Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Let The Redeemed Say So

Time to get sanctified today, with our first proper entry of the New Year, and with a record that's sure to keep your turntable warm throughout the winter and all the way to the end of the year.  Oh, yes indeedy.  Our first great rekkid of 2011!

But first, we would advise folks to bookmark our new mirror site.   It's still under a bit of construction, but if for some reason this here site disappears due to recent crankiness by the major labels and their attack on music fans, we've taken precautions to have an alternate site to go to.  Again, and we can't say this enough, please update yr bookmarks.  This here "blogger" url will remain the primary site for the time being, but one never knows. 

Now then, when we say we're gonna get sanctified today, we aint just whistlin' hosanna past the graveyard.  The almighty Big Legal Mess has got a new record out by the one and only Reverend John Wilkins.  It's called "You Can't Hurry God", and it's whole big mess o' hallelujah stomp. 

Reverend John Wilkins is the son of legendary blues man Robert Wilkins,  and they say still waters run deep, but the waters are moving like a pentecostal baptismal on fire, and run deep blues, baby. 

Wilkins brings a Mississippi hill country trance to the dirty gospel, and Soul, good Soul, where the spirit is lifted and swayed in secular and salvation. 

Kicking off with the slow burning, Hammond-tricked  title track, "You Can't Hurry God", the record proceeds to rocket to heaven on the subsequent track, "Jesus Will Fix It",  just about a mover, rhythmic and fish-slapped trap kit drums, scratched and bbq'd geetar slinking around like a bad sin.  And Wilkins voice is a holy Blues prophet, grizzled and hollerin', soulful and muddy rooted.  God moving along the face of jukejoint, and the slow surging monster of the Mississippi. 

The record continues to roll and tumble from there...classics such as "You Got To Move" and "Prodigal Son" mystify and swirl, shake yr ass and kneel yr knees, quivered and backslid.  Chicken-clawed ramblers like "Let The Redeemed Say So" and hypnotic back-porch ruminations like "Thank You Sir" add to the mystical mystique, calming the wheat and raising the cane, the chaff whipping in the wind.  Sing me back home, indeed. 

The highlight, in our humble opinion, is "I Want You To Help Me",  a surging, Hammond-greased masterpiece of deliverance,  all groove and swayback holler, a party in paradise, where the lights are low and the altar is in neon, and the dirt floor trampled by epiphany.

Wilkins' voice, the very sound of repent personified, is the highlight of it all, of course, a lost crackle in heaven's transistor. 

At the end of the day it's a road to glory tabernaclin' sweatbox of a gospel record,  sex and salvation swing low, big tent revival meetin' hootenanny.  The path to salvation starts here.

We're callin' it early, but if there's one album you buy this year...well, just listen to the track below.

Reverend John Wilkins: I Want You To Help Me (mp3)

Please support yr local, independent Big Tent Revival. 


Mark said...


Max Frost said...

Yeah, great stuff here. Also on Big Legal Mess is Bishop Dready Manning, a hardcore blues man until he almost died a drinkers death in 1962. Saved, he said, by the prayers of his neighbors, he had what he called a "converted mind". He kept playing the blues, but now they're gospel blues, mainly at his NC church . There is a collection on Big Legal Mess that you may find worthwhile, in addition to some out of print stuff well worth searching for.

Brian K Reese said...


Yeah, I should be receiving that Manning record within the next day or so from Big Legal. That whole damn label is brilliant (and so much more interesting these days than their "parent" label, Fat Possum (though we still love FP, as well)). And main man Bruce Watson is one of the nicest guys you could hope to meet. We're pretty much a whore for whatever Big Legal puts out, but this record is a revelation.

Oh, and Mark...righteous indeed!


Brian @ Big Rock