MISSISSIPPI FRED MCDOWELL
AMAZING GRACE/MY HOME IS IN THE DELTA (2CD)
Floating World (FLOATD6187)
Jesus Is On The Mainline, When I Lay My Burden Down, Amazing Grace, The Lord Will Make A Way, Diving Duck Blues, Six White Horses, Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning, Big Road Blues, When I Lay My Burden Down and more
Another fabulous two-fer from Floating World, again presenting two historic albums originally released on Testament in the 1960s for the price of one.
Amazing Grace is the most unusual of the pair as it is not just Fred and his amazing slide guitar but essentially features Fred as a member of the Hunter's Chapel Singers Of Como, Mississippi, where he sometimes sings lead vocals but more often just provides the guitar accompaniment to the others. Recorded in 1966, this is an all-spirituals affair and is starkly moving and positively enlightening, a rare peep into a community for who singing is a natural and central element of their programme of worship. A true delight.
My Home Is In The Delta, cut a couple of years prior to Amazing Grace, is a mostly solo recording, with occasional vocal contributions from wife Annie Mae. Here Fred again plays a number of spirituals, interspersed with great blues, some of which were not recorded elsewhere. Fred is as always in top form and delivers a set of seriously raw and heartfelt delta blues, reminding us once again that his bottleneck slide playing and masterful singing is a joy to behold.
If you don't already have these albums on Testament, you'd be daft to overlook this set now.
Review Date: April 2013