If the spirit and intensity with which music is played influences one's opinion of the music, the players on this disc are ones you should take some time out to investigate. The Slide Brothers are Calvin Cooke, Chuck Campbell, Darick Campbell, and Aubrey Ghent, and each of them is a master, though Calvin Cooke is arguably the steel guitar master. (For the record Arhoolie Records has recorded a large number of groups of the Sacred Steel genre covering those playing here and many others; http://www.arhoolie.com/sacred-steel/) On this disc they bring in a few guests to help with the vocals such as Shemekia Copeland and Jimmy Carter, as well as Billy Cox, bass, (Jimi Hendrix) and Chris Layton, drums, (Stevie Ray Vaughan's Double Trouble) If you haven't seen any of these musicians and their groups make it a priority; there is no grandstanding nor an off night, when they step on the stage—the word is electrifying. These bands are now being invited to various festivals and some are going out and touring, if you want to go to a concert and sit on your butt don't go because you will be up and moving when they start playing, guaranteed.
Robert Randolph is the impetus for this disc, he serves as the co-producer plays on several cuts and is largely responsible for bringing the story of importance the steel guitar has in The Church of the Living God to the ears of the world. He brings out from behind the doors of the church these wonderful musicians, and their impassioned music. This is a disc of both secular and church songs that are played with the precision, passion and spirit that playing in the church demands. There are a number of traditional songs on the disc that are spiritual in nature, Wade In The Water and Motherless Children, and people such as Duane Allman, George Harrison, and Elmore James wrote some of the more secular tunes. Yet, no matter the origin or nature of the song, there is the fevered and impassioned playing that is the rule in the church.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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