Various – Shout, Sister, Shout – A Tribute To Sister Rosetta Tharpe
M.C. Records released Shout, Sister, Shout: a Tribute To Sister Rosetta Tharpe, which features an all-star cast of female singers performing some of the best songs associated with the groundbreaking artist who blurred the lines between gospel and secular music. Some of the artists featured on the new album include Joan Osborne, Maria Muldaur (accompanied by Bonnie Raitt on guitar), Michelle Shocked, Sweet Honey In The Rock, Odetta, Phoebe Snow, Janis Ian, Marcia Ball, Victoria Williams, Tracy Nelson, Angela Strehli and Marie Knight. M.C. Records president Mark Carpentieri first heard Sister Rosetta Tharpe in 1999 at the home of rockabilly legend Sleepy LaBeef, himself a big fan of the singer/guitarist, and who acknowledges her music as a big influence "Sleepy said, 'Everything I learned on the guitar was from Sister Rosetta,'" remembers Carpentieri. "I was completely moved by the singing, the playing the spirituality, it was a revelation." With the idea of doing a tribute album, Carpentieri began reaching out to artists to gauge their interest. One of those was Maria Muldaur, who loved Tharpe and had actually seen her perform. "I asked Maria about putting together a tribute and would she liked to be involved," says Carpentieri. "She couldn't say yes fast enough. After two years, hundreds of phone calls and thousands of miles traveled, we've been able to put this album together to salute one of the most underrated American musicians of the twentieth century."
1. Joan Osborne with The Holmes Brothers: Nobody's Fault But Mine - 4:01 2. Maria Muldaur with Bonnie Raitt: My Journey to the Sky - 4:04 3. Toshi Reagon: Rock Me - 5:08 4. Odetta with The Holmes Brothers: Two Little Fishes and Five Loaves of Bread - 3:22 5. Michelle Shocked: Strange Things Happening Every Day - 4:59 6. Janis Ian: This Train - 2:41 7. Maria Muldaur, Marcia Ball, Angela Strehli, Tracy Nelson: Shout, Sister, Shout - 3:01 8. Phoebe Snow with The Holmes Brothers: Beams of Heaven - 3:52 9. Sweet Honey in the Rock: Precious Memories - 4:58 10. Marcia Ball, background vocals: Tracy Nelson, Maria Muldaur & Angela Strehli: I Want a Tall Skinny Papa - 3:13 11. Victoria Williams with The Holmes Brothers: My Lord and I - 4:22 12. Rory Block: Stand by Me - 2:49 13. Maria Muldaur & Tracy Nelson: Up Above My Head - 3:45 14. Joanna Connor: Don't Take Everybody to Be Your Friend - 4:05 15. Angela Strehli: That's All - 3:59 16. Maria Muldaur: I Looked Down the Line (And I Wondered) - 4:14 17. Marie Knight: Didn't It Rain - 3:43 18. Sister Rosetta Tharpe: Down by the Riverside - 3:01
1. AllMusic - Hal Horowitz
This tribute to the underrated gospel/soul/blues guitar-playing star of the '40s (and later, when she was rediscovered in the '60s) is a labor of love from MC Records label owner Mark Carpentieri and singer Maria Muldaur. It was Carpentieri's concept, but Muldaur -- a huge Tharpe fan -- had the industry connections and clout to recruit some of the marquee names. The disc's title refers not only to Tharpe's song, but to the predominantly all-female cast who cover 17 tracks associated -- but not necessarily written by -- the gospel/soul singer. Production is shared by Muldaur along with Carpentieri, and the classy cast, which includes Rory Block, Tracy Nelson, Odetta, Joan Osborne, Michelle Shocked, and Phoebe Snow -- often singing with each other -- does a terrific job interpreting these tunes. Almost all of the participants have performed spiritual and secular material, so their connection to Tharpe, who was similarly inclined, is obvious. The fabulous Holmes Brothers add brotherly gospel harmonies to Osborne's sensational "Nobody's Fault but Mine," Victoria Williams' "My Lord & I," and Phoebe Snow's "Beams of Heaven." The arrangements are generally stripped down, like Michelle Shocked's haunting "Strange Things Happening Every Day." But horns bring a '40s jump blues feel to the title track, which features dazzling vocals from Muldaur, Marcia Ball, Angela Strehli, and Tracy Nelson harmonizing on the chorus and swapping verses. The last three, along with the horns, also contribute to a frisky "I Want a Tall Skinny Papa" ("He's gotta be tall/And that ain't all"), clearly one of Tharpe's secular tracks. There isn't a weak cut here, with all the women contributing fiery performances that will hopefully spur a major label to release a comprehensive Tharpe career overview and encourage listeners to search out original recordings from the singer. The disc appropriately closes with "Didn't It Rain," a track sung by Marie Knight, Tharpe's duet partner. It's a wonderful touch that adds even more authenticity to this stirring, beautifully performed, and long-overdue album.
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