In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument

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Various Artists: Kneeling' Down Inside the Gate: the Great Rhyming Singers of the Bahamas

my lord help me to play
standing in the need of prayer
kneelin' Down inside the gate
run come see jerusalem
be engaged unto the lord
i met my mother this morning
cecil gone in the time of storm
long summer days
hallelujah, my mother gone over
shepherd moan
shepherd moan
oh jesus my baby
there is good news
just a little talk with jesus
what a beautiful home

Inspired by the earlier Bahamian recordings of Sam Charters, Jody Stecher (now a renown singer and multi-instrumentalist of traditional music) traveled with Peter Siegel to the Bahamas in 1965 to record the rhyming singers whose songs were, even then, beginning to disappear. Rhyming, a distant relation to rap, seems to have come from communities of sponge fishermen off the west coast of Andros. Mostly the songs are spirituals though there are occasionally ballads and anthems. In this unique Bahamian vocal development a singer intones verses, called "rhymes" (though the verses don't necessarily have to rhyme), in rhythmic cycles usually supported by bass and treble harmonies. The best known of the singers on this extraordinary recording is Joseph Spence with, of course, the Pinder Family. A close cousin of this music can be found on the recordings of the Sea Island Singers. We're talkin' roots here.

Item code: 9483C | 1 CD | $14.98 |add item to cart
World | Mixed | Bahamas

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