The Staple Singers - Praying Time
The Staple Singers' countryfied harmonies and Pop Staples' reverb-laden guitar put the group on the map in gospel circles in the late '50s with great recordings, mostly on Vee Jay. The teenaged Mavis Staples' contralto was in full flower, as evidenced on the major gospel hit "Uncloudy Day," and their switch to "message songs" for Stax took Mavis and the group to the top of the charts and mainstream success.
Today's selection came from the mid-'60s, when the Staples had moved from the defunct Vee Jay label to Columbia's Epic imprint. The Staples' work during this era is not as celebrated as the Vee Jay sides or the '70s Stax classics, but plenty of good material came out of the relationship with the major, especially the anthem "Why (Am I Treated So Bad)." "Praying Time" smolders along with a bluesy sound and Mavis' testifying after the first couple of verses. The group doesn't get loud, but the intensity of the record is thrilling.
(EDITOR'S NOTE - Sorry for the delay in today's post, but Blogger was experiencing some difficulties earlier!)