The Best of Sacred Steel

The Best of Sacred Steel

CD

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Overview

The Best of Sacred Steel

With numerous CDs and a DVD, the Arhoolie label has been the company most responsible for spreading awareness of music from African-American Holiness-Pentecostal churches centered around the steel guitar. This 16-track CD functions as a sampler of sorts of this distinctive style, including instrumental and vocal selections from half a dozen previous Arhoolie releases. With 14 artists represented -- including, in the Campbell Brothers and Aubrey Ghent, some of the best-known exponents of the instrument in the genre -- it gives a good idea of the range of approaches to be heard in what's come to be known as "sacred steel." Material-wise, it's very much centered around upbeat gospel songs (a notable exception being Footie Covington's rendition of the Pink Panther theme), though both the arrangements and the guitar specifically often show a clear blues influence. For secular listeners, the exuberant swoops of the steel are the big attraction, as otherwise this is largely modern African-American gospel in nature, with the backup usually employing electric bands, owing large debts to blues, soul, and (more distantly) funk. Sometimes, however, other influences from the larger music world creep through, with Willie Eason's "Near the Cross," for example, drawing from elements of country and Hawaiian music. Because of its range within the style, this is a recommended compilation for those who are interested in sacred steel, but not intensely enough to spring for single-artist collections of the instrument's practitioners.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/22/2010
Label: Arhoolie Records
UPC: 0096297053928
catalogNumber: 539
Rank: 204517

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