Born in 1947 near Lakeland, LA, Louis Overstreet began singing in gospel quartets at an early age. He was working in a turpentine plant in Dequincy, LA, in 1958, however, when he felt the call to become a full-time minister. Blessed with a ferocious, deep singing voice and accompanying himself on electric guitar and bass drum (playing both at once), the Rev. Louis Overstreet, along with a gospel quartet made up of his four sons, took his own brand of street evangelism around Louisiana and to Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arizona, Nevada, and California before settling in as the pastor of St. Luke's Powerhouse Church of God in Christ in Phoenix, AZ, in 1961. It was there that Chris Strachwitz recorded Overstreet and his congregation and sons for the 1962 LP Rev. Louis Overstreet. The album was reissued on this CD in 1995 with additional tracks recorded at Overstreet's home and a track from a 1963 appearance at the Cabale Coffee House in Berkeley, CA. Overstreet passed away in 1980.
1. A Prayer
2. I'm Working On A Building
3. Yeah, Lord! Jesus Is Able! (1)
4. Getting Richer
5. Get Ready, I'm Gonna Move In The Room Up
6. Is There Anybody Here Who Loves My Jesus
7. In The Morning (Holiness Dance)
8. Believe On Me
10. Calling Jesus
11. Holiness Dance
12. Search Me, Lord
13. Two Little Fishes
14. Walk With Me Lord
15. Say Seven Prayers
16. I'm On My Way
17. I'm A Soldier In The Army Of The Lord
18. Jesus Is Able (2)
“Not even the image within the liner notes could prepare you for the amazingly powerful - and strikingly real - unfiltered gospel music that is found on this CD. . . This image of Rev. Louis Overstreet as well as these mesmerizing recordings made in 1962 and 63 are a riveting documentation of the mighty force, raw energy, and sheer intensity of gospel music.
As clearly evidenced on these recordings, Overstreet and his congregation keep true-to-form where the preaching, music, and participatory singing can spontaneously whip itself into a feverish happening with a life of its own. Beneath Rev. Overstreet's deep, dark, hoarse voice runs his sparse electric guitar drones along with the pounding of a bass drum - all in front of a surging wall of sound coming from the combined congregational singing and hand clapping which is accented by tambourine.
This is Arhoolie Records doing what it does best- superbly documenting 'roots music' and capturing its vitality in a natural setting. Fabulous. Fabulous album.”
-Dennis Rozanski, Baltimore Blues Rag