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Washington Phillips – I Am Born To Preach The Gospel (1991)

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Washington Phillips – I Am Born To Preach The Gospel (1991)

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01. I Am Born To Preach The Gospel
02. The Church Needs Good Deacons
03. I Had A Good Father And Mother
04. Take Your Burden To The Lord And Leave It There		play
05. A Mother's Last Word To Her Daughter
06. Paul And Silas In Jail
07. Denomination Blues (Part 1)
08. Denomination Blues (Part 2)
09. Lift Him Up That's All
10. Jesus My Friend
11. Mother's Last Word To Her Son
12. What Are They Doing In Heaven Today
13. I've Got The Key To The Kingdom
14. Train Your Child							play
15. You Can't Stop A Tattler (Part 1)
16. You Can't Stop A Tattler (Part 2)
17. That's All (Part 1)
18. That's All (Part 2)

Personnel: George Washington Phillips (vocals, dulcimer).

 

Texas-born singer Washington Phillips did a limited amount of recording between his first sessions in 1927 and his last, which were completed in 1939. What little recording the unique solo gospel performer did can be found on this wondrous 16-track collection. Accompanying himself and singing with gentle resolve, Phillips created serene music that really did feel touched by grace. (Until recently, it was thought that Phillips played a rare autoharplike instrument called a dolceola. But Austin American-Statesman writer Michael Corcoran's research points to a zither as the probable source of the celestial sound on these recordings. Corcoran also found that Phillips didn't die in 1938, as was generally believed, but lived until 1954.) Early in his career, Ry Cooder revived a couple of Phillips's best numbers ("Denomination Blues" and "Tattler"), but the singer is largely a forgotten figure these days. I Am Born to Preach the Gospel makes that seem like an unpardonable sin. ---Steven Stolder

 

Washington Phillips is a figure of considerable mystery: gospel and blues historians can't even agree on when he died (at last, 1954 seems to be the confirmed date), nor what instrument he played: though for years he was credited with playing an obscure keyboard instrument called the dolceola, new research (including the first known photograph of the performer) suggests that he was in fact playing a type of zither, possibly homemade and possibly two of them at the same time. What is inarguable is the otherworldly beauty of Phillips's music and the simple, graceful wisdom of his lyrics, which range from the musical retelling of key Bible scenes to sharp commentary on the divisions between various black congregations. Released in 1991, I AM BORN TO PREACH THE GOSPEL: COMPLETE RECORDED WORKS 1927-1929 contains all 16 surviving recordings by Washington Phillips. (One 1929 single is now lost.) It is an essential document for all fans of gospel blues. ---cduniverse.com

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Last Updated (Thursday, 18 July 2013 15:48)

 

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