Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
American Primitive, Vol. 1: Raw Pre-War Gospel (1926-36)
Genres: Country, Blues, Folk, Pop, Christian, Gospel
Ignore the low fidelity of this 26-track compendium, and you have one of the most interesting gospel compilations ever released. Most of these songs were recorded among a variety of "race" labels between 1926 and 1936, mos... more »
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Ignore the low fidelity of this 26-track compendium, and you have one of the most interesting gospel compilations ever released. Most of these songs were recorded among a variety of "race" labels between 1926 and 1936, mostly for Paramount and Vocalion. Copious liner notes provide the needed details for each track, along with an essay by label chief/folk legend John Fahey. Soundwise, some of these tunes are indeed primitive--there are more hisses and pops than a Mongolian BBQ. But underneath the surface noises, in tracks by Elder J.J. Hadley (a.k.a. Charley Patton), Washington White (a.k.a. Bukka White), and Blind Roosevelt Graves, there's something magical. Apparently, '26 to '36 saw a newfound interest in sacred street singers that, in turn, inspired record labels to hire blues artists to work under aliases. Whatever the motivation, these tracks are testimonies to a nearly lost era of great musicianship. --Jason Verlinde
The music's great, find better copies of the 78s to transfer
Tribe | 03/28/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Obviously the music presented here is really great. My only beef is the really poor condition of some of the 78s used. I know this stuff is really rare, but I bet there are cleaner copies of these records out there. Is it supposed to be important that these are John Fahey's 78s? It's not to me. I don't have much music of this type, but I found a much cleaner copy of the Jaybird Coleman track on an old Biograph LP called "This Old World's In A Hell Of A Fix." Even dubbing the version off this LP would have been better that the severely damaged copy of the 78 used for this CD. I wonder if their Charley Patton CD box set was also produced with poor condition 78s like these?"
Another Outstanding Revenant Compilation
Tribe | Toledo, Ohio United States | 08/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Revenant has issued some of the best old music compilations: Dock Boggs' "Country Blues," the Stanley Brothers' first recordings, the Anthology of American Folk Music Vol. 4 (not to mention the upcoming super-definitive collection of Charley Patton recordings: "Screamin' and Hollerin' the Blues). Great, obscure music, and inventive, eye-catching packaging.This compilation is no exception. This is the most astounding collection of old-time gospel and sacred music ever compiled. From the bone-shattering sacred songs of Charley Patton (as the Elder J.J. Hadley) to the sublime Blind Roosevelt Graves to the strange Rev. I. B. Ware.....there is simply no weak tune here. The title isn't misleading: this is as raw as you can get. Sanctified and rockin' and spine-tingling, this is simply one great album!"
Tribe | 11/25/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As soon as I saw the picture of Charley Patton on the cover, and then saw that it was compiled by John Fahey, I knew this was going to be something special. When I brought it home and listened to it I was so overwhelmed that I had to wait a full day before I could listen to it again. Some of the musicians on the CD are old favorites, but most of them are obscure. Very powerful stuff here. One can only hope that Fahey and Co. have more gems like these in the vault. In the meantime, this is one CD that deserves to be listened to over and over."