Style: African-American gospel music from 1957-1982, gleaned from old recordings

Top tracks: "Put Your Hand in the Hand," "This May Be My Last Time," "I Got to Make It"

Compiler Mike McGonigal already proved to be an expert crate-digger and curator of rare, ragged gospel on 2009's Fire in My Bones, and he's done it again on this three-disc, 72-track set. The names on this comp probably won't ring any bells; some self-released their music while others relied on regional labels. "Almost anyone could raise enough money to release a seven-inch single," McGonigal says in the liner notes, itself a fascinating treasure trove and essential listening companion. You'll hear soul-stirring a capella arrangements, preachers and screechers interjecting wails and diatribes, incredible blues guitar, and some pop-influenced numbers, too. ("Jesus Been Good" could pass for a lo-fi, sanctified version of the Jackson 5.) This is gospel music as real as it gets.

This May Be My Last Time Singing
Our Rating
4 Stars - Excellent
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Release Date
September 20, 2011
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