The Deep River Boys - The Early Years 1937-50

Published Sunday 25th August 2013
The Deep River Boys - The Early Years 1937-50
The Deep River Boys - The Early Years 1937-50

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 143510-20993
LABEL: Acrobat Music ACMCD4372

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

I've long had a personal affection for the Deep River Boys. I have childhood memories of listening to the smooth jubilee harmonies each week on a BBC radio programme and they were for me and millions of others the first time I had heard the old spirituals sung in authentic black acappella harmony. Coming to the UK when they did in the early '50s the Boys were able to find a receptive audience for their music when the original African American audience had moved away from the old school jubilee sounds to the more exciting hard quartet style. The Boys' harmony was impeccable and this 32-song compilation shows that even with continuous lineup changes in the '30s, '40s and '50s the blend of mellifluous tenor, rich baritone and booming bass voice was clearly the stylistic foundation stone for the doo wop harmonisers of the '50s. Like several other successful jubilee groups the Boys mixed up secular and sacred material. For me they were clearly at their best when running through spirituals like "Get On Board Little Children", "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" and "Go Down Moses" though if you've a liking for the finger-snapping quasi jazz of the Mills Brothers or the smooth-as-silk harmonies of the Ink Spots you'll find some tracks here worth investigating. Excellent sleevenotes add greatly to the package.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. Carmena Waltz Song [Listen]
2. Who'll Jine De Union [Listen]
3. I Am Seeking For A City [Listen]
4. I Am Bound For Sweet Canaan Land [Listen]
5. I Got A Home In Dat Rock [Listen]
6. In Dat Great Getting' Up Morning [Listen]
7. You Talk Too Much [Listen]
8. A Zoot Suit [Listen]
9. Cousin Jedidiah [Listen]
10. A Little Jive Is Good For You [Listen]
11. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child [Listen]
12. By The Light Of The Silvery Moon [Listen]
13. My Guy's Come Back [Listen]
14. Get On Board Little Children [Listen]
15. We Are Walking In The Light [Listen]
16. Swing Low Sweet Chariot [Listen]
17. Go Down Moses [Listen]
18. Oh Freedom [Listen]
19. Honey,Honey,Honey [Listen]
20. Castle On The River Nile [Listen]
21. I'm Trampin' [Listen]
22. That Chick's Too Young To Fry [Listen]
23. Charge It To Daddy [Listen]
24. Get Up Them Stairs Mademoiselle [Listen]
25. It Had To Be You [Listen]
26. What Did He Say [Listen]
27. Purgatory [Listen]
28. Two Blocks Down Turn To The Left [Listen]
29. Ain't Misbehavin' [Listen]
30. That's What You Need To Suceed [Listen]
31. Wrapped Up In A Dream [Listen]
32. Tuxedo Junction [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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