Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Bye bye love, bye bye happiness

You spend decades hearing a record and it cuts grooves in the old grey matter, then along comes an alternate take and it can really mess with your neurons. . . . Here’s take one.

The Everly Brothers • Bye, Bye Love (Take 1) • 1957

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Blessed are the poor in spirit, children of the heavenly king

In the Spirit redux

While I was bandying about trying to come up with something—anything—to say about Luther Magby I came across these brief notes by John Fahey in Revenant’s 1997 collection American Primitive Vol. I: Raw Pre-War Gospel (1926–36):

“Luther Magby emphatically distances the harmonium from its ‘churchy’ reputation with his rollicking, percussive employment of it here. This Georgian cut only two sides in 1927, probably due to poor sales. Perhaps consumers found his strange enunciation . . . offputting. Their loss; these performances are triumphant.”

’Nuff said.

Luther Magby • Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit • 1927

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Oh who will come and go with me?

In the Spirit redux

Two tracks that really stood out among all the Delta heavy hitters and sanctified groups on In the Spirit No. 1 were this one by Alfred G. Karnes and last week’s selection by Washington Phillips.

Alfred G. Karnes was a minister and gospel singer from Kentucky who traveled down to Bristol, Tennessee to record for Ralph Peer and RCA Victor after reading a newspaper article describing the Bristol sessions then in progress, and thus became a participant in the legendary “Big Bang of Country Music.”

Alfred G. Karnes • I Am Bound For The Promised Land • 1927

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Saturday, August 03, 2019

I used to have a real good mother and a father

In the Spirit redux

“There is a balm in Gilead. . . .” And so this is, a record made 90 years ago, a wistful remembrance of family gone on before, a lovely standout among its rough and ready track mates on an old reissue LP from the 1960s. Washington Phillips and his dulceola. . . .

Washington Phillips • I Had A Good Father And Mother • 1929