‘Fire in My Bones: Raw, Rare and Otherworldly African-American Gospel [1944-2007]’
VARIOUS ARTISTS By JON PARELES
Elder Beck preaches a denunciation of rock ’n’ roll over a band that swings and twangs like Chuck Berry. The Abraham Brothers proclaim “Spirit of the Lord” with a raspy lead shout, quivering choral responses and a stomping shuffle beat. “So Soon,” by Little Ax & the Golden Echoes, reclaims the gospel drive of Ray Charles’s “What’d I Say,” belted by a woman who passed as a man. Those are just three of the 80 tracks gathered on the “Fire in My Bones,” which culled ultrarare recordings — regional singles, field recordings, festival archives, radio services — for rip-roaring performances. Bluesy electric guitar shows up on most tracks, but not exclusively; there’s fife-and-drum, sacred steel guitar, a cappella, church-organ gospel, hymn-singing and more — as long as they have the spirit. (Tompkins Square, three CDs)
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Various Artists – Fire In My Bones / 3CD (TSQ2271/894807002271/C25) Available Now!