We’re running on all cylinders within the annals of cribbsification.com. Our series Artists You Should Know is gaining momentum as we continue to showcase the best and brightest independent and up-and-coming recording artists.
Phillip Bryant is an award-winning songwriter, producer, musician and two-time Dove Award winner from Baltimore, Maryland (transplanted from North Carolina) who released “Gracefully” in 2005. I was fortunate enough to learn of it during the winter months of 2016 and was introduced to the song, “Promise“. Immediately, I was a fan. I guess this proves that good music is timeless. I can hear remnants in this project from The Winans and that original Fred Hammond solo album era. It may seem as if I’m saying it sounds old, but it’s just the opposite. Bryant has combined the best elements of classic music to make for a sound that pays tribute but remains fresh. “Gracefully” is a musical/vocal feast for the ears that I encourage you to make a part of your playlist, especially if you are a musician.
“Promise” by Phillip Bryant
Before you say it, I will; “His first product came out in 2005. Why writing about him more than ten years later?” Well, although he has fresh product available, I am showcasing both the artist and the talent.
Listening to Bryant’s earlier work is a pleasure and followed by his current collection, he has proved to be diverse and musically eclectic. “I Believe” is a dramatic departure from his previous laid-back approach. His voice is as rich and crisp as it ever was and the supporting vocals are on par with him in every way. The music is in line with anything Murphy, McDowell or Dulaney can presently offer. Bryant offers something different, however. Duality.
It is almost as if he were two people. One, a smooth and calculating musician. The other, a fervent, forceful worshiper. He has lost nothing in his expression of faith through the years. If anything, he has sharpened his focus and become more entrenched in principles. An Artist You Should Know and a man unwavering in his music. Bryant also offers the worship facet of himself freely on Soundcloud with The Live Encounter Part 1, a glimpse into what a live encounter of like-minded worshipers would be. Captivating and worth the listen. After working with names like Dave Hollister, John P. Kee, Kelly Price, Fantasia, Mary J. Blige, Anthony Hamilton, Trinitee 5:7 and CeCe Winans over the past 10 years it is now the time to return. “I Believe” it is not only good for Phillip Bryant, but good for music lovers everywhere.
I can tell that a lot of love was put into the “Release The Sound” project. I can also tell that an awful lot of people in our Nation’s Capital, (–especially Bishop Herbert Jackson–) believe in this young lady. One other who believes in her is Phillip Bryant, who I recently found out was the producer of the project. What a small world.
The opening includes a thorough medley of popular worship songs that span across a number of decades. Nice idea, especially when it is finely wrapped with an energetic musical arrangement and an original tagline. The single “You Are God Alone” was the first I’d heard from this artist and I liked it. However, not as much as the next 11 minutes, I can definitely get into the song “I Owe You” and its reprise. I can tell, whenever it was recorded, this song was a highlight of the evening.
Whittney Jackson comes off as a very polished singer who has a demure voice capable of resonating brightly or cosseting softly, the listener’s ear. Please take note of “Heaven” for cosseting and “He Reigns” for resonance. Please also check out “I Believe” as a pleasant, upbeat get-up-and-go song.
She shares spotlight duties with a band that I would probably have loved to watch as much as hear and bgv’s that are a force to be reckoned with, especially on the songs noted earlier. While you may not have heard of her, a lot of people have, which is enough for her to be an Artist You Should Know and an artist you should expect to hear more from. I can’t wait for the follow-up to “Release The Sound”.
“I Owe You” by Whittney Jackson
I guess what was said of Phillip Bryant could also be said of James Murphy who released “So Crazy No Boundaries” in 2014. While listening to Bryant, I came across Murphy’s music and instantly liked “Good God“. It may be a little older, but it retains its merit. Good music does not go out of style. Good music (i.e.: well performed and well produced), when it is done correctly, will always be enjoyable.
As good as it is, one cannot help but see that many musical styles have been merged to make this collection unique. “Faith”, “Celebrate Life”, and “Best Friend” give a snapshot of everything a modern music lover needs from a project. Every feel — from Contemporary to Easy Listening to Pop — is covered by James, who seems to be very well-rounded musically. His style is diverse, but his message is constant: Christ is everything! Pure and simple. This is the type of album you can share with different cultures and it not be offensive or brash.
In terms of younger listeners, there is something here for just about everyone. Murphy presents unadulterated truths without the Gospel message being thrust in your face. This record embraces you, first and then converts you. You can also give a listen to Murphy’s earlier work “Follow Thee” and enjoy Murphy’s excellent singing in younger voice.
Hopefully there is more to come after “Joyful Noise” and his various appearances across the country. I have not met him personally, but in my research, James Murphy looks to be a gifted, joyful and humble person who is as inoffensive and passionate as his music dictates. Isn’t that the type of people we want in an industry? Isn’t this the type of personality that is supposed to be spreading the message of Jesus Christ? Isn’t that the type of Artist You Should Know?
“Good God” by James Murphy
I cannot believe that this song isn’t coming from a major record company like MCA or Capital Records or , at the least the Disney company. It is impeccably produced which allows room for this talented singer to stand out.
Jasmine Murray puts the song “Fearless” front and center. There are no reservations or inhibitions. You know from the first line that this song has a specific intent. One could also look for Jasmine on the soundtrack to the film “God’s Not Dead 2” on the song “Rest Of My Life“.
Jasmine continues to draw and inspire with lyrics that resonate with commitment to Christ. You may look at her and get that niggling feeling that you’ve seen her before. Don’t worry, you have. In addition to her new single, this young lady has had all eyes on her, as she was Miss Mississippi 2014, Top 10 Miss America 2015. She also took the stage on American Idol Season 8 as a Top 13 Finalist. She is an enormously talented singer, a CCM/Gospel crossover treasure an exemplary role model, an unashamed Christ-follower and an Artist You Should Know.
“Fearless” by Jasminie Murray
While Travis Green resounded across radio airwaves ad nauseam (no shade intended), there are some others who have the same strong messages that we mustn’t allow to be absent from our purview.
The project “Momentum” should never be overlooked.
The song “Call The Name Of Jesus” has all the power and presence of Greene’s “Intentional” and could very well become the Praise & Worship anthem for millennials with a little push — which I am going to try to do here. The guitar-strumming psalmist has penned some of Tye Tribbet’s and Byron Cage’s most memorable tunes. Cincinnati is his home but the world is his stage as one can see from the perspective from which he presents this colossal new project. Every song is treated with the utmost in pre and post production excellence.
All of which is used to bring the most out of songs that are written and performed with brilliance initially. Passion is present with every tune and worship music lovers everywhere can include this project in their library gladly.
By themselves, “The King Is Here”, “Alive” (a fave), and “We Adore You” display Lacey’s ability to embrace multiple musical styles in a marriage of faith and creativity that is sincere and energizing at the same time. If I can say anything to convince you to support this artist, I will say that this is the type of music you want your worship leader to sing. These are the types of songs you want to be the mantras for your church and ministry. This is the kind of musical commitment to faith that inspires others. This is Amante Lacey, the type of Artist You Should Know.
“Call The Name Of Jesus” by Amante Lacey
We applaud the work of these great people and thank them for helping us to create a platform to introduce future Artists You Should Know. More artists are coming to these pages and I’d love to have your help. If you know of any artist – from your hometown or anywhere else – that is making a positive impact and producing good music, please don’t hesitate to let us know about them via email at email@example.com.