Friday, March 31, 2006

Anthony Hamilton: Gospel-style

One good listen to Anthony Hamilton's silky soulful voice and you are bound to fall in love with his delivery, his passion of music and the uniqueness of the total package. He has captured the minds of new soul converts with his engaging choice of power-packed lyrics upon moving melodies like "Charlene" and "Comin' From Where I'm From". And while riding on cloud nine of success, he has released yet another project entitled "Ain't Nobody Worryin'"; which is strengthened by the lead single "Can't Let Go". Picking up the project is a definite good thing - while enjoying what he does best, you can find Hamilton pouring out his spirituality on two cuts. "Everybody" grooves with an irresistible Bob Marley-influenced bounce soaked in inspiring words. "Everybody needs love in their life/Everybody needs a little sun to shine/Shine down on me, on me". Loving that? Well, dig the even-better "Pass Me Over", which expresses Hamilton's views of our falling society filled with pain, depression, poverty and fear. But he expresses "His Word is what kept me"..."lay your burdens down"...and "if you catch me dreaming, please don't wake me til I'm done, just leave me sleeping til the morning comes. Just pass me over, make believe I'm not there, just leave me be, until the Savior comes". While the lyrics are strong enough to shed a tear, the music is full of gospel-tinged sensation. Kelvin Wooten, whom has worked with Huntsville's best like Jamel Strong and is one of Alabama's seasoned musicians, produces the track and lays down a very good foundation at that.

It's always good to hear a person express their faith and their love for God in their music - especially when it's coming from someone who knows what real soul music is. Anthony Hamilton may have won the affections of the soul music's fans, but he has surely expressed his gratitude to the "real" soul music. Bless the Lord, O my soul...


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Tell Martha Not To Moan

Another footnote in the Martha Munizzi history book.

The Stellar Award winner has released her double-disc debut, "No Limits" on the Integrity Gospel label and has topped the #1 slot on the Billboard Gospel Music charts during its first week of release. The WOW Gospel 2006 compilation is now parked at the #2 spot, with Kirk Franklin and Juanita Bynum following behind. How incredible is that.

Munizzi is probably the first recorded non-black to top the Gospel charts. Just a sidenote: her previous projects, "The Best Is Yet To Come" and "Since He Came" climbed to the Top Ten on the Billboard Gospel charts. "No LImits" is her first to hit #1.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Malcolm Williams Spotlight

It's no secret to say that gospel artists, in modern times, must work even harder to reach the top. And while success comes with a great price, some tend to make the job look easier than others. Malcolm Williams is one that has struggled to reach the point he's at now, but he has done in the public's eye with a moderate ease. Still many question who he is, what label he's on, what is his brand of ministry and other questions as he treads the ongoing path to household recognition. With two great independent projects "Renew Me" and "Gotta Make It" and writing compositions for Dottie Peoples, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Mark Hubbard and the GMWA Mass Choir proving just how talented this brother really is, Malcolm Williams is striving to reach that point.

His latest project, "Walking In My Destiny" is a familiar set of traditional choir tunes and contemporary gospel jams that feature Great Faith's commanding background vocals during a staged live recording session in Chicago, Illinois. Williams pens most of the material and directs the choir; proving that he's still in the running to becoming America's Next Ricky Dillard. And with guest appearances from DeAndre Patterson, Paula Payden-Champion and the remarkable voice of Kim McFarland, the album is sealed with enough energy to invade a Sunday Morning church service. And on the Univocal Records, a new and innovative independent label headed by former EMI Gospel associate Shawn Tate, it's probably evident that this star is heading in the right direction.

Cuts like "Everything That Has Breath" and "All To Jesus" reminds us of Ricky Dillard's style, while "Due Season" and "God Can" reminds us of the glory days of the Thompson Community Singers. And "I've Got A Right" is just straight-up churchy. You can easily see how the sounds of Chicago has influenced this young brother's craft. Like him or not, Williams is on the move to keeping good church-choir music alive.

And also based off of the selected photo shots, you can also see he could have easily been a model. Move over Lonnie Hunter!

An extensive review of the project can be traced to

Malcolm Williams (Website)
Tate & Associates (Official Website)
"Walking In My Destiny" Review (
Hear The Music (

Monday, March 13, 2006

Final Tonex' Update

Ok. The Tonex' coverage is getting way out of hand. This will be the final blog on this matter. Period. But you will be seeing a comprehensive article explaining why on

Tonex' (Anthony C. Williams, II) has returned to with not one page, not two, but a host of pages and blogs. And if that's not confusing enough, he has released another independent project (EP) to the world under the name T. Bizzy (his production name); which also bears the controversial Parental Advisory Explicit Content sticker. The project is currently available on iTunes. For the previous couple of months, Tonex' has confused a many group of gospel fans and followers with his troubling decisions to bow out of the recording industry. With public announcements appearing on radio broadcasts, press releases from his blog and website and gospel e-zines featuring the news, the confirmation distorted the idea of all of this being mere rumors. Now, he has reemerged under the Nureau Ink banner with the aliais T. Bizzy.

What can be said about all of this is Anthony C. Williams stating that Tonex' was retiring. Maybe he meant that the stagename and the character of Tonex' was bowing out. Hypothetically, Tonex' retired, but on a literal note, Anthony C. Williams didn't state he would.

Regardless of what, the confusion is still bubbling over. And God is not the author of confusion. Due to such confusion, links to Tonex's world will not be posted. Sorry.

Below are a few artifacts hand-picked from those sites to prove the statement made. And to those that believe the PRAYZE Report only posts gossip, rumors or lies, the evidence will always speak for itself.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Juvenile Delinquents

The state of Alabama has a well-known history of excessive criminal behavior towards religious or sensitive groups. Of course, many states probably experience this kind of craziness as well, but none as popular and as publicized as Alabama. After the big fiasco centered around the segregation lifestyle of the 1960s and the Civil Rights Movement, the press has always enjoyed their coverage of the rural way of life in Alabama. And today should be no different.

Announced early Wednesday morning on March 8, 2006, two men (Russell Debusk, Benjamin Moseley) were arrested in connection with a spate of fires that damaged or destroyed at least ten Alabama churches and a third suspect was being sought. All three suspects are white college students. And with a big awe or surprise, it has also surfaced that two of the suspects attended Birmingham-Southern College; a popular Southern Christian university. Another big sidenote: two of the guys have residence in Hoover, Alabama: a well-known suburb south of Birmingham mostly dominated by whites (goes to show you there's a such thing as white-on-white crime). The FBI is still investigating to see if these horrible acts would be considered hate crimes under the Church Arson Prevention Act. And to clear up any potential discerpensies, the attacks did not appear to be racially motivated since some of the churches had majority white congregations and some had majority black congregations.

But it should be clear, whatever the punishment is, it needs to be severe. Even if the crimes were committed by white juveniles. Goodness, ten church fires ain't no joke.


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Off The Subject: Idol Chatter

Did I tell you that I'm an American Idol junkie?

Well, in previous years, I've tried to cover the phenomenal seasons of American Idol (AI) on the Prayze Report. And this year, Season 5, is no exception. Especially when I get my eye on some real talent. But let me just get straight to the point. This year, the guys are very impressive and knocking da gals out of the ballpark. Sorry, but it's true.

When you mix sex appeal with good vocals, you got yourself a winner. Heartthrob Ace Young is already proving that. And while he's definitely winning a popular fanbase with the ladies (and the guys), it's probably evident that he will be one of the last guys standing in this competition. If not, he just may be crowned the winner.

But the serious attraction, vocally, is a white boy with soul. And boy, when I can say he can "sang", he can do just that. Elliot Yamin has the voice of a R&B legend I mean seriously. When he sings, he sends me through rings of excitement and sheer delight. If there's anyone on this show I am ready to hear on radio right now, it would be this guy. Amazingly, he has taking a good spin at the R&B/soul material and has selected good songs to showcase his virtuoso vocal skills...the boy can even rip and run. So it's no doubt he will probably make a good R&B record, even though he may fall into the pop category as well since he's also...hmmm...light-skinned. LOL. He just doesn't have the look. Kinda gritty and, oh yeah, them, toofs. Reminds me of the Amish Invades R&B. But yeah, he definitely has the voice of the entire competition. Jon B, move ovah' quick!

I am from and currently live in Birmingham and I know that alot of people are expecting for me to root for Taylor Hicks (Mr. Soul Patrol). He's a good singer and is the only white guy in this competition serious enough to go for the old soul stuff. You know, Ray Charles, Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, Al Green. Taylor has the voice of a young Michael McDonald, and the look of him as well. Grey hair. But I'm not pulling for another Birmingham superstar. Alot of talent is in this area, and people are just noticing that for some strange reason. But with Bo Bice still heating up Sweet Home Alabama and Ruben Studdard being crowned a winner in the AI series, I think it would be unfair to see another Alabama-based singer take home the crown. So while Taylor is cool with me, I don't think he will be going home with the crown. But expect him to release an album. That's a sure thang.

Now the girls have been slacking in my opinion. But Mandisa Hundley (that's her last name according to FOX sources) is a sheer powerhouse. She's a good mix of Loletta Holloway, Jennifer Holiday and a tiny sprinkle of Chaka. While many may fall away from her because of her weight, I think she's just right for the competition. It's about the talent, and she surely has the vocals to win anyone over. You will be seeing her in the end. Awesome talent!

Chris Daughtry (the white guy with the bald head) has also been quite convincing. While I'm not a fan of rock music, I will say that the boy is an expert in stage presence. He surely commanded the stage last night; proving that he wants to win this competition. And he's not a bad singer, just a serious yeller. Don't think he's going to do an R&B song until they pull out the Motown hits, but Chris is okay with me. For now.

I don't know what happened with Jose "Sway" Penala last night. Um, he just didn't bring it. He has surely proved that he has the chops and the pipes to own a stage, but he just didn't connect the song with the audience in my opinion. I also thought he was scared of something.

Gedeon just scares me. Don't know why. I must give him props on this, he definitely has some pearly whites. Don't his smile remind you of Gospel's Lonnie Hunter.

Now who needs to go home (tonight)? I think crooner Will Makar (whom sung a Frank Sinatra tune in the key of "ouch") , Heather Cox (why did she sing "Hero") , Alley Cat Brenna Gethers (whom destroyed the potential of a great performance with the good music on Donna Summer's "Last Dance") and goofy-nerdy Kevin Covais (whom literally killed Marvin Gaye's "Grapevine") will be checking out of the AI hotel. Definitely not radio material and not good enough for an album release in the near future. And yeah, the rest of the girls may need to pack as well. Yikes, where is the passion?

Sorry about the delay and the shortage of pictures. Maybe more next week.

American Idol [Offical Website] [Fan Site]
Mandisa [Yahoo! Group]
Taylor Hicks [Fan Site]
Jose Penala [Fan Site]