Thursday, January 09, 2014

Reverend Charlie Jackson - God's Got It

I have become quite enthralled by early, raw gospel music for the same reason that I like most music - the
passion that is infused in the music by the performers. Rev. Jackson is an extremely passionate preacher from Mississippi, who believed in the power of music for conversions and, as the liner notes states, "there is much exhortation and effusive communal praise, punctuated throughout by Reverend Jackson's guitar". He grew up playing blues as well as gospel until his mother's threats convinced him to revoke secular music. Most of the songs here are basically the reverend and his guitar, along with some backing singers. At times there will be some clapping, or, as in "Fix It Jesus", Charlie's kicking a piece of wood found in the low-budget studio for percussion! There are a few numbers where the reverend's guitar  backs other singers, such as Brother Ike Gordon (who also sings on Jackson's cuts), Sister Frances Jackson (Charlie's first wife) and Laura Davis (his second wife, after Frances passed away).

Most of these songs were originally released on the Booker record label, an independent gospel label from New Orleans, who issued approximately 100 45's, but the poor distribution means that many have been lost to the ages. The reverend created his own label once Booker went out of business, named after his own last name. This CD compiles everything that was able to be found that Jackson was involved with, and it is a fine package. The liner notes give you a background to Charlie as well as Booker with a few - all too few - photos of the men.

Another excellent example of raw gospel which shows the close ties between gospel and blues music and makes you want to jump up and down and shout out with the congregation!