Sunday, June 10, 2007

Let's Have Church Up In Heah!

Rev. Cleophus Robinson - Sacred Meditation

The bluesy gospel sound of Cleophus Robinson has been featured on the blog before (see this post for more information about the famed preacher and singer). Today's selection was the flip of his Nashboro record "Wrapped Up, Tied Up, Tangled Up" and has been getting a lot of plays on the iPod lately, so I thought I'd feature it today.

When it comes to performing, the singing preacher has an advantage over other gospel singers because he or she can slide between preaching (which is a mighty performing art in its own right) and singing with tremendous ease. In live performance this will "wreck the house" - the preaching has stirred the crowd up so strongly that the singing is the "push" that sends people to shoutin', cryin' and carrying on. Records by the most famous singing preachers, like those of C.L. Franklin or W. Leo Daniels, would find the song coming at the tail of a sermon, and would go to the fade with shouting sisters in the background. (Over at the great Just Moving On blog, Cies comments about how any albums by Rev. Daniels he has found are always well-played; that's why!) Cleophus Robinson's "Sacred Meditation" is a studio cut, so the excitement level is somewhat lesser, but as Robinson spins his sermonette about the "mother and a son" he slips and slides in and out of preaching and singing, and by the time the moaning fade comes along you know you've had "church"!

(POST SCRIPT - If you need a little more of Rev. Robinson at work, check out this You Tube clip of Robinson singing on "TV Gospel Time" with the Loving Sisters, an outstanding gospel group in their own right!)

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