Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Rev. Charlie Jackson
Lord You're So Good: Live Recordings: Vol.2
50 Miles of Elbow Room [2012]

Gospel music is a bit of a secret obsession of mine, I guess until now perhaps, but I just can't seem to find anyone who really digs into it the way I try to. I constantly scoop up private label gospel 45s and small run major label subsidiary releases in an effort to find that one song that really hits home. I'm not a religious man by any means, but something about the intense belief systems behind the performers of a good soulful gospel group really hits the nail on the head for me. In all my travels I've come across some wonderful stuff, most of which I bury away in my personal collection and break out late at night to ensure a private listen, but I am yet to come across one of the original Rev. Charlie Jackson 45s. Sometime in the 70's the southern evangelist guitarist cut a few records on his imprints "Booker" and "Jackson". I'm almost tempted to drop a few hundred bucks the next time one turns up in auction, but for me the fun really lies in the random, Zen discovery of the records. In other words, I wait for them to come to me. In the meantime, however, there are these fantastic collections on Brooklyn's 50 Miles of Elbow Room label. This one happens to be the second volume in a potential series of three. Some of the tracks found on Vol. 2 are sourced from actual cassettes or 8-tracks that 50 Miles's owner traveled to hunt down and rescue from obscurity. It's the sort of thing every next-level music fan dreams to be a part of: music archiving. This second volume of tracks featuring the Reverend who spread his music from Louisiana to Mississippi for decades before passing away in 2006, contains more of his minimalist reverb blues sound accompanied by moving vocals, subtle choirs/crowd interaction and guest singers (some unknown to this day). The record itself is pressed on high quality RTI vinyl, packaged with a heavy duty Tip-on paste back jacket, brilliant full color insert, and audio that is restored/remastered for an optimal listening experience. Here's another chance to find out how truly gifted the Reverend was.   

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