Reverend Charlie Jackson, God’s Got It: The Legendary Booker And Jackson Singles

Mike McGonigal

By Mike McGonigal

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Raw, bluesy gospel that’s remarkably rough

The Rev. Charlie Jackson makes absolutely incendiary music — it's bluesy, raw gospel that is heavy, intense and remarkably rough around the edges. Culled from obscure indie seven-inches recorded in the '70s, God's Got It: The Legendary Booker and Jackson Singles is a celebration of the sanctified blues with a sound so timeless that it could just as easily date from 20 or even 40 years earlier. The title song is pure visceral stomp, a plank of wood and hand claps serving as percussion while the congregation on backup vocals sings loudly and sublimely. Even if you've never heard the work of compatriots such as Luther Magby, Blind Willie Johnson, Rev. Utah Smith, Sister O.M. Terrell and Rev. Louis Overstreet, the joys of this music are very tough to miss. This stuff has large crossover appeal — it's as likely to appeal to aficionados of old school black gospel as to fans of ragged Delta blues and frazzled alt-rock.