[Tompkins Square; 2009]
Fire in My Bones makes its intentions known within its first three songs. This 3xCD gospel collection opens with the spry, graceful instrumental performance of the traditional hymn “Peace in the Valley”, recorded in 1963 by ace lap steel player Rev. Lonnie Farris. It’s not the obvious choice for an opener, but serves as a kind of overture. Immediately following is “Rock and Roll Sermon”, in which Mobile, Alabama’s Elder Beck enumerates the evils of secular music and its degenerative effect on good Christian society. Amazingly, the song itself rocks hard, as Beck improvises on Bill Halley’s “Rock Around the Clock” and an unknown guitar player fires off ferocious hellfire licks. After that Spirit-fueled sermon comes “If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again”, a professional recording by Rev. Anderson Johnson that manages to be both restrained and massively moving, his smoothly expressive voice effortlessly conveying his orphan angst.
Various Artists – FIRE IN MY BONES /3CD (TSQ2271/894807002271/C25) Available Now!!