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Barry Todd ( (Newcastle, UK)

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Spirit of the Century
Spirit of the Century
Offered by Real World
Price: £3.99

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as it gets - this side of heaven!, 19 May 2002
This review is from: Spirit of the Century (Audio CD)
You've got to take your hat off to a band who produce their best work after being together for over 60 years. This album combines undiluted gospel with a real blues feel and with plenty to remind you of Ry Cooder. The production is second to none, the session band has a number of heavyweights including John Hammond and Charlie Musselthwaite and the result is phenomenal. The music goes back to traditional stuff - Amazing Grace but to the tune of House of the Rising Sun and Nobody's fault but mine (Hat's off to Blind Willie Johnson)as well as more recent - a cover of the Stones Just wanna see His face - but the message and the music is uncompromising - Run on (you'd better leave that woman alone - a stark reminder of the 7th commandment) The vocal capacity and energy of these guys - whether in the studio or live (one of the best concerts I've ever been too) is stunning esp. when they must be knocking on 80 years old. Somebody must be looking after them!! A must for every serious music fans collection. I've played this to a number of my friends with the same result-they've all been knocked out!

Negro Prison Blues & Songs
Negro Prison Blues & Songs

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspired!!, 29 Mar. 2002
After hearing the first two tracks on the radio I took the risk of buying this CD and have been overjoyed to find that the rest of it is equally spine tingling and inspired. The hollering and echoing of these almost-spirituals together with the beat of the prisoners' hammers make you feel that you're out there working with them on the chain gang!! The first 17 tracks are definitely Alan Lomax field recordings. The remaining 6 tracks, blues with accompanying harmonica/ guitar/ electric guitar I think may be add-ins (? not Lomax?) but are nevertheless high quality and fit in well as part of this CD. We are indebted to Alan Lomax for making these field recordings in the Mississippi and Louisiana State Penitentiaries back in 1947/8. On the downside, it's a pity that the notes are scanty and give no clue to the prisoners/ artists that appear. If you like the blues or if you like gospel you'll love this!!

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