20 Songs, 1 Hour

EDITORS’ NOTES

These landmark recordings—made by the legendary street evangelist between 1927 and 1929—show Phillips’ unique talent for casting gospel music in his own image. Rather than strumming a guitar, he plucks at a pair of table-mounted zithers, which lend his songs an airy, angelic sound. His voice offers stark contrast—not quite as rough as a bluesman’s or as smooth as a church singer’s. It’s nevertheless the perfect vehicle for his finely wrought spirituals and sermons. The album is rounded out with bonus songs from some of his contemporaries, providing context for Phillips’ singular gifts.

EDITORS’ NOTES

These landmark recordings—made by the legendary street evangelist between 1927 and 1929—show Phillips’ unique talent for casting gospel music in his own image. Rather than strumming a guitar, he plucks at a pair of table-mounted zithers, which lend his songs an airy, angelic sound. His voice offers stark contrast—not quite as rough as a bluesman’s or as smooth as a church singer’s. It’s nevertheless the perfect vehicle for his finely wrought spirituals and sermons. The album is rounded out with bonus songs from some of his contemporaries, providing context for Phillips’ singular gifts.

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