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Diamond Jubilation: 75th Anniversary

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Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Every bit as legendary and long-lived as their gospel brethren the Blind Boys of Alabama, the Dixie Hummingbirds of South Carolina celebrate their 75th anniversary with this remarkable set. Led by Ira Tucker Sr., who has been with the group since 1938, the 'birds follow the Blind Boys into the secular realm of blues, zydeco, and Americana, plying gospel standards and notable originals with a crack backing band. For gospel fans, the story is the incredible resilience of this group and their message: Tucker and his men make sweet, six-part harmony of their rough-hewn vocals, whether it's on traditionals such as "Rasslin' Jacob," gospel blues such as "Nobody's Fault," or ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Every bit as legendary and long-lived as their gospel brethren the Blind Boys of Alabama, the Dixie Hummingbirds of South Carolina celebrate their 75th anniversary with this remarkable set. Led by Ira Tucker Sr., who has been with the group since 1938, the 'birds follow the Blind Boys into the secular realm of blues, zydeco, and Americana, plying gospel standards and notable originals with a crack backing band. For gospel fans, the story is the incredible resilience of this group and their message: Tucker and his men make sweet, six-part harmony of their rough-hewn vocals, whether it's on traditionals such as "Rasslin' Jacob," gospel blues such as "Nobody's Fault," or a stirring unreleased song by Bob Dylan, "City of Gold" a track that appeared on Dylan's Masked and Anonymous soundtrack. With music this soulful, the Hummingbirds' backing band is a lagniappe -- but what a bonus: two members of the Band Levon Helm and Garth Hudson joined by Dylan band alumni George Recile and Tony Garnier, plus a special appearance by Dr. John. An Americana dream band if there ever was one, the musicians respectfully keep the spotlight on the voices. The joy in this labor of love rings out from every track, making for an inspiring celebration that's impossible not to like.
All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
It's best to set the record straight before anybody gets the idea that because the Dixie Hummingbirds have asked a number of friends from the secular music world to play with them, they are doing a Blind Boys of Alabama riff. Diamond Jubilation marks the Dixie Hummingbirds' 75th anniversary as a group. Fronted by the great Ira Tucker Sr., this quartet is performing at a creative peak and this album is the evidence. There are no pop songs here. This is a gospel program, even if those songs come from unlikely sources, like producer Larry Campbell. The guests here are relatively few and the instrumentation spare: there's Campbell, Dr. John one cut, Levon Helm and Garth Hudson from the Band, Tony Garnier, and percussionist George Recile. The rest is the Hummingbirds rocking it up in joyful and reverent style; whether the tune is by Tucker such as "He Watches Over Me," a Dorothy Love Coates classic like "I've Been Born Again," something by Campbell like the country gospel ragtime of "Someday," the inimitable sacred blues of Buddy & Julie Miller as on "Too Many Troubles," or the canonical traditional song "Rasslin' Jacob," the treatment is the same. Here Tucker, and sometimes William Bright, front a group whose seams have long since been covered over by sheer musical skill and prayerful instinct. One listen to the album's opener, Rev. Dan Smith's nugget "God's Radar," is enough to take listeners out of current time and space and carry them into an entirely new emotional and sonic dimension. The instrumentation, mandolins, guitars, organic hand percussion, drums, and accordions serve the voices, not the other way around. Singing is what propels the tunes here, a joyful noise that is as liberating as the gospel itself. Take this one home and something will change, even if it's only for the duration of the recording.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/7/2003
  • Label: Rounder / Umgd
  • UPC: 011661218123
  • Catalog Number: 612181

Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Dixie Hummingbirds Primary Artist
Dr. John Piano
Larry Campbell Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Pedal Steel Guitar, Violin, Electric Guitar, Guitar (Resonator), Guitar (Baritone)
James "D-Train" Williams Vocals
Tony Garnier Bass, Standup Bass
Levon Helm Drums
Garth Hudson Accordion, Hammond Organ
George Recile Percussion
Ira Tucker Vocals
Lyndon Baines Johnson Guitar, Vocals
William Bright Vocals
Enoch Webster Vocals
Frank Frierson Vocals
Technical Credits
Dorothy Love Coates Composer
Bob Dylan Composer
Michael Newman Mastering
Andrew Gold Composer
Nicolette Larson Composer
Julie Miller Composer
Larry Campbell Arranger, Producer
Don Davis Composer
Randy Friel Engineer
Isaac Hayes Liner Notes
Buddy Miller Composer
Ira Tucker Arranger
Steven Tyler Composer
Brad Whitford Composer
Shelly Yakus Mastering
Jerry Klause Executive Producer
Traditional Composer
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