Various Take Me To The Water: Immersion Baptism In Vintage Music and Photography 1890-1950

Various Take Me To The Water: Immersion Baptism In Vintage Music and Photography 1890-1950
Just as a passing knowledge of scripture is necessary to understand literature much of the best work by the great modern singer-songwriters cannot be fully appreciated without a familiarity with gospel music. Take Me To The Water, like the acclaimed Goodbye, Babylon box set that preceded it, is as good a place to start as any. But although it is an exemplary compilation of early religious-themed country and blues recordings focusing specifically on the baptism ritual it is also so much more. The CD's accompanying hardbound book is an equally thrilling experience, presenting a collection of photographs from noted archivist Jim Linderman depicting public baptisms in every conceivable form. The sepia-tinged images showing riverbanks lined with sometimes hundreds of people are steeped in humility and serenity, and are the perfect visual representation of the music. Old time country fans will first latch onto songs by the Carter Family, the Carolina Tarheels and J.E. Mainer's Mountaineers, but the most powerful tracks are the several sermons that actually put you at the riverside. The connection with rock'n'roll is clearly illuminated on these magnetic performances but it's the overall pristine sound and attention to detail that places Take Me To The Water amongst rarefied company within the reissue genre. (Dust-to-Digital)