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Travelin Shoes
Golden Gate Quartet
Travelin Shoes
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop, Christian, Gospel
 
  •  Track Listings (25) - Disc #1

The most lovingly compiled introduction to the Golden Gate Quartet's refined, "jubilee"-style a cappella music, Travelin' Shoes concentrates on the group's artistic apex--recordings made between 1937 and 1939 for Bluebird....  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Golden Gate Quartet
Title: Travelin Shoes
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: RCA
Release Date: 9/29/1992
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop, Christian, Gospel
Styles: Traditional Jazz & Ragtime, Urban & Contemporary, Traditional
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 078636606323, 078636606347

Synopsis

Amazon.com
The most lovingly compiled introduction to the Golden Gate Quartet's refined, "jubilee"-style a cappella music, Travelin' Shoes concentrates on the group's artistic apex--recordings made between 1937 and 1939 for Bluebird. Formed out of a combined interest in popular glee-club-style singing acts such as the Mills Brothers as well as the slave-era spiritual and other folk-music forms, the quartet's unique, bluesy synthesis would later influence much of popular and sacred music. Their jazzed-up spirituals ("Motherless Child") and life-affirming secular selections ("My Walking Stick") featured intricately entwined, smooth but expressive vocalizing. The music remains enrapturing to this day. The bass voice's constant, bouncy tones propel the group forward ("Hide Me in Thy Bosom") as the others' voices lock in brilliant harmony ("Travelin' Shoes") and impersonate trumpets ("I Heard Zion Moan") or steam engines ("Golden Gate Gospel Train"). The Golden Gates were also consummate storytellers, as the revved-up, syncopated take on "Job" easily demonstrates. The group would later achieve widespread recognition--performing at Franklin Delano Roosevelt's inauguration (marking them the first African American group to appear at Constitution Hall). Like many of the United States' best black musicians, the quartet found a better reception in Europe and moved to the Continent permanently in 1958, continuing to perform with a selection of different singers up through the 1990s. By all means, check out Travelin' Shoes to hear the fascinating jubilee gospel act that so rocked FDR's boat. --Mike McGonigal

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CD Reviews

Absolutely stunning!
01/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is one of the great American recordings. I resisted buying it for some time because of its early recording date under the assumption that the sound would be poor. Not So! It is well remastered and, while not state-of-the-art the sound is OK. The music is simply the best acappella music I have ever heard and I have listened to an awful lot of it. If you like this kind of music, this is a must hear."
"Travelin' Shoes"
Eloi | Ely, NV USA | 03/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you've ever been bored out of your skull listening to a draggy barbershop quartet, you'll love this recording. That's no idle comparison--these guys started out in a barbershop in Virginia. And they do a wicked parody of white barbershop in "Ol" Man Mose" in this recording.

What the Golden Gate Quartet takes from barbershop is solid 4-part sound. And what they give is amazing. Traditional call-and-response songs like "Travellin' Shoes" get a third part to mix it up (although they leave out the traditional upbeat last verse of this song--all of the songs are 2-3 minutes no doubt to comply with a 78 rpm side time limits). A talent for imitating instruments, including string bass and most often, muted trumpet, can be heard notably in the opening "Golden Gate Gospel Train" and "Dipsy Doodle"--the last with a seductive beat.

But it's not just that these guys are terrific musicians in the groove--they're in a spiritual groove, too. I've never heard a more moving performance of "Go Down Moses," perhaps due to the basso profundo of Orlandus Wilson.
"