“Praise You” – Deyontay & Nu Direction

“Praise You”
Deyontay & Nu Direction (2022)
Available at Apple Music

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

Deyontay & Nu Direction art work

Deyontay & Nu Direction, true to their name, take Maurette Brown Clark’s “I Just Want to Praise You” in a new direction, driving the praise and worship song up the quartet highway.

Their rendition of “Praise You,” written by Troy Felder, starts modestly – just a lead guitar, clap track, and harmonious vocals. Keys and auxiliary elements enhance the track as it cruises along. Deyontay & Nu Direction finesse “Praise You” while maintaining the melodic structure of Clark’s version at the “blessings and glory” turn. Once the group approaches the run, the song is a full-on drive.

Deyontay & Nu Direction meld the styles of praise and worship and quartet to present “Praise You” as a tasteful remix.

“Lord, You’ve Been Good to Me” – Tim Woodson & The Heirs of Harmony

“Lord, You’ve Been Good to Me”
Tim Woodson and the Heirs of Harmony (2017)
Peacock Music Group 

Tim Woodson and the Heirs of Harmony cover artBy Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

Tim Woodson and the Heirs of Harmony pay homage to a pioneering gospel quartet-styled group with the current single, “Lord, “You’ve Been Good to Me.”  The number was popularized over 50 years ago by the legendary Five Blind Boys of Mississippi.

Sticking to the adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Woodson pounds this toe-tapper with the same vocal intensity as Henry Johnson, who is heard on the Blind Boys’ version as this Heirs’ remake begins. 

Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Woodson and the Heirs have been spreading the good news since 1992.

"The Train" – The Torain Family Singers

“The Train”
Torain Family Singers (October 2017)

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

cover art

The Torain Family Singers of Roxboro, NC salute their group’s former lead singer with the spirited single, “The Train,” produced by Demetrius Ledbetter.  As its title suggests, the song incorporates gospel music’s often referenced train metaphor into its rollicking invite for the Heaven-bound ride.

Frances Torain, whose rustic, churchy singing style and non-showy stage presence frequently left congregations craving more, long after she and her group took their seats, boarded the train herself in 2016 (see related story).  

This October, the Torain Family Singers released “The Train,” one of Frances’ most recognizable and requested songs with the group.  Thanks to the magic of digital audio recording and a three year-old amateur live performance archive, Frances rejoins her family on this single for the number’s opening call, “Come on, come on, come on,” to which the family responds, “Don’tcha wanna go?”  From that point, Victor Torain moves the song forward with the family in tow, enthusiastically affirming, “Yes, I want to go!”  The family ultimately charges into the bass guitar-driven vamp with a recurring interjection of “ooh-hoo,” but not before eight year-old Makiyh Allen makes his own affirmative assertion (“Oh yeah!”), echoed by his elders. 

To ride, Victor sings, “You’ve got to be holy / you’ve got to live right / no matter what the people say / you’ve got to live right…”

‘Remember Me’—’Live’ In Concert – The New Christianaires

The New Christianaires "Remember Me"—"Live" In Concert cover artThe New Christianaires
“Remember Me”—”Live” In Concert
Carter Classic Records (2014)

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

“Remember Me”—”Live” In Concert
is the latest album by The New Christianaires, whose traditional quartet style intermingled with new school arrangements gives the Florida-based group its modern edge.

Recorded live in Louisiana at House of Praise COGIC, “Remember Me”—”Live” In Concert is bursting with spiritual energy, both from the New Christianaires and their lively hand-clapping audience.  There’s no lack of singing talent in this group; all the members are lead singers.  For this project, the lead tasks are shared among Jarmain Hawthorne, Elvis Brumfield, Jr., Clint Walker, George Carter, Sr., and Joe Mitchell.  On several of the album’s 14 tracks, pairs of them tag-team to get the job done.  Their soul-steeped vocals shine brightly on “Lord I Thank You,” “Still Standing,” and “I Feel the Spirit.”  Sonorous drum and bass lines in the cantering tracks (like “When You Think” and “One of These Old Mornings”) and seamless chord progressions in the mildly paced ones (like “Praise Him” and “Trust Me”), enliven the singers’ harmonies.

The project’s title tune, “Remember Me,” encapsulates the group’s overall sound well, but “Trouble Won’t Last” and “Jesus” turn out to be particularly interesting because of Brumfield’s vintage soul vocal texture and delivery.

The New Christianaires were formed in 2010 by Carter, who was an original member of the Legendary Christianaires from Suntag, Mississippi.  In 2014, the group took home the Rhythm of Gospel Award for Quartet Group of the Year.

Fever Meter

SMOKIN’ (4 of 5 Stars)


“When You Think” – “Jesus” – “Trust Me”

"I Love to Praise Him" – Tim Rogers & The Fellas

“I Love to Praise Him”
Tim Rogers & The Fellas (2014)

Tim Rogers & The Fellas - I Love to Praise Him cover art

Tim Rogers & The Fellas hit hard with their remake of Jessy Dixon’s “I Love to Praise Him.” The Arkansas quartet’s current single is downloadable on iTunes.

At the outset, Rogers announces, “Church, I’m ’bout to take you back down to the country, from where I’m from!” From there, he and his group drive the classic into repeated declarations of “hallelujah” and “thank You, Jesus.”

Official Video – “All We Need Is Love” – Totally 4 Him ft. Doug Williams and Stan Jones

Enjoy the official music video “All We Need is Love” from The Bellamy Group’s Totally 4 Him. The tune, available at iTunes, features Doug Williams of the Williams Brothers and hit producer Stan Jones.

"Run and Go Tell It" – Mighty Men of Faith

“Run and Go Tell It”
Mighty Men of Faith
From the CD, Nothing But Grace (2014)
N2L Records

Mighty Men of Faith cover art

They planned to perform only once for a special event at University AME Zion Church, but the one-time plan was axed when the response to their performance opened doors for them to travel throughout northern California. Five years later, they’re known as The Mighty Men of Faith, and they’ve released their sophomore CD entitled Nothing But Grace, which features the urban contemporary single “Run and Go Tell It.”

In contrast to the tempo one might assume belongs to a song with “run” in its title, “Run and Go Tell It” is unhurried. Staccato R&B-esque lead vocals and finger-snap percussion, enhanced by layered harmonies throughout the chorus, accentuate the tune’s simple personal declaration: “I will run and go tell it…what God has done for me.” 

The Palo Alto, CA foursome has been nominated for Rhythm of Gospel Awards in five categories.

The Wardlaw Brothers make movie debut in "On Angel's Wings"

The Wardlaw Brothers (TWB) make their film debut today in the opening of the movie, On Angel’s Wings, starring Reginald Vel Johnson, Robin Givens, Taylor Faye Ruffin, and Sweet Brown.  In addition to appearing in the movie, the group’s hit “Right Now Lord” and cover of “Here I Am to Worship” are featured.  Luther Wardlaw also wrote the movie’s theme song, “Angel’s Wings.”
On Angel’s Wings is directed by Aaron L. Williams (Preaching to the Pastor; The Pastor’s Secrets; Mama, I Want to Sing). It’s a family film about a star player for the Angels soccer team who gets injured, and Coach Carter (Vel Johnson) decides to play the water girl, McKenzie Adams (Ruffin). After embarrassing herself in front of
the entire school, her luck changes when she meets an angel that grants
her three wishes. Unable to keep it a secret, she takes her little brother
Josh (Tyler Humphrey) and their dog Zeus on a whirlwind of fun and adventure.
excitement proves short-lived when McKenzie’s luck runs out and she has
to figure things out on her own. In this coming of age family movie,
McKenzie, Josh, and their dog Zeus find that miracles really do happen
everyday, because they happen whenever we help someone in need.
On Angel’s Wings premieres at AMC Theatre, 9168 Mall of Louisiana Blvd in Baton Rouge, LA, today, April 13, at 3 PM. Tickets to the premiere are available at www.digitalmediala.com/angels.  Use the promo code “Angels” to receive $1.00 off each ticket purchase.
You can watch the official movie trailer here

"He'll Fix It" – Apostle James Alston and Fellowship

“He’ll Fix It”
Apostle James Alston and Fellowship
From the CD, The Movement (2013)
Available at iTunes

Apostle James Alston and Fellowship

“He’ll Fix It” has several of the ingredients expected in a down-home quartet drive: bass and drums in the pocket, screams, shouts, intense throaty lead vocals, and tag-team exchanges in the vamp.  Apostle James Alston goes to work early in the number before “feel[ing] this thing in [his] sanctified soul]” and letting out a screeching yelp.

Lead guitar kicks off the foot-stomper, followed by Apostle Alston and Fellowship who charge off full speed ahead: “My God will fix it for you / Runnin’ out of money–He’ll fix that too / Doctors quit on you and walked away / My God will fix it for you.” Javon Johnson trades lines with Apostle Alston in the vamp.

A native of Henderson, NC, Apostle Alston and Fellowship are presently based in Portsmouth, VA.

Paul Porter – The Healing Testimony [Video]

Motown Gospel artist Paul Porter, formerly of the Christianaires, shares a powerful testimony of God’s miracle-working power.

Watch as he recalls the long road to recovery from blindness, an aneurysm, and subsequent paralysis.