The Alan Lomax Collection: Southern Journey, Vol. 12 - Georgia Sea Islands, Biblical Songs and Spirituals
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Because of their isolation, the folk and gospel music of the African-American communities of the Georgia Sea Islands showed stronger ties to African forms, and sometimes had a lilt more associated with the Bahamas and Caribbean. Alan Lomax recorded the 18 biblical songs and spirituals on this recording in 1959 and 1960, and although much has sometimes been made of the distinct quality of Sea Islands music, much of this just sounds like good-quality old-time African-American gospel. When the backing is highly rhythmic and a fife is prominent, it does sound more idiosyncratic. Five of the tracks were previously unreleased, and one, the lengthy "It Just Suits Me," is a real highlight, with guitar accompaniment by Virginia musician Hobart Smith and lengthy back-and-forth passages between lead vocalists and a chorus.
The music of this album is so amazing and wonderful. Highly recommended. One drawback I find significant is that the CD version has a booklet with essay, and this is the kind of album I'd really appreciate the ability to read about it. This recording is both entertaining and a scholarly work, and the ITMS needs to make that part of the content available.
Born: January 15, 1915 in Austin, TX
Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s