Voice of the Spirit, Gospel of the South

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
This project began as an exploration of traditional Appalachian gospel songs, the kind of territory that A.P. Carter and the Carter Family made their own when they started their recording career in the '20s, but as the sessions went on, the focus expanded until Voice of the Spirit, Gospel of the South ended up a more general survey of a variety of Southern gospel approaches as seen through the eyes of contemporary country, gospel, and bluegrass artists. The Carter Family starting point was no accident, though, since the producer here is John Carter Cash, who just happens to be the son of June Carter and Johnny Cash, placing him well in the line of legacy. John Carter Cash...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
This project began as an exploration of traditional Appalachian gospel songs, the kind of territory that A.P. Carter and the Carter Family made their own when they started their recording career in the '20s, but as the sessions went on, the focus expanded until Voice of the Spirit, Gospel of the South ended up a more general survey of a variety of Southern gospel approaches as seen through the eyes of contemporary country, gospel, and bluegrass artists. The Carter Family starting point was no accident, though, since the producer here is John Carter Cash, who just happens to be the son of June Carter and Johnny Cash, placing him well in the line of legacy. John Carter Cash coaxed Johnny into the studio in June of 2003 to track a song for the project, "Uncloudy Day," which ended up being not only the one song Johnny Cash recorded after June died, but was the last song he was to record at all. As such, "Uncloudy Day" is a particularly simple, direct, and unadorned capstone to a remarkable career. Cash's vocal, sounding fragile in spots, is made even more poignant for being his last, but there is a certainty in its timbre that makes the song sound ultimately (if heartbreakingly) hopeful. Another clear highlight is Mavis Staples' (with help on guitar from Marty Stuart) stark and bluesy version of "Twelve Gates to the City," but arguably the two most striking tracks are a pair of songs written by George Washington Phillips, "Denomination Blues" and "What Are They Doing in Heaven Today?" Phillips, a zither-playing blues preacher who recorded in the late '20s, possessed an uncanny ability to write songs that unwound with almost conversational melody lines, and his sung sermons were as much or more meditations on his personal philosophy as they were exercises in accepted religious dogma. Rodney Crowell's version here of "Denomination Blues" and Vince Gill's take on "What Are They Doing in Heaven Today?" both retain the flow and feel of the original recordings, while managing as well to make the songs speak in a contemporary context. And that, in the end, is the strength of Voice of the Spirit, Gospel of the South, for these are old songs that continue to have a spiritual and political utility. They can only fail us if we forget them.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/4/2006
  • Label: Dualtone Music Group
  • UPC: 803020122826
  • Catalog Number: 1228
  • Sales rank: 124,880

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 By the Side of the Road (2:46)
  2. 2 Unclouded Day - Johnny Cash (3:27)
  3. 3 Twelve Gates to the City (3:57)
  4. 4 Over the Next Hill We'll Be Home (3:21)
  5. 5 If I Be Lifted Up - Randy Scruggs (1:43)
  6. 6 My Lord Keeps a Record - Ronnie McCoury (3:15)
  7. 7 We Will Overcome (3:40)
  8. 8 Denomination Blues (4:08)
  9. 9 Leave It There (4:03)
  10. 10 Diamonds in the Rough - Laura Cash (3:50)
  11. 11 Where the Soul of a Man Never Dies (3:46)
  12. 12 Ain't No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down - Fisk University Jubilee Singers (3:19)
  13. 13 What Are They Doing in Heaven Today? (6:00)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Del McCoury Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Tony Rice Acoustic Guitar
Earl Scruggs Acoustic Guitar
Marty Stuart Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin
Mac Wiseman Vocals
Johnny Cash Vocals
Rodney Crowell Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Connie Smith Vocals
Larry Gatlin Vocals
Jesse McReynolds Mandolin
Mark Howard Acoustic Guitar
John Cowan Bass, Vocals
Steve Cox Piano
Vince Gill Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Tony Harrell Piano
Jamie Hartford Mandolin
Ronnie McCoury Mandolin, Vocals
Larry Perkins Acoustic Guitar, Acoustic Bass
Randy Scruggs Acoustic Guitar
Mavis Staples Vocals
Brian Sutton Acoustic Guitar
Richard Wallace Musician
Jon Randall Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Willie Joe Ligon Musician
Michael Cook Musician
Mark Fain Acoustic Bass, Upright Bass
Tom Britt Acoustic Guitar
Ron Staples Musician
John Carter Cash Acoustic Guitar, Autoharp
Paul T. Kwami Piano, Musical Direction
Chalmers "Spanky" Alford Acoustic Guitar
Laura Cash Acoustic Guitar, Fiddle, Vocals, Background Vocals
Jessi Alexander Vocals
Brandon Colvin Musician
Dante Pope Musician
Kawana Nicole Williams Musician
Jihan Murray Smith Musician
Terrance Nathaniel Pogue Musician
Yvonne Stockdale Musician
Wesley Ronald Trigg Musician
Kyle G. Twaites Musician
Ervin Morrice Williams Musician
Technical Credits
Earl Scruggs Arranger
Carl Story Composer
Rodney Crowell Arranger
The Mighty Clouds of Joy Arranger
A.P. Carter Composer
Vince Gill Arranger
Randy Scruggs Arranger
Mavis Staples Arranger
William York Composer
Jon Randall Arranger
Wayne Brezinka Art Direction, Illustrations
John Carter Cash Producer, Liner Notes, Art Direction
Chuck Turner Engineer
Traditional Composer
Mark Petaccia Engineer
Jessi Alexander Arranger
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