Blind Joe Taggart - Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order Vol 1 1926-1928

Published Wednesday 20th September 2006
Blind Joe Taggart - Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order Vol 1 1926-1928
Blind Joe Taggart - Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order Vol 1 1926-1928

STYLE: Blues
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 20521-11606
LABEL: Document DOCD5153
RRP: £9.99

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

Earthy, gritty and occasionally thrilling music from one of the most important "guitar evangelists", the Christian music equivalent of country blues. From acappella duets with Emma Taggart (his wife) through to the stunning 78 "Been Listening All The Day" and "Goin' To Rest Where Jesus Is", this is great stuff. Taggart recorded the latter for Paramount in 1928 where a fiddle player offering some delightful fills and Taggart and his unknown vocal partner effortlessly exchange lead and harmony lines. It's worth noting how this release throws up two fascinating issues. One is that according to the reminiscences of Josh White who was the "lead boy" for various blind street musicians in the 1920s, Taggart was "truly, nasty, mean and not really blind at all." (Taggart had cataracts but could see a little.) Once again Cross Rhythms is faced with the historic record of gospel singers who lived a life seemingly untouched by the Spirit of God. The other point brought into focus by this album is the civil rights protest song "We Shall Not Be Moved". As the first track on this CD demonstrates the song is far older than those freedom marches and in the form Taggart and wife sing here as "I Will Not Be Removed" isn't a call to stand firm for social change but a celebration that on the Day of Judgment true Christians will not be removed from God's sight. There's even a spoken intro, "We want to sing a song this afternoon which should be the testimony of every true Christian - not one of those who have attached their name to the church role, went into the waters in dry clothes and came out in wet clothes but one who have been really regenerated." In view of Josh White's remembrances such an intro takes on a dark irony.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. I Will Not Be Removed [Listen]
2. Everybody's Got To Be Tried [Listen]
3. I'll Be Satisfied [Listen]
4. I'll Be Satisfied [Listen]
5. Take Your Burden To The Lord [Listen]
6. Take Your Burden To The Lord [Listen]
7. I Wish My Mother Was On That Train [Listen]
8. I Wish My Mother Was On That Train [Listen]
9. Just Beyond Jordan [Listen]
10. Keep On The Firing Line [Listen]
11. The Half Ain't Never Been Told [Listen]
12. C & O Blues [Listen]
13. The Storm Is Passing Over [Listen]
14. God's Gonna Separate The Wheat From The Tares [Listen]
15. Coal River Blues [Listen]
16. Fourteenth Street Blues [Listen]
17. Been Listening All The Day [Listen]
18. Goin' To Rest Where Jesus Is [Listen]
19. There's A Hand Writing On The Wall [Listen]
20. Scandalous And A Shame [Listen]
21. I've Crossed The Separation Line [Listen]
22. Lord Don't Drive Me Away [Listen]
23. Religion Is Something Within You [Listen]
24. Mother's Love [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

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