18 Songs, 58 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

These riveting recordings of bluesy, raw gospel-blues by a streetcorner preacher and one-man band named Charlie Jackson were originally released on tiny labels in the 1970s and '80s. They might have been lost to all but a few collectors, were it not for the efforts of music historian Kevin Nutt and his record label Case Quarter. Songs like "God's Got It" and "Wrapped Up" are stomping, amped-up sanctified music so raw they've got all the power of punk rock or the deepest Delta blues. Other songs have a slower, hypnotic tempo and more melancholic bent, but they're no less uplifting in the end. On "Testimony of Rev. Charlie Jackson," the Rev. tells of his stroke and subsequent recovery in intense detail, then segues into a loose, slow, gorgeous guitar solo which quotes "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." Some of the numbers find the Reverend alone in a primitive studio, but many include his congregation to sing along and answer back, always a good thing. The sound quality is generally as rough as the music, but — as with classic rockabilly and roots music — this never detracts.

EDITORS’ NOTES

These riveting recordings of bluesy, raw gospel-blues by a streetcorner preacher and one-man band named Charlie Jackson were originally released on tiny labels in the 1970s and '80s. They might have been lost to all but a few collectors, were it not for the efforts of music historian Kevin Nutt and his record label Case Quarter. Songs like "God's Got It" and "Wrapped Up" are stomping, amped-up sanctified music so raw they've got all the power of punk rock or the deepest Delta blues. Other songs have a slower, hypnotic tempo and more melancholic bent, but they're no less uplifting in the end. On "Testimony of Rev. Charlie Jackson," the Rev. tells of his stroke and subsequent recovery in intense detail, then segues into a loose, slow, gorgeous guitar solo which quotes "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." Some of the numbers find the Reverend alone in a primitive studio, but many include his congregation to sing along and answer back, always a good thing. The sound quality is generally as rough as the music, but — as with classic rockabilly and roots music — this never detracts.

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