’ll Come Through.” (I taught this one a lot too.) Since that time Gary Mayes and Nu Era have been working behind the scenes with other artists as well as developing into G Mayes and NE and now they’re ready to share it with the world and I’m so glad because I’ve been patiently waiting. Check out two (2!) new singles #AtmosphereSetter and #TheBloodStillFoundMe. Here’s the thing with G Mayes’ music though, you have to listen all the way through because this music SHIFTS! Once you think you know where it’s going…. Boom, U turn! #AtmosphereSetter is going into heavy rotation for me when? Right now!

  • PLAY – “#AtmosphereSetter” – G Mayes and NE
  • PLAY – “#TheBloodStillFoundMe” – G Mayes and NE
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    RECAP: BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Luncheon 2014 http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/2014/01/recap-bmi-trailblazers-of-gospel-luncheon-2014/ http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/2014/01/recap-bmi-trailblazers-of-gospel-luncheon-2014/#comments Thu, 23 Jan 2014 21:34:20 +0000 Torrence http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/?p=3456 Trailblazers FINAL mashup

    Every year during what has become known as Stellar Awards Weekend, BMI hosts it’s annual Trailblazers of Gospel Luncheon. The event is lauded as the “hot ticket” event of the weekend and this year was no different. Each year, BMI honors two gospel trailblazers who have influenced and impacted gospel music in a profound way. This year’s honorees were the unmatched vocalist Daryl Coley and one of the most prolific “pens” to ever live Richard Smallwood. Needless to say I was definitely “here for all of this.”  Here’s how it all went down.

    Zacardi Cortez – “Jesus Saves”
    That Zacardi can sing the paint off the walls isn’t news to anyone. But something happened on this song that I can’t explain. He found a whole new level of singing that just…. yeah, you had to be there.

    Tasha Page-Lockhart - “He’s Preparing Me”
    I’m glad God heard me. Because I told him that if they did a Daryl Coley tribute without this song I’d boycott, protest, write my congressman and board a private plane to Dubai where I’d go on a hunger strike in the desert. Well, thankfully none of that had to happen because our very own Sunday Best 6 winner Tasha Page-Lockhart came and let us know she was prepared for this. She did an awesome job and with the swag that her family is known for.

    Earnest Pugh – “More Like Jesus”
    Earnest always comes to sing and this performance was no different!

    Floyd Wilkinson – “II Chronicles”
    Aside from “He’s Preparing Me” I was hoping we’d get to hear this song during Daryl Coley’s tribute. Since we got a preview of Floyd’s interpretation of this song on a previously released Donald Lawrence & Co. CD, I knew I wanted to get a chance to hear it live. Floyd delivered yet again!

    Beverly Crawford - “Can’t Tell It All”
    Just when you think you’ve heard Beverly do all she could do she sneaks something new in there. When I heard the intro to the song and realized Beverly Crawford would be singing I thought “this probably isn’t the song for her. It starts out too low and she’s church, she can’t really smooth it out at the beginning like Daryl did/does…” Well, shut up and sit down Torrence because she DID! And by the vamp, she just walked all over that song. It was amazing!

    Jason Nelson – “Sovereign”
    This is another of my favorite Daryl Coley songs from the Wilmington-Chester Mass Choir era. Jason Nelson sang a very stripped down version of the song which was different for me but I think in the end I was able to appreciate it.

    _EG20551

    Yolanda Adams – “Total Praise”/”I Love The Lord”
    How do I say this. Yolanda came to kill, and she did. End of story.

    Timiney Figueroa and Anaysha Figueroa-Cooper – “Angels”
    Two of  New York City’s worst kept secrets interpreted this song like only they could. (I mean, is it really a secret that they kill?) They pretty much left everything on stage. As a matter of fact, I’m sure Rockettown is still struggling to repair itself.

    _EG20685

    Y’Anna Crawley - “He Won’t Leave You”
    Tone, tone, tone. Y’Anna didn’t just sing this song, she styled it and it was awesome. I think she caught everyone off-guard with some of her fantastic artistic choices. Now if only I can just stop calling this song “Just Call On The Name Of The Lord.” Ha!

    Dorinda Clark-Cole - “What He’s Done For Me”
    I’ve always thought that Dorinda and Daryl were vocal cousins and she let a little of that show in her rendition of “What He’s Done For Me.”

    Donnie McClurkin - “Jesus Lover of My Soul”/”Center of My Joy”
    After “Total Praise” this may be Richard Smallwood’s most sung song in churches and for good reason. Donnie walked his way through this song with an amazing level of restraints, so that once he got to the vamp? All bets were off!

    Marvin Sapp – “Healing”
    This song is usually about the backgrounds/choir so Marvin had his work cut out for him to make it his own, but he did.

    My only issue with this year’s show was the same one I have every year. I WANTED MORE! But if I got what I wanted we might still be there!  It’s hard to take catalogues that run decades deep and smush (yes smush) them into a few hours so I’m not complaining, just whining. Ha! Shout out to Donald Lawrence and the Co. for some of the greatest bgv’s in the world and a world class band that included Joe “Flip” Wilson as MD, J. Drew Sheard on drums and the ONLY organist Stanley Brown. Now I wonder who will be honored next year. If I didn’t know better, I’d guess they’re already planning it now! Check out a few more photos below!

    Dorinda Clark-Cole and Yolanda

    Dorinda Clark-Cole and Yolanda Adams

    Erica Campbell and Michelle Williams

    Erica Campbell and Michelle Williams

    Tamela Mann

    Tamela Mann

    Dorinda Clark-Cole, Jackie Clark-Chisholm, Kierra Sheard, Karen Clark-Sheard

    Dorinda Clark-Cole, Jackie Clark-Chisholm, Kierra Sheard, Karen Clark-Sheard

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    New Music: James Murphy http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/2014/01/new-music-james-murphy/ http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/2014/01/new-music-james-murphy/#comments Wed, 22 Jan 2014 19:00:25 +0000 Torrence http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/?p=3450 JamesMurphyFollowThee

    2014 is getting off to quite a start. The Stellar Awards and all it’s subsequent events just wrapped; Sunday Best 7 is gearing up for auditions in Atlanta, Memphis, DC and Houston; and there are plenty of new releases on the horizons from established and new gospel acts. One of these “new” gospel acts is James Murphy. Now you may recognize James from singing on Bobby Jones Gospel and around the country with countless gospel acts including Byron Cage, James Fortune and others. And unless you were deep in the know you might not have known that James was a great singer and artist in his own right. Well, now we get to hear new music from James himself singing in the foreground. His new single “Follow Me” is a fun mid-tempo groove that showcases his voice in a way that plays off of his smoothness and urban perspective on contemporary gospel.  Check it out and if you love it, buy it. And look out for a full length CD So Crazy, No Boundaries in the coming months.

  • PLAY – “Follow Thee” – James Murphy
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    The Reason Why We Stomp http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/2014/01/the-reason-why-we-stomp/ http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/2014/01/the-reason-why-we-stomp/#comments Fri, 03 Jan 2014 06:05:40 +0000 Torrence http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/?p=3436 kf reunion

    The gospel internets went crazy on New Year’s Day when Kirk Franklin took to his facebook page to hint at a possible God’s Property reunion in 2014. Although I’m not sure what brought this idea on, I’d venture to think  a recent funeral of beloved God’s Property and Myron Buter and Levi member Bridgette Jernigan may have stirred up some happy feelings and nostalgia as I understand thegp group reunited at her homegoing, much to the delight and fans and Franklin. When I first saw his post and began to think of all the songs and sounds I loved from that God’s Property CD I got excited but then I paused… As exciting as this would be I realized that as a true blue Kirk Franklin fan from the very beginning, there was something missing for me. Sitting in my proverbial room was a bright yellow, green and orange polka dotted elephant sitting with Albertina Walker shades and a bowtie. 

    Kirkfranklin&thefamilyalbumcoverThat illustrious elephant was that I realized that I’d not yet got to witness and experience was a “Family Reunion.” And by family reunion I mean just that. A reunion of the group that started it all Kirk Franklin and The Family.

    I want to hear Tamela Mann (yes, Mrs. “Take Me To The King”) scream her heart out on “Now Behold The Lamb” and “Don’t Take Your Joy Away” one more time. After sitting through thousands of Sunday Best audition renditions I want to hear Kisha Grandy bless our ears with songs like “Silver and Gold” and “Savior More Than Life.” And for everybody who thinks David Mann is just a comedic actor who can carry a tune, I’d give anything to hear him rock out on “He’s Able. The list could go on and on. Sheila on “Real Love?” Darrell Blair and Dalon Collins “Jesus Paid Itkirkfranklinandthefamilychristmas All” and “Let Me Touch You, and “Worship Your Name” on that “Family Worship Medley?” Or Mousey and Jeannette on “Washed Away.” Jon Drummond on “Where The Spirit Is?” We all tried to sing those songs and so many others.

    Kirk Franklin and The Family came out at a time when you got to know your choir and group members. You’d buy the tape/CD first and go back and buy the VHS/DVD second and watch the recording of the album you loved. You’d learn the names of every alto, soprano and tenor (at very least the ones who sang lead.) You’d recognize the others by their hair, what they wore, their facial expressions or where they stood in the line up. You connected before you ever saw them on tour or in a church. And let’s not forget their collective sound.  There was a “weight” and blend that they had that was unique, special and specific that we haven’t heard or seen since. The Family, just like God’s Property were special! How do you know, because you remember the way you’d try to contort your face to get that Family tone whenever you’d sing “Melodies From Heaven” and “Why We Sing.”

    kirk-franklin-and-the-family-whatcha-lookin-4-1995_1This isn’t a diss to God’s Property! With just one CD they are/were ICONIC and a watershed moment for gospel music, but I just don’t know how I feel about having one reunion without the other. Is it me? Am I the only one? I’m just curious… I love God’s Property and would love to see them reunited but I’d really love to a see a reunion that also include The Family. They’re the reason why we sing and can stomp today. But hey you never know, maybe there’s something in the works we just don’t know know about. Either way, I really hope so!

    Torrence

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    When Did Beauty Become A Sin? http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/2013/12/when-did-beauty-become-a-sin/ http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/2013/12/when-did-beauty-become-a-sin/#comments Wed, 11 Dec 2013 22:18:39 +0000 Torrence http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/?p=3429 Erica Campbell is pretty. There, I said it! In fact, she’s really pretty. Fine.  Beautiful. FRIGGIN GORGEOUS even.

    edit_ericacrop

    This isn’t new news. And apparently, despite being the “in the know” entertainment industry guy and gospel music head I’m paid to be I somehow missed the huge memo that went out  where being pretty, in shape and fabulous was a sin. Where in this world (or out of it) have I been? Recently, Erica Campbell (of Mary Mary fame) released a new promotional image to support and announce the release date of her debut solo CD that drops on March 25, 2014. Once the photo hit, the internet went crazy and understandably so. Erica in all her rockin sockin ness (y’all know I love to make up a word) looked stunning in an admittedly simple white turtleneck dress and long straight hair. Her pose was elegant, strong and again simple. We’ve seen many a Mary Mary photo shoot and you and I know they’re not always simple as they as a group tend to enjoy pushing the boundaries of fashion and artistry so to me, this was a different approach altogether. Everyone it seemed, loved it.

    But then, something shifted. All of a sudden the mother’s board of gospel social media got together and decided the image was too sexual, inappropriate and not befitting a gospel artist. Now I was raised Pentecostal and holiness to the bone and can admittedly say I can sometimes have a warped sense of what “modesty” is or should be. (When I was growing up women wouldn’t even wear pants to a picnic!) But I’ve got to say, I think this time you drowning saints got it all wrong. For years, many of us (and by us I mean Christians) have dumbed down our appearance in an effort to appear more “holy” or something like it and the effects rear their ugly heads at times like these. There’s nothing wrong with looking your best and putting your best appearance forward with taste. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m the first one to call you out for looking tacky, wrong or just plain disgusting but this ain’t that folks. I’d be more concerned if she tried to get into that dress with an extra 100 pounds of fat. (It happens A LOT.) I’d be more nervous if she stayed taking a close up of that mug of hers if she were harder to look at, but she’s not.  (Just scroll through instagram to find that “confident one” with all the selfies who looks like who did it and why.) Folks, we’re fearfully and wonderfully made and when you see something wonderful and you know it’s wonderful don’t hate on it. I’ve seen worse infractions at local musicals and Sunday morning services from folks who know better. Let’s be really honest. The dress as it was was tight but not too tight. We all know with today’s fashion that it could have been tighter. It also could have been a lot shorter but she was covered literally from NECK to calf. What more do we want? Why must we cover up and diminish every little thing?

    Honestly, most of the “holy fashions” many of us are rockin’ are more a matter of inability than taste. I’ve done my research, what many of us are ABLE to wear isn’t necessarily what we want to wear. Ha! But seriously, this idea that gospel artists need to be plain, boring, fat or downright ugly is getting really old, tired and lame. So yeah, for all you deep wonders quick to tell me that our bodies are temples? I know that. 1 Corinthians 6:19 is CLEAR. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” What’s also clear is God didn’t design our temples to be some duds either. How do I know that? Keep reading. Solomon’s temple in 1 Kings Chapter 6  and 2 Chronicles 3 sounds beautiful to me. All gold everything. Fine linens in beautiful colors. Shall I go on?

    Seriously though, I just find it comical and at the same time a little curious to some of the stuff we focus on that in the grand scheme of things “ain’t hurting nobody.” And for those with the whole “inviting lust” argument you can keep that. If that’s your issue it’s yours and most things another person does won’t fix that. Trust me, if you got a foot fetish and pretty toes make you feel a way I promise you all the UGGly boots in the world won’t deliver you. Let pretty girls be pretty. Let’s focus on the serious matters at hand. We got sex tapes leaking, Pastors killing themselves at a record pace and churches are closing everyday for lack of membership and even the mega church down the block is struggling with actual church GROWTH.  But you want to go in and lose it over a white dress on a pretty lady who can actually fit it. Goodbye. Do better.

    Torrence

    P.S. And no this isn’t some open season moment for everybody to go buck-wild and put on a mini skirt and call it “kingdom.” Right is still right but c’mon!

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    New Music: Donald Lawrence http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/2013/09/new-music-donald-lawrence/ http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/2013/09/new-music-donald-lawrence/#comments Tue, 24 Sep 2013 00:19:37 +0000 Torrence http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/?p=3413 We’ve been waiting for this! Donald Lawrence is releasing Volume 1 of his 20 Year Celebration Best For Last. The  bulk of the CD was recorded this spring in Chicago and to celebrate this release I’m going to explain to you track by track why you need to pick up this release.

    DL_FINALCOVER

    1. Overture

    2. “The Gift” – I was singing the hook to this in my heads days after I heard it just one time and knew that I loved it. Generally I don’t like gospel music with a whole lot of words, but Donald has a way of making you sing along with ALL THOSE WORDS in a way that works. That’s why I affectionately call him “the hook ninja.” Ha (He’s gonna kill me for sharing that!)

    3. “Celebrate” feat. Ted and Sheri - Now only Donald Lawrence could get these two back on stage together in this way and I’m so glad he did. Most probably didn’t even realize he wrote/produced this but it’s really good to hear them together again!

    4. “Best For Last” feat. Yolanda Adams and the Tri-City Singers – Now when is the last time you heard Yolanda sing like this on a record? OMG! It’s a classic Donald Lawrence and Tri-City tune but the singing Yolanda Adams is doing will send you!

    5. “Mighty God” feat. Coko – You’ll remember this song from Coko’s debut gospel CD a few years ago when her and mother screamed on it til times got better. Well times have gotten better because Coko STILL screams like a musical maniac. At the recording she had all of our mouths dropped open because it’s one thing to hit those notes but it’s a whole nother thing to do it the way she does. Coko didn’t flinch once!

    6. “God” feat. Natalie GrantI won’t lie. During the recording I figured this would be the time I’d sneak off to the bathroom since I knew we were in for a long night. But guess who got me together and essentially said “hold it?” NATALIE GRANT. I’ve always known she was a good singer but I didn’t know she could sing “like that!” There’s a soulfulness and a “weight” that I didn’t know she possessed. Trust me on this, she does her gooooood singing. And when she was done, she changed the entire tone of the evening.

    7. “Say A Prayer” feat. the almighty Oracle of God, the mouthpiece of and vocal inspiration to all the angels in heaven and the celestial choir members in training Faith Evans – You already know!

    8. “The Blessing Of Abraham” – If you like “pretty Jesus” music, then you’ll love this somewhat “acoustic” version of this hit song.

    9. “There Remaineth A Rest” – Now I don’t know how to properly describe this tune. It literally hijacked the recording and may forever hijack Donald Lawrence’s sets. I know for a fact that if I ever see Donald and Co. in concert and they don’t sing this song I promise you I’ll be soon arrested or something because I’m protesting and throwing the most gigantic fit I can UNTIL they do it. And I know I’m not the only one. Donald Lawrence is already one of the best but this is him at his VERY BEST. It’s just a song that you can’t shake no matter how hard you try. And believe me, we tried. The audience continued singing the hook and the drive well after the song ended. So much so that they had to do it again….

    10. “Hebrews 4:9 ‘A Rest’” – So as if “There Remaineth A Rest” weren’t enough… The version above is uptempo with a hard and urgent drive and although it’s thoroughly “gospel” it’s got some almost rock elements to it. But no, Donald couldn’t leave it at that. He took the same song and flipped the arrangement to a straight Sunday morning anthem vibe. Take your pick, you’re going to lose it on both!

    11. “Just Like The Air” feat. Tobbi White-Darks – This song will haunt you if listen to it at the wrong time. It’s simple, beautiful and well “airy.”

    12. “Ultimate Relationship” feat. Lalah HathawaySo when Lalah Hathaway walked on stage at the recording I got my musical taste buds all “tooted up” (does anybody say that but me and my family) for her to kill, smash, slay “Don’t Forget To Remember;” a memorable tune she did with Donald some years ago that we all love. But the beauty of this recording and project was the aspect of “discovery.” Just like many people didn’t know that Donald had written/produced “Celebrate” for Ted and Sheri, many others didn’t know that Donald had written/produced a song for R&B singer Mary J. Blige. Well he did and “Ultimate Relationship” was that tune and what Lalah does to it? Yeah, ummm sorry MJB I don’t mean no hateration but Lalah stole this from your danceree and you probably won’t get it back.

    13. “Instrument” feat. Rudy Currence - More “discovery.” If you follow the music industry you may know that there’s a new young R&B artist making some noise on the soul music scene named Rudy Currence. You probably know that he’s a beast! You probably also know that he’s signed to rapper LudacrisDisturbing Tha Peace (DTP) label. But what you probably didn’t know that this dude was Donald Lawrence’s cousin. Rudy’s a singer’s singer and knows how to get a reaction out of his listeners with his vocal prowess. He travels up and down and back around the scale in ways that are usually reserved for singers like Daryl Coley, Karen Clark-Sheard, etc. so it was only fitting that he put his own spin on The Clark Sisters “Instrument” on his cousin Donald’s project.

    14. “When The Saints Go To Worship” feat. Kelly Price - Say what you want but I’m so glad Kelly Price was booked for this CD because she did her good good good good singing on this here! Hear me? And like Coko, she can holler without any effort! Listen to this and I promise you’ll lose it!

    15. “Hebrews 4:9 Reprise” – Like I said, this song hijacked the entire recording. This is just one of MANY reprises of this song from that night… I’m glad Donald gave all of you who weren’t there a taste of what we got. :-)

    Best For Last releases Tuesday, September 24 but if you’ve got iTunes you can get that joint right now and I’d suggest you do. Unless you’re deaf and/or don’t like music than I guess you could go and do something else…

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    RIP: Patti Webster http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/2013/09/rip-patti-webster/ http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/2013/09/rip-patti-webster/#comments Fri, 13 Sep 2013 18:14:44 +0000 Torrence http://blogs.bet.com/music/the-gospel-according-to-torrence/?p=3410 pattiwebster

    I’m starting to become wary at how many posts like this I’ve had to/been able to do recently and the closeness with which I can speak on them. But we’ve all got to do what we’ve all got to do. This morning on Friday, September 13 acclaimed entrepreneur and publicist Patti Webster died in Somerville, NJ after being ill for some time. Patti was the founder and CEO of the well known and highly successful PR firm W&W PR. She was 49 years old.

    In the days and weeks to come you’ll hear a lot about her legendary career. How she’s represented some of the greatest in both gospel and secular entertainment. With a client list that at different times  ranged from Halle Berry, Chris Brown, Ludacris, and Patti Labelle to Mary Mary, James Fortune, and BeBe and CeCe Winans. You’ll hear about how as a young African American publicist she started her company in 1991 and never looked back. You’ll hear about how she crafted press strategies and campaigns that helped make household names of some of your favorite entertainers and sports figures. You’ll hear all of this and it will be true and is to be celebrated.

    But I also want to make sure you hear about the person as well as the publicist. She was a public relations executive but her ability as “people relations” person is what made her who she was. Anyone who does anything has a reputation. Good, bad or indifferent, if you exist you have one. Some will have both a professional and a personal one. Overall these two SHOULD  line up. Most want to be known as a good worker and a good person. You’d be surprised though at how rarely this is the case which makes the legacy of people like Patti Webster so profound. Her professional and personal reputation lined up.

    They say in today’s society you can learn a lot about a person from their twitter handle. I’ve found this to be true and in the case of Patti, she was ALWAYS @PursuingGod. We often joke that everyone in gospel ain’t saved but Patti was one who was. No matter what, God was at the center of everything Patti did. She always had “God intentions.” When Patti would call you or run into and say she prayed for you. You knew it was true.  And if you weren’t sure, sometimes you’d get the blessing of her having her do it for you right there. Nothing deep and over the top but she’d pray for you instantly and sincerely. She didn’t compromise her faith no matter what room or circle she was in (and she was in some heavy ones!) and would use any opportunity she had to share her love for God and was an inspiration to so many in this business because of her professional and spiritual integrity. She was an encourager and motivator. She’d lovingly tell you what you did wrong but would congratulate and love on you when you got it right.

    I remember there was a time I had to write a “not so nice” story about one of her gospel clients that had gotten into some legal trouble. I was able to secure an exclusive interview with someone very close to the situation. Later that evening, another of her r&b clients was having a showcase I attended. As soon as I walked in she greeted me even though I was nervous to see her because I’m sure she was on top of the story I had run. She saw me, hugged me tightly as always and said “I’m gonna get you!” And then as she let me go she looked me in my eyes and said “you did your job Torrence. You’re good. I want to know how you got that interview!” That meant a lot to me because I knew her well enough to know that if she said it, she meant it.

    That was just one  of our many interactions. Some of the the others I’ll take with me or at least parts of it. For example, there was one “thing” that I had been wrestling with (still am) that she saw in me when she first met me. Would call me by the name of said “thing” whenever she saw me and we’d laugh about it. Last fall when she preached her initial sermon and I was in attendance, on a day that should have been about her I walked up to her and she brought it up again. Backstage at the Stellar Awards this year when she was called into an impromptu meeting to help put out a major “fire” that was brewing in the gospel industry, she still stopped to talk to me about me.

    Our industry has lost another giant and as much as it hurts it actually feels good to know that finally our dear Patti is in the words of another great industry publicist, Jojo Pada – “healed, whole and amazing.” Seated with a God she loved and wanted everyone to know about, so much so that she pursued him daily. Patti, your pursuit paid off.

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