Sunday, December 03, 2006

Gospel Blues Sunday, and Two Things to Check Out

Rev. Cleophus Robinson - Poor Boy From Mississippi (Pt. 1)

Cleophus Robinson's career in the gospel music business stretched over six decades and included recordings for labels such as Savoy, Battle, Peacock and Nashboro as well as a long-running television program and a 1980 performance at the White House. Robinson's recordings were never as successful as those of his contemporaries, but were consistently very good. Robinson's tenure with Nashboro in the '70s was particularly fruitful, with records like "Wrapped Up, Tied Up, Tangled Up" showing off Robinson's bluesy, Brother Joe May-styled voice to good effect. Today's selection was a 1972 Nashboro single. The autobiographical "Poor Boy From Mississippi" is a sho' 'nuff gospel blues, with a wailing harmonica and lowdown accompaniment that is rescued from the juke joint by Robinson's strong vocals.

On a related (and unrelated) note, here are two things you should check out, if you haven't already:

1. If you are not a member of the Yahoo! Southern Soul group, you should join, not only for the great discussion about those great soul sounds but also John Glassburner's "Gospel Pick of the Day," which is always informative and inspiring.

2. Soul expert Colin Dilnot's web sites are always worth checking out, and I've added his In Dangerous Rhythm blog to the links section. He's started including audio files, and if you check it out today you'll hear some of the best Northern Soul and beat balladry I've heard in awhile.

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