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To Heaven U Ride (Live)

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iTunes Review

“She’s got a gospel set for you,” says the announcer of the 2003 Telluride Bluegrass Festival and this “unauthorized” recording captures Texas singer-songwriter Michelle Shocked reaching for her gospel roots on June 22, 2003, with her solid Bay Area backing group and members of a small Los Angeles choir. Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s “Strange Things Happening Every Day” sets the flow. Shocked is loose and ready to testify, extending the groove to make room for her words, both spiritual and tied to current events. The Band’s “The Weight” follows and it too finds its gospel roots, with Shocked turning from concerned folkie to an ageless blueswoman. Four originals pepper the set — the soulful strut of “Psalm” fitting the context most effectively. But the real joy for Shocked here is her chance to explore her role as an interpretive singer. The Staples Singers’ ‘Uncloudy Day,” Billie Holiday’s “God Bless the Child” and Tharpe’s “Ain’t Gonna Study War No More” sound comfortable in her control. The recording itself captures the open-air vibe of a festival performance with a loose, improvisational feel throughout.

Customer Reviews

Constant Whoopin n Hollerin n Praisin Gets Old by Track 7

I own just about all of the Michelle Shocked albums and have been a steady fan of hers for over fifteen years. When I noticed that she put out this Gospel album, I didn't even flinch in buying it even though I'm not a big fan of Christian/Gospel music. I took a few quick listens of a few tracks and it sounded like the high energy Michelle Shocked that I've been so fond of for years. I clicked on the buy button and went off about listening to it. I'm disappointed to say it, but this might be the first Michelle Shocked album that I regret owning aside from the infamous Texas Campfire Tapes (that one doesn't count). It's not the evangelism that bugs me about this album. She clearly has lots of joy and happiness in the power of her religion. More power to her and everyone in her church, I say, but the frequent celebratory "Yeahs" and hoots and prasin of the lord really get in the way of the music. If I were a religious man, I might bump this up one more star, but in the end it's not the kind of celebration that kills the album for me, it's the excessiveness of the celebration that kills it for me. It wouldn't matter if they were all pumped about the Super Bowl, an election, or a promotion at work. By the last track, I wasn't sure if I was listening to a lightly edited tape of a racuous wedding after-party or a live concert recording. One of the songs I was looking the most forward to was their version of the song "The Weight" originally by The Band. It starts off awesome. Michelle Shocked's voice and the reverb of the gospel choir gives this song an in your face power that brings the song to a whole new level, but by the middle of the song, someone decides that the song needs a "Yeah" and "WhoooOoooOooOoO!" in between every verse. Kudos for taking a chance on making a classic song your own. Bad move on throwing away what would have been a memorable rendition.

michelle shocks!

I was lucky enough to catch this show in telluride and have been anxiously awaiting any opportunity to get my hands on this set. A while back, she had played a show at TBF which went down in flames and I feared she'd never return, but this entirely new energy seemed to catapult her back into the graces of the crowds there. Imagine this gospel set in a virtual cathedral of mountain peaks--it was powerful! A play on the expressin "To Hell U Ride", which is a play on "Telluride"...whether or not a gospel fan, this session is worth your attention.

She is a Nut job

Goodbye =No one cares!


Born: February 24, 1962 in Dallas, TX

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Michelle Shocked was born Michelle Johnston in Dallas, TX, in 1962, where she spent her early childhood traveling around army bases. In 1977, she ran away from her Mormon fundamentalist mother to live with her father, who introduced her to country bluesmen Big Bill Broonzy and Leadbelly, as well as contemporary songwriters Guy Clark and Randy Newman. She spent the next several years exploring the folk underground, spending the early '80s in Austin, where she began honing her own songwriting skills....
Full Bio
To Heaven U Ride (Live), Michelle Shocked
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