Monday, January 25, 2016

Rev. Edward W. Clayborn Complete Recorded Works 1926-1928

Document Record gathers some of the more obscure early blues, gospel and assorted recordings ever recorded and this is another fine example of their hard work. Rev. Clayborn's most well-known number is "Your Enemy Cannot Harm You", although I'd wager that few even know that one. But, he is a wonderful example of the early Guitar Evangelists that took the sounds of the blues (of blues took the sounds of the gospel, depending on how you want to look at it) and added sacred lyrics to create musical sermons. His style is simple, open-tuned acoustic guitar with nice, melodic bottleneck work and a strong, raspy yet tuneful voice which tells his Biblical stories.

There is an amazing 27 cuts here and yes, they can sound a bit alike after a time - these were meant as single recordings, not an album - but I find enough variations to keep my attention. I actually like this quite a bit and am very glad I was able to find this one, as it seems to be fairly rare and expensive, generally. Worth a listen for those who appreciate uncomplicated acoustic blues and sweet slide playing.