Sunday, May 27, 2007

Righteous Country Soul Gospel

The Consolers - Father Please Forgive Them

The Consolers, Sullivan and Iola Pugh, were gospel's most famous husband-and-wife group. Sullivan was the group's principal songwriter and played a nice bluesy guitar to complement his gravelly singing, and Iola's hearty singing made for great lead and harmony vocals. The group's countrified sound and Sullivan's penchant for writing about regular folks ("Somewhere Around the Throne" discussed how over time we all lose so many loved ones and "Waiting For My Child" covered a mother's longing to see her adult child) made their Nashboro albums and 45s strong and steady sellers.

"Father Please Forgive Them" takes on the Crucifixion. The slow and somewhat-dramatic verses alternate with the more rhythmic choruses. Iola only provides harmony support here, but the tune really works. I dubbed this from a TV appearance the duo made in the late '70s, and it's quite a treat.

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