Tag Archives: Gospel Blues

Soul Filled Rhythm and Gospel how we Like It Most! Rev. Sekou & the Holy Ghost’

You may call him the new voice of Soul. His voice digs deep through your veins and his live performance is a show to remember. Do You get the feeling I’m describing: Reverend Sekou and the Holy Ghost brings beautiful soul filled rhythm and blues, added with funk and gospel to your house, bar or festival.

His grandfather played piano in juke joints for the legends including B.B. King, Albert King, and Louis Jordan. Rev Sekou, together with his band is continuing the legacy or -family-tradition- of his grandfather.

The Band Rev. Sekou and the Holy Ghost

Writer, producer and lead vocalist Rev. Sekou is a third-generation Pentecostal preacher and long-time organizer, author, and activist, grounded in the traditions of liberation theology. Beside him stands the Arkansas Delta Blues Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jay-Marie Hill (she/they) is a Black y Boricua genderQueer activist, teacher, and renegade born and raised in the Oakland Bay Area.

Next, you have Jay-Marie who works to deconstruct, liberate and recreate possibility through work at the intersections of youth, Black art, and radical activism. This band brings much more than jest very good songs. They all have a mission and extend it among other things through their music.

Debut Album release in 2016: “The Revolution Has Come”

Well, now we got to the point of their music; their debut album “The Revolution has Come” was released in January 2016. They describe their sound as: “The sound of Rev. Sekou & the Holy Ghost is a symphony of gospel, blues, soul, funk and freedom songs laced with sanctified blues and lyrics that range from religious to risqué”, and that pretty much includes their sound well.

Rev. Sekou – Resist – 5/5/2017 – Paste Studios, New York, NY

Continue reading Soul Filled Rhythm and Gospel how we Like It Most! Rev. Sekou & the Holy Ghost’

Please follow and like us:

Classic Blues and Gospel songs: Reverend Gary Davis

Classic Blues and Gospel Songs: Reverend Gary Davis

There is something special about the guitar tune of “I’m The Light Of The World”, it represents the guitar skills of Reverend Gary Davis brilliantly . This classic song is one of my favorite Ragtime gospel blues songs. For an eighty plus year old song it somehow surprises me that every aspect of songwriting is perfect.

Rev. Davis was an icon in the East Coast School of Ragtime guitar. His talent inspired musicians Including Jefferson Airplane’s Jorma KaukonenBob Dylan and Taj Mahal

Origins Rev. Gary Davis

The Rev. was born on April 30, 1896, in Laurens County, south of Spartanburg, in the Piedmont section of upstate South Carolina. At a young age Davis started playing harmonica and guitar. He teamed up with some ragtime musicans around 1910 or 1911 and since that day Reverend Blind Gary Davis performed a lot in the streets.

Blues Street performer


Gary Davis was a street performer, according to his official biography.  His repertoire consisted Blues, Gospel and Ragtime, and he switched often between those styles “to make it harder for the police to interrupt him”. (Bruce Eder, All-Music Guide)

He began taking the gospel material more seriously, and in 1937 he became an ordained minister. After that, he usually refused to perform any blues.

Harlem, New York Days – Reverend Gary Davis

During World War II Davis moved to New York , and began preaching and playing on streetcorners in Harlem. About his  Harlem Days Trevor Laurence & Simeon Hutner made a fantastic film-documentary called “Harlem Street Singer”  The film traces Davis’s journey out of poverty in the Deep South to his iconic status in the folk and rock scene in 1960s New York. Watch the trailer below.

Harlem Street Singer trailer

Rediscovery by the Folk Revival Movement

During the fifties and sixties in New York folk and blues had a huge revival movement. Son House, Big Bill Broonzy and many others experienced the impact. Also Reverend Gary Davis was “rediscovered” by the folk revival movement, and after some initial reticence, he agreed to perform as part of the budding folk music revival.

He also teached guitar during this period including David Bromberg and the Jefferson Airplane’s Jorma Kaukonen (who later recorded Davis’s “I’ll Be Alright” on his acclaimed solo album Quah!).

Jorma Kaukonen Jefferson Airplane

Jorma Kaukonen, the guitarist of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, recorded a beautiful version of “I’m The Light of This World” on his 1974  Quah album.  He took lessons from Gary Davis an Rolling Stone magazine ranked him #54 on its list of 100 Greatest Guitarists.

Reverend Gary Davis passed away in may 1972 of a heart attack.

Jorma Kaukonen – I’m The Light Of This World – 5/20/1978

Photo: Jefferson Airplane on who Rev gary Davis had a big influence Credit By KRLA/Beat Publications-page 1 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Please follow and like us:

Song of the Day: Marie Knight – Who Rolled The Stone Away

Who Rolled The Stone Away?

Marie Knight’s ‘WhoRolled The Stone Away’ really digs deep! This song makes you feel good, the arrangement swings, the vocals are smooth.

In the 1940s Marie Knight worked and toured alongside the great Sister Rosetta Tharpe. And like Sister Rosetta this Gospel and Rhythm and Blues singer had a long career in music. The two singers had a lot in common.  Marie Knight’s ‘Who Rolled the Stone Away’, for example has  similar vocals and grooves as good as “Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho’ from Sister Rosetta.

 

Continue reading Song of the Day: Marie Knight – Who Rolled The Stone Away

Please follow and like us:

Boyd Rivers: the Mississippi Gospel Blues singer

Boyd Rivers: the Mississippi Gospel Blues singer

Some artist use a big stage, a fire show, a wall of Marshall amps or a Group of dancers to add something to their performance. But not Boyd Rivers. Give him a Guitar in his living room, let him sing and let his wife Ruth Mae Rivers sing too. I guarantee, and Alan Lomax proved it, it maybe the best live performance you will ever see. Boyd Rivers the Gospel Blues singer who enjoys to hang around with his friends at JoJo’s Gas Station on Highway 51 was a simple man, with a golden voice. Continue reading Boyd Rivers: the Mississippi Gospel Blues singer

Please follow and like us: