Churchy Christmas/Joy to the World – Beverly Crawford & JDI Christmas

Beverly Crawford and JDI Christmas
Churchy Christmas / Joy to the World
JDI Records (2012)
By Libra Boyd

You need not hear anything beyond this CD’s opening track to understand exactly why it’s called Churchy Christmas.

If your spirits need uplift this holiday season, Beverly Crawford and her labelmates at JDI Records have just what you need. Crawford herself kicks off Churchy Christmas with “Joy to the World,” a traditional Christmas carol recorded live in Dallas that she transforms into a high energy fire-starter. She’s backed by the 200-voice Antioch Fellowship Voices of Praise. (GMF recently shared the official video.)  The scorcher is followed by Shanika Bereal’s “Precious Lamb of God” and Gary Mayes and Nu Era’s “Don’t 4get the Baby,” featuring the sensational Nakitta Clegg Foxx (of the Kurt Carr Singers).  Both selections stand out beautifully for tenderly rendered vocals.

But it’s not just the ladies who deliver on this project.  Professor James Roberson ministers a flawless interpretation of the BeBe Winans ballad “I Wanna Be More,” and Patrick Lundy and The Ministers of Music sprinkle in some Yuletide funk with the bouncy “Emmanuel” (written by Cedric Thompson).  Earnest Pugh comes along and serenades the Savior on the jazzy “Hosanna” (which hints ever so slightly to Kool & the Gang’s “Joanna”), elevating the chorus after announcing, “I feel a key change in the house right here!” There’s still room for one more drive though, and that belongs to Chester D.T. Baldwin on “Go Tell It On the Mountain,” backed by a jubilant choir and band as he takes us on modulation after modulation.
Genita Pugh (“Holy to the Lamb”) and saxophonist Donald Hayes (“What Child Is This”) round out Churchy Christmas, making this CD one of the nicest and churchiest I’ve heard this season.
“Joy to the World” – “Don’t 4get the Baby” – “Holy to the Lamb”

Fever Meter

SMOKIN’ (4 of 5 Stars)

Official Video – “Joy to the World” – Beverly Crawford

Here it is hot off the press: the official video of Beverly Crawford’s “Joy to the World,” which is featured on the holiday CD, Beverly Crawford and JDI Christmas: Churchy Christmas / Joy to the World.

Live from Los Angeles – Vol. 2 – Beverly Crawford

Beverly Crawford
Live from Los Angeles – Vol. 2
JDI Records (2010)

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

Recall Bobby Jones and New Life’s glory days and you will readily recall the voice that made the group a favorite throughout the early 90’s.  Several solo projects, a Grammy nomination, and a Stellar award win later, Beverly Crawford returned again in September with Live from Los Angeles – Vol. 2, and we can see she is still giving God the glory, ministering to His people, and singing us into frenzies.

The project’s opening number “It’s About Time for a Miracle,” set to what may as well be called “shouting music,” ignites the fire that burns throughout the album.  By the time “Miracle” graduates to its vamp, I can most certainly envision that Crawford and her audience are singing, praising, and pickin’ ’em up and puttin’ ’em down all at the same time.

Next up is “It’s So,” a tempo contrast to the preceding track.  Crawford, who serves as co-pastor at Gainesville Family Worship Center with her husband Todd, delivers the verses just like the singing preacher that she is.  By the song’s end, the preacher is in high gear, exhorting us in sermonette fashion to “name it, claim it, believe it, accept it–it is so!”

From there, she sprinkles a fair amount of quartet-flavored seasoning on the Doug Williams-penned “Born Again,” making the choir tune just right for down-home Sunday morning church.  She then reminds us that she not only can take us to church, but can also lead us into worship with the self-penned “For Who You Are”–easily the centerpiece of this project.

Another standout is “Everything Will Be Alright” (written by Shawn McLemore), the James Brown-esque groove with sassy, brassy horns for which Crawford and her friend and industry contemporary Shirley Murdock team up. As expected, the two make a great tag team, taking turns with the soaring lead vocals.  (You’ll likely be hearing them again on Murdock’s upcoming live CD/DVD.  See GMF’s related post here.)  “Serve You Well” is the beautiful ballad that follows.  Then Crawford is joined by her youngest daughter, Latrina Crawford, on “Radical Praise.”  It’s “I Need A Word” however, where Latrina’s vocality as a soloist shines.

Rounding out the project is “Marvelous,” written by Myron Butler and Ted Winn.  Crawford brings Murdock back in the reprise to riff over the climactic vamp, and the two have us headed straight into another frenzy.

With Michael Bereal and Professor James Roberson handling the production of this project, Live in Los Angeles – Vol. 2 encompasses all that we’ve come to enjoy about Beverly Crawford’s ministry through the years and affirms why she remains a force to be reckoned with among today’s female traditional gospel artists.


“Born Again” – “For Who You Are” – “Everything Will Be Alright” – “Marvelous”

Fever Meter
SMOKIN’ (4 of 5 Stars)

Beverly Crawford joins Kirk Franklin on his newly released CD

Press Release from JDI Records

(New York, NY) Gospel Superstar Kirk Franklin features gospel’s it girl and JDI Records artist Beverly Crawford on his newly released CD Hello Fear on Gospocentric/Fo Yo Soul/Zomba. After a nearly three year hiatus from recording, Kirk Franklin returned with the most highly anticipated gospel release of the year.

The top selling gospel artist of all-time, with over 12 million records sold, Kirk Franklin is renown for his collaborations, and his selection of Grammy winner Beverly Crawford speaks volumes about the resurgence of her career as one of the top female artists in gospel.

Fresh on the heels of her of electrifying performances at the BET Celebration of Gospel & the Stellar Awards, Beverly Crawford’s smash hit single “It’s About Time For A Miracle!” continues to burn up gospel radio.  Likewise, everywhere you turn on TV, radio and on her 100-city tour, the red-hot Beverly Crawford continues to demonstrate why she is universally regarded as one of the top vocalists in the world.

With a legion of ardent fans including Ochocinco, President Obama, Fantasia, and Natalie Cole, Beverly Crawford’s new CD Live from Los Angeles – Vol. 2 is garnering rave reviews all over the country.

Editor’s note: Crawford is also scheduled to join Shirley Murdock for her first “live” CD/DVD recording slated for April 28th.  See GMF’s related post here.

Shirley Murdock set to record first “live” CD/DVD

Shirley Murdock just might shut Charlotte, NC down on April 28. This is the evening of her first “Live” CD/DVD recording, and she’s doing it big. Her label home, Tyscot, promises a “one-of-a-kind evening filled with an abundance of audience participation and entertaining surprises from beginning to end.” When I consider her success as an R&B singer–don’t act like you don’t remember “As We Lay”–and her connections in the R&B and gospel music industry, I get tingly just thinking about what surprises we could be in for. Afterall, her “first” has to be unforgettable.

Also joining Murdock “live” for the first time are Regina Belle, Beverly Crawford, and Kelly Price. Uh, yeah, this is going to be good. Grammy winner, Cedric Thompson (with projects by Karen Clark Sheard, Donald Lawrence and Tri-City, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, and Marvin Sapp to his credit), is wearing the producer’s cap.

Murdock’s project is titled, The Journey.

Event Information

  • Thursday, April 28, 2011 
  • 7pm EST (doors open at 6pm)
  • The Broadcast Group Complex, 8400 Regent Pkwy, Fort Mill, SC 29715
  • Tickets – $12 in advance, $18 on day of show; available via or 877-993-8499