Joseph Spence - guitar and vocal sounds.
Joseph Spence (August 3, 1910 to March 18, 1984) was a master folk artist who developed a totally unique guitar style to express his largely religious repertoire. He was a community musician much loved and respected in his neighborhood, and was always ready to share his heritage and traditions with anyone who came to visit. In 1958 folklorist Sam Charters first recorded Joseph Spence's delightful rhythmic guitar improvisations (issued on the Folkways label) and stirred up a great deal of interest amoung folk music enthusiasts the world over. In 1971 Joseph Spence was invited to make several concert appearances in the north-eastern United States, and this recording was made durring his appearance in the Boston area.
Arhoolie LP 1061 plus some unreleased tracks.
1. Out On The Rolling Sea
2. I See Mary And Joseph
3. Oh, How I Love Jesus
4. I Bid You Good Night
5. Coming In On A Wing And A Prayer
6. Good Morning Mr. Walker
7. The Glory Of Love
8. Don't Let Nobody Burn Down Burma Road
9. Bye And Bye
10. If I Had The Wings Of A Dove
11. All Hail The Power Of Jesus' Name
12. Don't Take Everybody To Be Your Friend
13. Brown Skin Gal
14. Neighbor Gone Home
15. He Walks With Me
16. Will The Serpent Be Unbroken (Will The Circle Be Unbroken)
17. The Lord's My Shepherd
18. Yellow Bird
19. Sloop John B.
20. Be A Friend To Jesus
21. Mary Ann
“Sounding like a delirious sea captain, a Delta bluesman on a tear, or a malfunctioning record player, Joseph Spence's mix of words and sounds is quite unique. The Bahamian guitarist's vocals bob like a fisherman's floater, sometimes leading the guitar and sometimes supporting it. He alternately picks, strums, and beats the acoustic instrument, and the sum total is the most unusual style I've ever heard from such a common setup. Hymns, sea chanties, popular folk songs, and other tunes make up his repertoire. This reissue includes many previously unreleased performances. Joseph Spence is where fans of Tom Waits meet followers of Mississippi John Hurt.”
(Robert Gordon — The Memphis Flyer)