Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Isaiah Owens – You Without Sin Cast the First Stone

I discovered Mr. Owens through the phenomenal gospel collection Fire In my Bones (more on this later) and was immediately struck by his crazed, disjointed and, frankly, somewhat psychotic, take on gospel blues. I thought that this was some insane 50’s genius, but upon reading the liner notes, realized that the cut included (the title of this CD), was from 1998! When I then found out that Isaiah had a full CD of these recordings available, I ordered it right away!

The entire record continues in the same vein – Owens singing and mangling a dissonant, slightly out-of-tune guitar, with gospel fever and passion, in a manner, as the liner notes say, of a “sanctified Hasil Adkins”! Hasil and the Legendary Stardust Cowboy were exactly what came to mind when I first heard him, though, naturally, with more gospel and blues influences.

This is not music for the faint-of-heart or those who like clean, easily definable tunes. But for those who love passionate madness and enthusiasm over proficiency, then get this – you will not regret it!