Archive for "Richard Smallwood"

Had To Share: “Encouraged” – Justin Savage (@JLSavvy)

Published by Torrence Glenn on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 3:36 pm.

Sup folks.What would we do without social networks? I’m serious, I feel like there has been so much that I’ve found out via twitter, facebook, etc. that I may have never heard or known about otherwise. Today’s post is an example. I kept hearing buzz about this new artist Justin Savage who had released a single called “Encourage” that folks were loving and many wanted to know what I thought of it.

I’ll be honest and tell you why they wanted to know what I thought of it. Most of you know that I’m not always a fan of what I like to call “Pretty Jesus” music. (I’ll tell the story one day of how that name came to be.) But in case you don’t remember what it means, I tend to label Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) and Praise & Worship (as a genre) pretty Jesus music, because it’s well sometimes a little overly….. pretty. I hope I’m making sense, it’s a matter of taste so don’t go going off on me! Well, anyway a lot of my gospel folks were falling in love with this song and wanted to know what I thought about it because the song kind of rides the fence of Gospel and “Pretty Jesus.”

But the verdict is in and the song is GREAT! Yes, the song is overwhelmingly “pretty” but it’s really a BEAUTIFUL song. Justin’s voice is one we don’t get to hear in gospel too often, it’s pure. During the Sunday Best Season, I touched on the need for more voices that just sounded good with nothing extra. Tricks, runs, growls, screams etc. are great in their proper place and he does a few but it all starts with the voice! Add to that, lyrics that aren’t typical but are genuinely….encouraging? I can dig it!

Justin’s story is interesting because he’s been known in the industry for years mainly as a musician/producer/songwriter for some pretty big names. (Donnie McClurkin, CeCe Winans, Donald Lawrence and Richard Smallwood, Israel & New Breed (the reigning CEO of Pretty Jesus Incorporated) and quite a few others.) The artist role is new for him and is a big step but after listening to this first single I think he’s doing the right thing and I’m looking forward to what’s next from him. Long live the pretty, beautiful Jesus music! Ha!

Listen to “Encouraged” by Justin Savage, tell me what you think and if you like it go grab it from iTunes. (I’m back on my BUY gospel music so you’ll have gospel music campaign HARD!) Read the rest of this entry »

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Guest Blogger: BJ Daniels Recaps Walter Hawkins Tribute Concert

Published by Torrence Glenn on Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 1:06 pm.

Hey folks, last night the  2 day memorial festivities  for Bishop Walter Hawkins began with the memorial concert “The Man, The Music, The Ministry: A Musical Salute to Bishop Walter Hawkins” . I wanted to make it to Oakland  to attend but prior commitments and logistics just didn’t allow it, but thankfully our good friend of the blog BJ Daniels was able to attend and was willing to recap the night for us for those who didn’t make it. As I’m sure most of you know, I’m pretty active on the social media platform “Twitter” and it’s proven to be a rather remarkable way to bring people together and share information. Although most of us were unable to be at last night’s concert, you were able to get some updates of what was going on from different people on twitter. For example, the program photo tot he right was captured and posted by gospel artist DeWayne Woods. And our guest blogger today, BJ Daniels was able to offer his recap to me via twitter when he realized that I wasn’t there. How dope is that!

BJ Daniels is an administrator at Greater Mt. Calvary Holy Church, Washington, DC, graphic designer, former gospel radio announcer and gospel enthusiast. He also has his own blog, so you should check it out here!

***passes mic to BJ Daniels*** Read the rest of this entry »

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Guest Blogger: Kurt Carr Reflects on Bishop Walter Hawkins

Published by Torrence Glenn on Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 1:32 pm.

We’ve spend the week honoring the life and music of Bishop Walter Hawkins but today I’m taking a bit of a different approach. I reached out to a bunch of folks in the gospel industry and gospel radio to share their thoughts on Walter’s passing but one story stuck out to me and I wanted to give it it’s own space.

One of the reasons this stuck out to me because many times in gospel, inside and outside of the industry, we tend to get a little jaded or even sometimes forget what makes this music and ministry so important. We sometimes forget about the power of gospel music to change people’s lives. Kurt Carr’s reflections on Walter Hawkins brought it all back and I wanted to share it with you.

***passes mic to Kurt Carr*** Read the rest of this entry »

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Updates on Bishop Walter Hawkins Homegoing

Published by Torrence Glenn on Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 5:48 pm.

More details are coming in for the funeral/homegoing celebration of Walter Hawkins. Some of gospel and even r&b’s most talented and influential artists are coming to salute and pay tribute to Hawkins.

“The Man, The Music, The Ministry: A Musical Salute to Bishop Walter Hawkins” – Tuesday July, 20 @ 7:30 p.m.

Masters Of Ceremonies: Bebe Winans, Marvin Winans, & Dr. Bobby Jones Read the rest of this entry »

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The Gospel Music Community Remembers Walter Hawkins

Published by Torrence Glenn on Monday, July 12, 2010 at 7:11 pm.

As we all know, one of the greatest singers, songwriters and vocal producers, Bishop Walter Hawkins died yesterday from complications with pancreatic cancer at the age of 61. It’s still rather surreal and feels like it just shouldn’t be and pulling together this blog is no easier than yesterday’s.  As we, members of the gospel music industry, deal with this tremendous loss; many have taken the time to remember Walter and his legacy so I wanted to share with you. So I’ll be passing the mic to some industry colleagues and artists now.

****old school COGIC mic toss**** Read the rest of this entry »

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Torrence’s Take On Sunday Best 3, Episode 10

Published by Torrence Glenn on Sunday, June 6, 2010 at 8:14 pm.


Let’s just hit it!!!!

Israel Houghton opens the show with “Moving Forward.” Read the rest of this entry »

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How Sweet The Sound 2010

Published by Torrence Glenn on Friday, June 4, 2010 at 12:12 pm.


Sup folks, just letting you know that Verizon’s “How Sweet The Sound” deadline for entries is coming up soon. They’re looking for the best church choir in America and I’ve been to some of you guys’ churches, y’all have some good ones. You have until Monday, June 7th to register your church choir. So what that means is if you want to enter, you need to get your choir together THIS WEEKEND and make  your video and register! Hey, do it in  Sunday morning service if you have to, but it’s time to get it done. I’m a big “choir head” so I’ve been following this competition for the last few years and it keeps getting better and better.

I understand that Donald Lawrence is back this year to host along with Cece Winans. That should be good! Read the rest of this entry »

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Let’s Have Church… Sunday 1

Published by Torrence Glenn on Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 10:54 pm.

Sup folks.  So I put myself out there last week and now I have to show and prove.  So here goes, but before I begin, let me get this out of the way.  This blog is called “The Gospel According To Torrence” and with that I will express MY opinions, MY views and although gospel is in the title, nothing I say is law.  So get all your little sensitivities and such in check.  We all know there’s no perfect church and if there were one, it wouldn’t be perfect anymore once WE joined it.  So with that said, be clear, I’m looking for the perfect church….for ME! Now let’s start the show! HA! Read the rest of this entry »

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Torrence’s Take On “Sunday Best” Episode 3

Published by Torrence Glenn on Monday, March 23, 2009 at 10:03 am.

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!

I’m out!


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