Almost 4 hours of
music on 3 discs – undiluted, stripped-down gospel!
By Blurt Staff
is set to drop Fire In My Bones, a
three-CD collection of “raw, rare and otherworldly gospel” produced by music
scribe Mike McGonigal. It stands to be one of the year’s must-purchase archival
sets, and a portion of proceeds will go to the New Orleans Musicians Relief
Fund. The compilation hits stores Oct. 27.
The majority of this music has never been reissued on CD, or
in any other form (most tracks were originally released on regional independent
labels). Most post-WWII compilations of African-American gospel music naturally
concentrate on the astounding quartet and solo vocalist sounds made during the
music’s Golden Age. Fire In My Bones attempts
to address and collect more neglected sounds from that era (and on to the present
Dozens of traditions are represented. Some go back hundreds
of years while others seem to have been arrived at as soon as the tape began to
roll. Field recordings and studio tracks are all mashed together, with solo
performances next to congregational recordings, hellfire sermons next to
afterlife laments. Leon Pinson, Elder & Sister Brinson & the Brinson Brothers, Grant & Ella, Straight
Street Holiness Group, Theotis Taylor, Brother & Sister W B Grate – these
artists will now be just a little less obscure.
Fire In My Bones provides a small peek at the incredible diversity and power of post-war black gospel. Much of this music is raw, distorted
and might sound a bit strange. But it is not presented as a novelty freak show or as
“outsider music.” This is gospel – which we must always remember translates as
“the good news”-as it has been sung and performed in tiny churches and large
programs, from rural Georgia
to urban Los Angeles.
It is clearly among the most vibrant, playful, beautiful and emotionally charged
music in the world.