Style: African-American gospel music from 1957-1982, gleaned from old recordings
Top tracks: "Put Your Hand in the Hand," "This May Be My Last Time," "I Got to Make It"
Compiler Mike McGonigal already proved to be an expert crate-digger and curator of rare, ragged gospel on 2009's Fire in My Bones, and he's done it again on this three-disc, 72-track set. The names on this comp probably won't ring any bells; some self-released their music while others relied on regional labels. "Almost anyone could raise enough money to release a seven-inch single," McGonigal says in the liner notes, itself a fascinating treasure trove and essential listening companion. You'll hear soul-stirring a capella arrangements, preachers and screechers interjecting wails and diatribes, incredible blues guitar, and some pop-influenced numbers, too. ("Jesus Been Good" could pass for a lo-fi, sanctified version of the Jackson 5.) This is gospel music as real as it gets.
Copyright © 2011 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more