Various - A Stranger I May Be: Savoy Gospel 1954-1966 2xLP
Label: Honest Jon's
The first of three volumes surveying surely the mightiest Gospel label of them all. Stomping, rollicking gospel music, intermingling with raw soul, searing blues, hard-rocking doo-wop and jazz, and storming R&B. Infused and incandescent with the hurting, surging indignation of the Civil Rights movement, here are twenty-four precious scorchers by giants like the Staple Singers and Jimmy Scott, alongside devastating sides by less celebrated names like the Harmonizing Five of Burlington, North Carolina, and teen-group the North Philadelphia Juniors, culminating triumphantly with slamming, sanctified versions of "Hit The Road Jack" and "Wade In The Water."
Drawn from nigh-impossible-to-find 78s, sevens and LPs, hardly any of these recordings have been reissued since their first release. Presented in a gatefold sleeve, with full-size booklet; beautifully designed, with stunning, rare photographs and original Savoy artwork. Sound restoration and mastering at Abbey Road; pressed at Pallas. Co-curated by Greg Belson, compiler of Divine DiscoA City Called Heaven: Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music (University of Illinois), and host of the award-winning radio show Gospel Memories.