Take Me to the Water: Immersion Baptism in Vintage Music and Photography 1890-1950

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
As is par for the course for the Dust-to-Digital label, the exquisite packaging of Take Me to the Water: Immersion Baptism in Vintage Music and Photography 1890-1950 ensures that it will reach a wider and hipper audience than most releases of such frankly esoteric American roots music. There's a full 76-minute CD of music here, but it's just part of the deal, encased as it is in a handsome 96-page hardback book containing 75 sepia reproductions of photos of baptisms in the U.S. between 1890 and 1950, along with essays on the pictures and detailed annotation on the tracks. The primary topic of this review is the CD, and it is interesting enough in its own right, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
As is par for the course for the Dust-to-Digital label, the exquisite packaging of Take Me to the Water: Immersion Baptism in Vintage Music and Photography 1890-1950 ensures that it will reach a wider and hipper audience than most releases of such frankly esoteric American roots music. There's a full 76-minute CD of music here, but it's just part of the deal, encased as it is in a handsome 96-page hardback book containing 75 sepia reproductions of photos of baptisms in the U.S. between 1890 and 1950, along with essays on the pictures and detailed annotation on the tracks. The primary topic of this review is the CD, and it is interesting enough in its own right, containing 25 songs and sermons from 1924-1940. While there's a good amount of sermonizing to be heard, it's not a primarily spoken word disc, the sermons often sharing space with musical performances, and quite a few of the tracks presenting only music. The common thread is that all of the cuts relate to baptism in some form, sometimes quite head-on, though sometimes the relationship between the words and immersion baptism is more indirect. As you'd expect, gospel and spiritual music is prominent in many of the selections, whether the performers are white or African-American. But while much of this is fairly raw even for recordings of this vintage complete with a good amount of unavoidable surface noise on many of the tracks, it's not totally unapproachable for less specialized listeners. There are actually a few big names from early country music here, like J.E. Mainer's Mountaineers whose "Goin' Down to the River of Jordan" is a highlight, Ernest Stoneman, and the Carter Family, and a few versions of one song in particular "Wade in the Water" that will be pretty familiar to many pop and folk fans. The arrangements are fairly varied, too, whether they're in the Appalachian folk, rural blues, Western swing on Bill Boyd & His Cowboy Ramblers' "Sister Lucy Lee", or choral a cappella veins. That said, this is pretty pious stuff even by the standards of devout vintage Americana, and those without a taste for faith-based roots music may find this of more academic value than something to hear for entertainment or artistic inspiration.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/26/2009
  • Label: Dust To Digital
  • UPC: 880226001322
  • Catalog Number: 13

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bill Boyd Guitar
J.E. Mainer Fiddle, Vocals
Wade Mainer Vocals
Ernest V. Stoneman Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
Mother Maybelle Carter Guitar, Vocals
A.P. Carter Vocals
Sara Carter Autoharp, Vocals
Marvin Montgomery Tenor Banjo
Kenneth Pitts Fiddle
Uncle Eck Dunford Fiddle, Vocals
Garley Foster Guitar
Zeke Morris Vocals
James Ricks Bass (Vocal)
Wilson "Lefty" Perkins Steel Guitar
Andy Bryant Leader, Tenor (Vocal)
Sister Ethel Grainger Track Performer
L.W. Bennett Bass (Vocal)
Curly Perrin Vocals
Osmond L. Spaulding Baritone (Vocal)
Andrew D. Cole Tenor (Vocal)
Dock Walsh Banjo, Vocals
Technical Credits
Robert Vosgien Mastering
Johnny Ray Hubbard Art Direction
Joe Bussard Records
Roger Misiewicz Records
Luc Santé Author, Essay
Frank Mare Records
Steven Lance Ledbetter Producer, Liner Notes, Records, Song Notes, Song Transcriptions
Robert Millis Art Direction, Song Transcriptions
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