Various Artists – Smithsonian Folkways, Classic Southern Gospel from Smithsonian Folkways

John Morthland

By John Morthland

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A strong collection of music that balances household names and unjustly forgotten wonders.

This sampler balances household names like Bill Monroe and Doc Watson (including a rare, stirring duet of them on the perennial “What Would You Give in Exchange for Your Soul”) with the likes of the Old Harp Singers of Eastern Tennessee, whose “Wondrous Love” is indeed wondrous, to say nothing of eerie. And don't overlook something called the Indian Body Association of Old Regular Baptists'funereal “I'm Going to a City.” The sound is as harsh as the fundamentalist philosophy.