Various Artists - Fire In My Bones [Tompkins Square - 2009]Fire in My Bones is an exceptional, varied & near faultless three disc compilation of African American Gospel music from between 1944 & 2007- which will appeal to anyone who enjoys passionate, varied & often suprising/off-kliter sonic fare.
In all the set offers up over 75 tracks of the lord praising wonder, god loving Hallelujah & general feel good / joyful sonic worship that touches down in all manner of musical genres from the blues, Rock ´n Roll, striped & passionate soul music, organ led Evangelical out burst, onto other worldly often quite noisy vocalising & praise, and all manner of surprising sonic fare in-between; really the collection works as a sonic all praising chocolate box.
To give you an idea of the variation here are a few of my present favourites of this massive collection. All from Disc one are: The slowed Hawaiian guitar blues & mellow clicking drums of the instrumental of ´Peace in The Valley´ by Rev. Lonnie Farris. The honking & foot stomp gospel blue grass of ´Better get Ready´ by Roma Wilson & Family. The Flute & war drum American Indian meets gospel almost lost holler of ´why Sorrow Done Pass Me´. From Disc two: The raw harmonica honk & haphazard stop for praise of ´Glory, Glory Hallelujah´ by Napolian Stickland, The grooving & funky mix of organ pump, pushing & slowed Hendrix like rock guitar and vocalising of ´Walk with Me´ by the Rayborn Brothers Quintet. From disc three: Rev John Williams ´Let the Redeemed Say So´ with it´s warming & earthy Chet Akins like country acoustic guitar pick & strum topped off with the Revent´s soulful rich yet cool vocals. The slowed slightly wonky drum heartbeat & vinyl crackled stumbling piano/ organ of ´At A time like This (Pt1)´ which features Isaac Haney & The Ebenezer Baptist Church choir singing their joint hearts out in slow foot tapping wonder. On to the down ´n´ dirty slightly discontent blues strut & single raw gospel holler of ´don´t Let the devil ride with you´ by Ike Gordon.
The collection goes from down ´n´ dirty earthy & slightly wonky, onto heart-felt, smiling bringing & elegant, onto cool, rocking & funky. And the way the compilation is programmed in quite a haphazard not really following recording dates or themes each new track is it´s own surprise & treasure even after multiple plays, truly this is one of the most surprising, varied & worthwhile Gospel Collections I´ve come across..Roger Batty