How Can I Keep from Singing, Vol. 1

How Can I Keep from Singing, Vol. 1

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Another of Yazoo Records' wonderful themed compilations, How Can I Keep From Singing is a collection of sacred music from the 1920s and 1930s. It provides an indispensable series of portraits that sheds light on how people from the period celebrated their religion in song. Beyond historical significance, every performance here is an enjoyable listening

Overview

Another of Yazoo Records' wonderful themed compilations, How Can I Keep From Singing is a collection of sacred music from the 1920s and 1930s. It provides an indispensable series of portraits that sheds light on how people from the period celebrated their religion in song. Beyond historical significance, every performance here is an enjoyable listening experience, and there are many highlights. Jay Bird Coleman delivers a fantastic harmonica duet with Ollis Martin on "I'm Gonna Cross the River of Jordan." Their performance is raw and seems to lie outside of the confines of the church, much closer to the earth. The music seems to jump out of the recording. "He's Got Better Things for You" by the Memphis Sanctified Singers is equally exciting and is sung so beautifully that it could win the church new converts. "He's got the holy ghost and the fire," the singer advertises. This is religious music, but she isn't above making the song a showcase for her unique style as she growls her way through the chorus. On "Woke Up This Morning," Roosevelt Graves & Brother create a joyful syncopation with two voices, guitar, and some basic percussion. Typically, Yazoo gives no thought to musical or racial segregation. Thus, the heavily stylized voice of Rev. H.B. Jackson is backed by the authentic gospel sounds of Rev. E.D. Campbell & Congregation. Uncle Dave Macon (a white, vaudeville-influenced performer), who delivers a humorous, spoken introduction on "Walking in Sunlight," is followed by the unique tradition of sacred harp singing on a performance by the Middle Georgia Singing Convention. Slim Ducket & Pig Norwood's wonderful, subdued reading of "I Want to Go Where Jesus Is," which seems to bear the mark of a blues (secular) performer, is up against Rev. J.O. Hanes. The group's "The Great Transaction's Done," with its inclusion of a sermon, attempts to recreate the environment of a church meeting on record. By making faith the only requirement, Yazoo has brought together a range of performers, styles, and voices to gather and congregate, resulting in a blend that's all too rare.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/04/1996
Label:
Yazoo
UPC:
0016351202024
catalogNumber:
2020
Rank:
197769

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. My Heart Keeps Singing
  2. Woke Up This Morning
  3. Standing on the Promises
  4. I Can Tell the World About This
  5. Walking in Sunlight
  6. This Song of Love
  7. It Won't Be Long Till My Grave Is Made
  8. I'm Gonna Cross the River of Jordan Some O'These Days
  9. My Loved Ones Are Waiting
  10. True Friendship
  11. Weeping Pilgrim
  12. Sleep On, Mother Sleep On
  13. My Christian Friends in Bonds of Love
  14. He's Got Better Things For You
  15. God Leads His Dear Children Along
  16. Coronation
  17. I Want to Go Where Jesus Is
  18. The Great Transaction's Done
  19. Every Time I Feel the Spirit
  20. Come Let Us Eat Together
  21. Bringing in the Sheaves
  22. Will David Play His Harp for Me
  23. Who'll Join This Union?

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jaybird Coleman   Track Performer
Roosevelt Graves and Brother   Track Performer
Lonnie McIntorsh   Track Performer
Walter Smith   Track Performer
Norman Woodlieff   Track Performer
Allison's Sacred Harp Singers   Track Performer
Memphis Sanctified Singers   Track Performer
Daniels-Deason Sacred Harp Singers   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Don Kent   Liner Notes
Richard Nevins   Producer,Liner Notes
William Levi Dawson   Composer
Joan Pelosi   Art Direction
Traditional   Composer
George A. Minor   Composer

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