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Inspirational RHYTHMS
With your hostess,
Detrel Howell  
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men
liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
James 1:5
Welcome to the second installment of Inspirational Rhythms!  As
always, I greet you once, I greet you twice – I greet you in the name
of our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ!  I would like to extend a sincere
invitation to each of you to enjoy the Inspirational Rhythms column
under the Rhythmflow umbrella.  Again I send a tremendous shout out
to Craig Chapman, the Rhythmflow Master for allotting this space for
me to spotlight artists in the Gospel community that inspire me.  I
hope they inspire you as well!
My spotlight artist for this installment is none other
MARVIN WINANS. Alone But Not Alone,
Marvin’s highly anticipated solo album which
seemingly took the music world by storm upon
release has risen to the very top of Billboard’s
chart.  I am truly excited about this project
For those who don’t know me, gospel music is near and dear to my
heart.  When the sun seems to hide behind the clouds of emotion,
there’s an encouraging word in song, somewhere for me!  This year
alone has presented me personally with some of the greatest
challenges I’ve ever faced – thus the delay in updating this column.  
However, I’m emotionally equipped to take the reigns and move
because I had an opportunity to hear it before the official release on
September 25th.  

Here’s my review that originally appeared on
Upon hearing the phrase, "Alone But Not Alone," which is also the
title of Marvin Winans' highly anticipated solo album release, one
might wonder about the intended message.  Everyone has some
sense of familiarity with Marvin as part of the infamous Winans
singing group that included Marvin and his three brothers, Ronald,
Michael and twin, Carvin.  The quartet was part of the "First Family of
Gospel," a well-earned title of an amazingly musical family that
included recording artists Mom & Pop Winans, Bebe & CeCe, Angie &
Debbie and the next generation of Winans (Winans Phase II, Marvin
Jr., etc.), all seeming to possess an abundance of musical talent.

The world mourned along with the Winans when brother, Ronald
succumbed to heart disease two years earlier.  The impact and sense
of grief experienced by this seemingly close-knit family certainly must
have been a tremendous challenge; however, publicly they focused
on celebrating the life and wonderful memories they shared with
Ronald.  Marvin says that Ronald was his best friend, and
understandably a void of that nature left him feeling substantially
"alone."  Which leads to the question of the title of Marvin's first
contemporary Gospel solo album: Alone is otherwise defined as
unaided and without, so is it possible to be alone, but not alone?  
With an opening groove that borrows from Marvin Gaye's "Inner City
Blues," the title track lays out Winans' strong conviction that God will
never abandon you, even when people do.  

While a typically strong Winans project musically, Alone But Not Alone
is may be even more notable as a powerful collection of messages
that seem to reflect life experiences that Marvin Winans has faced
over the years.  This may be best exemplified in the upbeat "My
Story." Co-written and featuring twin Carvin, the song makes you
smile as Marvin, an ordained Preacher and founder of the
well-attended Perfecting Church in Detroit sings the verse laden with
slang, "Not seeking worldly treasures, to bust a rhyme or just be
clever..."  But the focus of the song is on making decisions contrary to
what you have been told throughout life about right and wrong and
learning that you've walked into a messy situation.  Needing to find
an exit, one filled with peace and sanctity, you turn to God knowing
that God makes a way out of no way.

The first single from this project, "Just Don't Wanna Know," is a
beautifully sung ballad that tells one-side of the story of one's deep
pain after having been rejected by a former partner when it seems
that a sincere effort has been made to reconcile.  When at his lowest
point, receiving anger from the other person and knowing that God is
always there does not soothe the need for physical touch or

Maybe most poignant is "He Brought Me Joy," a track on which
brother Ronald shares what may have been his final testimony in
song about his faith in God through the difficult days of suffering with
his illness.  There is comfort in knowing that Ronald seemed to trust
God in all ways.

Marvin's spirituality and connection to God are overwhelmingly
evident; however Alone But Not Alone isn't weighed down with
preachy lyrics or songs that are solely appealing to a church-based
audience.  Perhaps the pairing of Winans with producer Tommy Sims
(Blackstreet, Bruce Springsteen, CeCe Winans) is why the end result
is an album that does not fit into any particular box.   Alone But Not
Alone should receive love from the gospel community, the secular
world and music lovers worldwide.  
Highly recommended
There have been many releases since my first installment.  In heavy
rotation for me these days are the following:
*Until we cross paths again, continue to be blessed because you never
know when you’ve been a blessing to someone else!*
For more information and/or to contact Detrel Howell,
visit her at:
JoAnn Rosario:  "Joyous Salvation"
Joy comes through Joann’s singing.  She sounds
pleased and happy to sing the words that fill her
songs.  Making the messages in her music
transferable from her lips to your life seems like a
simplistic reality.  I was extremely impressed with
her debut album, but I’m sure that anyone who   
knows that Fred Hammond is my favorite gospel male artist would not
believe that Joann’s music would have any difficulty in finding a special
place in my library.  Favorite songs: Glory To You, Traces
Marvin Sapp:  "Thirsty"
Marvin Sapp has the ability to sing about
situations and circumstances that we all endure;
he is the ultimate praise and worship leader!  
Whether listening to his music from your home or
in a concert hall, by its end – you’ll be on your
feet, possibly with tears streaming down your
face because it’s touched you in such a way as to realize that God’s
mercy is evident in every breath you take. Favorite songs: Never
Would Have Made It, Thirsty
Twinkie Clark-Terrell: "Presents The Florida A&M
University Gospel Choir"
A special thanks to TPaige for reminding me that
this treasure was buried in my chest of gems.  
One of my favorite moving renditions of “I Won’t
Complain” is part of this collection. I have always
enjoyed listening to this disc in its entirety,
however since it isn’t very often that I take it out – each time is more
of a treat than the last.  Hearing the Clark sisters add their special
touch to many of the songs featured here ignites a fire in my spiritual
soul.  Filling me with an extra charge of determination and victory is
what I walk away with every time!  
Finally, as I wrap up this edition of Inspirational Rhythms, I want to
share that I am a firm believer in the fact that God places people in
your life at the right time for a variety of reasons and regardless of
the outcome, there’s always justification in some way.  My “good
people” testimony focuses on Kendall Duffie of Kloud 9 fame!  What a
blessing a chance encounter developed into.  Thank you Kendall for
the introduction to Michelle which led to my spotlight artist!  Thank
you for being supportive of the other ventures I am involved with
and I wish only the best to Kloud 9.