Monday, February 26, 2024

2005: Mavis Staples comes to SXSW

Sometimes you have to listen to husband-wife art rock duos and review Jimmy Buffett concerts, but other times this rock critic stuff can be pretty cool. Just the other day, for instance, I called a number in Chicago and Mavis Staples picked up the phone. You have to understand that Freedom Highway, the gospel/folk album […]

How I got to the Holy Trinity

By Michael Corcoran In July 2001, I received this Amazing Gospel CD in the mail at my job at the Austin American Statesman. It’s an unauthorized British compilation of 1920s American gospel music that would would end up playing a big part in my slow transformation from cynical/ abrasive music critic to deep-digging historian. A […]

Intro to ‘[Ghost Notes] Pioneering Spirits of Texas Music’

The rocker, the singer-songwriter, the guitar hero all sprung from this holy trinity, who recorded before any of the more celebrated Mississippi Delta deities. And yet, because they played gospel, not the more collectable and researchable blues, Arizona Dranes, Washington Phillips and Blind Willie Johnson had been woefully bypassed by musicologists and historians until recently.  […]

Reviews for “Washington Phillips and His Manzarene Dreams”

New York Review of Books calls Manzarene Dreams “the authoritative new edition of Phillips’s music.” Creative Loafing (Atlanta): This was the cover story by Chad Radford.“When Phillips died, a secret history of pre-war gospel blues was born; a mystery shrouded in speculation and mistaken identity. But through the legwork and dedication of semi-retired Texas music […]