Sup folks. The day is here! it’s Thanksgiving Day and hopefully we’re all with family, friends and/or people we love spending time together and giving thanks for everything we have, and quite frankly some of the things we don’t. (Everything isn’t good for ya, believe that.) Just wanted to wish you and all yours a Happy Thanksgiving and decided I’d put on “paper” a few things I’m thankful for to help celebrate. Read the rest of this entry »
Archive for "Andrae Crouch"
Sup folks, today was LONG!!!!!
Meetings, appointments, interviews (stay tuned for Juanita Bynum), and a whole lot of other stuff. It was one of “those days.” You know where you’re working really hard, not too sure you’re getting much of anything accomplished because the minute you think you’ve crossed off something significant from your “to-do” list, you have to add 5 more things to it! One of those days where “thank you” seemed like a curse word to most people and “now” or “asap” are the words you hear way more often. Yeah, I’m venting and I’m allowed. ha! But whenever I wasn’t in meetings and was able to listen to music, I was (always, can’t stand but so much silence) and “It Will All Be Worth It” by Mary Mary came on and made everything better! Read the rest of this entry »
Sup folks! Stellar Awards weekend in Nashville was a beast. It was literally non stop and I don’t think I slept the entire time. Well I’ve had some time to regroup and decompress. You didn’t think I was just going to go and not tell you about it right? I can be selfish and funny acting but Im’ not that bad.
My first major event of the weekend was the 11th Annual BMI Trailblazers Of Gospel Luncheon to honor Donnie McClurkin & Andrae Crouch at Rockettown. Not only was it my first event of the weekend but it was also my first BMI luncheon ever. After hearing about it for all these years, I was excited to finally be in the mix. As soon as I walked into the venue I knew that it was going to be first class all the way. Read the rest of this entry »
As I’ve mentioned before, this weekend I’ll be in Nashville for the 25th Annual Stellar Awards. And like I’ve also mentioned, like any other awards show, some the best events are the ones that happen before and after the actual show. For example, Clive Davis’ star studded (we use that term to much but it works) Pre – Grammy party is probably the biggest event that weekend outside of the Grammy’s. Well, when it comes to gospel and the Stellar Awards, the annual BMI Trailblazers Of Gospel Luncheon would be Clive’s equivalent! Read the rest of this entry »
You didn’t think we were done did you? Sunday Best Winner Y’Anna Crawley’s been banging it out in the studio but she had to take some time away to do some performances in different parts of the country. So I hope if she was in your city, you came through. Well, Y’Anna’s back in the studio and of course, my informant was right there for it all and let me in on how the album’s coming along. I hear she’s almost done! But more about that soon. I’m going to go ahead and let my informant talk this time. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Finally some real performances. No more 20 second acappella wonders!
The show opened with judges Mary Mary performing their hit “God In Me” with Kierra “KiKi” Sheard. I wasn’t mad. (That song is my own personal theme music.) But I did chuckle a bit when the 20 finalists came out to “reprise” it. I think the “oddness” (is that a word?) of it had to do with their nerves. This was the first real performance of the entire competition. I’m not going to hold that against them. I’m going to congratulate them for making it this far. Like I’ve said before, they have more guts than me!!!
Before I get into the performances though, I know Bebe Winans must have felt some kind of way when the contestants appeared. Those cardigans, dress shirts, and loosely worn ties looked awfully reminiscent of Clifton Ross’ geek chic audition outfit that he didn’t like so much. Oh yeah, and nice glasses Bebe! Ha!
Let’s dig in, shall we?
First up, Tammy Turner. I had high expectations for Tammy because I remembered her DC preliminary auditions. She had some of those judges split on whether to advance her, but ultimately got to sing for Mary Mary and BeBe Winans. I thought she was “good” last night but I think my expectations probably got the best of me. That’s also a hard song to sing, so I’m still giving it up to her!
Next, Clifton Ross. That dude sang the life, death and resurrection out of that song! Clifton is one of those tenors with an amazing high range, but the placement of that song is still pretty difficult for even the highest and strongest of voices. But hear me, HE SANG THAT! And who knew he had a “growl” in him?! Amazing!
Camille Betton followed with a rendition of one of my favorite old school hymns, “Just A Closer Walk With Thee.” I agree with one of the judges in that I probably wouldn’t have necessarily chosen that song because it doesn’t showcase all of the amazing voice she has. (I know, because someone got me a copy of her demo and it’s now in rotation on my iPod!) But by the time she got to the vamp, she was in her element and saved what could have easily been just an OK song.
I must admit, Jeff Spain wasn’t necessarily on my list of fav’s in the competition. Normally, I’d advise most male singers to stay FAR AWAY from a lead vocal made famous by Walter Hawkins, especially someone new to gospel! But he definitely tailored Donald Lawrence’s “Seasons” to his voice and made a believer out of me. I’m curious to see if his lack of “church chops” will prove difficult for him in the long run. You know how y’all church folks can be!
Sidebar: Did anyone catch Danetra Moore on stage on background vocals? I told you you’d see more of her! She may have gotten turned down in all 3 audition cities, but homegirl got a gig out of the deal. *Tap ya neighbor and say it with me: “I’M NOT MAD.”*
It’s no secret that Jessica Reedy is one of my favorites in this competition and last night she did not disappoint. “Just A Prayer Away” is another hard song to sing. Yolanda Adams? Hello? You could hear a bit of a rough patch in the beginning of the song, but she worked it out. Her vocal control really is something special and she’s so sincere. Did you catch that low note on the end? Range goes both ways folks. Yeah, I’m a fan, sue me!
Now somebody tell me how Jonathan Johnson slipped by me. I don’t remember him from the audition episodes at all. He surprised me with his David Ruffin-esque rendition of “The Lord Will Make A Way.” (For those of you under the age of 30 or who have never watched Vh1 on a Saturday/Holiday, David Ruffin is the late and GREAT lead singer of The Temptations. Study to show yourselves approved asap.)
Latice Crawford laid me ALL THE WAY OUT with her almost flawless rendition of “Peace Be Still” made most famous by the vocal powerhouse that is Vanessa Bell-Armstrong. I watched the show at a friend’s house and almost got put out because I started throwing things! She did have this one “praise dancer” move she kept doing with her left hand that made me laugh, but that could not take away from her utter demolition (in a good way) of that song! She even gave me a little something to take with me throughout the week when she ad-libbed “He doesn’t abide by rules!” Oh yeah, Latice, last night was yours! What tongue was that you were speaking in BeBe? Ha!
Kalind Haynes sang Richard Smallwood’s “Center Of My Joy.” It wasn’t bad. Yeah, I want to say something else, but umm, that’s about it.
Audrey Lewis sang the Andrae Crouch and Sunday afternoon service solo standard, “Amazing Grace Shall Always Be My Song Of Praise.” Audrey’s voice and style are so youthful. When you see her, you don’t expect that voice to come from her. There’s something about her I just like. Can’t call it, but she makes me smile!
Zebulon Ellis took it straight to church and closed out the show with “God Is Standing By.” I would have left the high note out of the end, but he really sang well. He reminds me of that singer in your church that you wait for. It’ll be a long and drawn out service where you’re ready to hunch over, put up your right index finger and “tip out.” But you don’t, because you know Zebulon is on the program and you just have to hear what he’s going to do, and it will all be worth it.
So next week, we’ll find out who the 5 finalists from last night’s group will be. Here are my predictions:
1. Clifton Ross
2. Jessica Reedy
3. Latice Crawford
4. Zebulon Ellis
5. I can’t call the 5th one, but it’s between Jeff Spain and Camille Betton
What do you think? Did I get anything wrong? Let a brotha know!