NEW MUSIC: Bishop Manning and the Manning Family

Download: “I Wanna Thank You Jesus”—Bishop Manning and the Manning Family (mp3)

Stream: [audio:http://www.arthurmag.com/magpie/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/18-I-Wanna-Thank-You-Jesus-B.L.M.-41393.mp3%5D

Here’s some proper Sunday morning message music from North Carolina’s Bishop Manning and The Manning Family, sourced off the recently released “Converted Mind – The Early Recordings,” a fantastic new collection of their recordings. “Converted Mind” features 28 cuts, recorded mostly from the 1970s, with extensive liner notes by Alan Young, vintage photos and 7-inch label shots. Highly recommended for believers and non-believers alike. Available on CD for $13 direct from the Fat Possum Records affiliate, Big Legal Mess Records of Oxford, Mississippi.

NEW MUSIC: Reverend John Wilkins

Download: “You Can’t Hurry God” — Rev. John Wilkins (mp3)

Stream: [audio:http://www.arthurmag.com/magpie/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/01-You-Cant-Hurry-God.mp3|titles=”You Can’t Hurry God” – Rev. John Wilkins]

Gorgeous title track off Reverend John Wilkins’ debut album You Can’t Hurry God—which is otherwise pretty foot-stompin’ and hand-clappin’—just out on CD for 13 bucks from Mississippi’s Big Legal Mess Records, a label all music fans should be keeping an eye on. Big Legal Mess is an offshoot of Fat Possum Records, more in line with their ’90s/early ’00s commitment to releasing new albums by underheard local blues musicians like Junior Kimbrough, RL Burnside, Cedell Davis, T-Model Ford, and many others, that were free of the studio polish and cheesy showboating of most American blues recordings from the last three decades. This treasure of an album, produced by Amos Harvey and recorded by Fat Possum vet Bruce Watson, is very much in that ’90s Fat Possum vein.

There’s a lot to say about John Wilkins, and where this music comes from—go to the Big Legal Mess website (address below) for the full scoop—but real quick: Wilkins played guitar with O.V. Wright in the ’60s, as well as performing in local churches, parties and clubs, very much in the North Mississippi Hill Country country-blues style of his father Reverend Robert Wilkins, whose 1930s version of “That’s No Way To Get Along,” entitled “Prodigal Son,” was later covered by the Rolling Stones on Beggars Banquet. Since the early ’80s, Reverend John Wilkins has been pastor at Hunter’s Chapel Church in Tate County, Mississippi. Past members of this congregation include Fred McDowell and his wife Annie Mae, Other Turner and Napolian Strickland. Its singers recorded the album Amazing Grace: Mississippi Delta Spirituals By The Hunter’s Chapel Singers Of Como, Miss. for Testament Records in 1966.

You Can’t Hurry God sports a full bass-drums-guitar-Hammond lineup, with Reverend Wilkins’ daughters on backing vocals. Wonderful and hallelujah!

Tons more biographical, recording and ordering info: http://biglegalmessrecords.com/revwilkins.htm

Vintage small press gospel soul from Reverend Douglas Bell and the Stage Cruisers

NuclearBlast

Stream: [audio:http://www.arthurmag.com/magpie/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Bitter-and-The-Sweet.mp3%5D

Download: “Bitter and The Sweet” — Reverend Douglas Bell and the Stage Cruisers (mp3)

Between 1968 and 1978, a Memphis, Tennessee-based label called Designer Records label issued 400-500 singles and a few albums. One of them was Nuclear Blast, an album of electric gospel soul by Reverend Douglas Bell and the Stage Cruisers. Long out of print, with no surviving masters, Nuclear Blast is available again, on vinyl, God’s own format, thanks to the efforts of Oxford, Mississippi’s Big Legal Mess Records, who recently acquired the entire Designer catalog; Nuclear Blast is the third album they’ve reissued thus far.

More info on Designer, as well as how to acquire these limited edition reissues on vinyl here:
http://www.biglegalmessrecords.com/bell.htm

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