Monday, March 28, 2005
Happy post Easter hangover.
As ever, be the first to guess the new quote above and I'll send you a specially made mix cd. Only the finest quality from the Mountain.
Religion's a bit like a vice, aint it? Folks get all worked up in a lather, drunk of the wine of Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, whoever. The Spirit moves within them, and if that's not overtly sexual, I'm not sure what is.
Not a religious man, myself. But I've got a weird kinda fixation with Easter. Years ago, my mother died on Easter weekend. The actual date of her death has been transplanted, replaced, by a day in which people of a certain faith celebrate a form of rebirth. Yippee skippee for me.
Anyway, this is not a eulogy.
Despite my general malaise towards religion, I'm a big fan of gospel music. Good old fashioned gospel. The idea of the transportation of the soul through music, the swaying rhythmic beat as pulse of blood, the ecstasy of the unknown, the salvation of tone. Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, The Carter Family, Robert Johnson, Al Green, Cat Stevens, The Staple Singers, G.G. Allin. All god's children got something they wanna preach. And they'll take you there, said the lady. Oh yes.
If all art is the search for (little g) god, as some have suggested, it should be no surprise that the greatest of bluesrockrapjazzcountrysouletc artists have managed at some point to namedrop the deity of their choice. Sometimes it works: Sam Cooke. Sometimes it goes horribly wrong: Bob Dylan. Sometimes...awww, who am I kidding. It's all about getting laid.
The struggle of the sacred and the secular seems particularly strong in Southern music. The Saturday night jukejoint battling the the Sunday morning church service. The sin of escape leading to the salvation of escape. Alan Lomax may have had a sense of all this. And Rounder Records was kind enough to us to release Lomax's series Southern Journey . The following tunes are from Vol. 6: Sheep, Sheep Don'tcha Know the Road.
Bessie Jones and the Sea Island Singers: Sheep, Sheep Don'tcha Know the Road (mp3)
Fred Mcdowell and Denise Mattie Gardner: I Wished I Was In Heaven Sitting Down (mp3)
(YouSendIt files...Sorry. Regular downloading service to resume on April 1st)
Please consider worshipping at r local independent retailer. God wants you to. He told me so.