Matt's A/V Blog #1: Good God! Born Again Funk
June 15, 2011
Do you ever find yourself wishing that James Brown would attempt to seduce you with the Lord rather than his hot pants? Look no further than the infectious, turn-the-bass-to-eleven groove of the Gospel Soul Revivals’ "If Jesus Came Today." Or maybe, you’d prefer attending a Sunday school with a ‘tude? All you have to do is turn on Andrew Watts & the Gospel Storytellers as they guide you through the Book of Acts in "Peter and John!" And if you’re in want of tunage in the vein of Aretha Franklin’s stellar Amazing Grace recordings, simply turn to its spiritual cousin: The Inspirational Gospel Singers’ "The Same Thing It Took."
All of these songs and more can be found in The Numero Group’s recent compilation, Good God! Born Again Funk, in which the specialty label manages to deliver an immaculate collection of 18 funky and soulful gems to which anybody of any religious disposition can easily shake their tail. This is gospel music strictly from the school of the Blues Brothers, wherein the lyrical content takes backseat to the emotion and soul behind its delivery. In short, this music is more or less Edwin Starr meets Edwin Hawkins.
Many of these overlooked artists mingled and played with the funk and soul greats (and not-so-greats), but their undeniable talent and fascinating backgrounds are nevertheless revealed in the extensively researched liner notes and archival pics found in the included 23-page booklet. One of the most memorable photos within shows Pastor T.L. Barrett – whose cathartic, cosmic choir number “Like A Ship” opens this disc – on his Chicago congregation’s stage hanging out with the likes of Isaac Hayes, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and basketball all-star Bill Russell!
This set is easily one of the greatest discoveries I’ve made in MCPL’s catalog, and it comes with my highest recommendation. If you’re somehow still skeptical about the content, know that this CD hasn’t left my car stereo in two weeks. So take a chance, and throw it on next time you’re cruising around town. I promise it will only be smooth sailing.
- Matt B.