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Baker's Dozen

By Design: Jim Jones Of The Righteous Mind's Favourite Albums
Julian Marszalek , September 15th, 2015 13:23

Before they headline Walthamstow's Stow Festival this weekend, The Righteous Mind's leader gives Julian Marszalek an insight into "where my head is at right now" with a tour through his current top 13 albums

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Various artists - I'll Meet You On That Other Shore: Field Recordings From Alan Lomax's "Southern Journey" 1959-1960
We all know Alan Lomax for his blues recordings that are stored in the Library Of Congress and he was the first person to record Muddy Waters and people like that. Honeyboy Edwards, who died a few years back and was there when Robert Johnson was killed apparently, said he remembered seeing Alan Lomax pulling up in his car and taking out his recording equipment.

If it wasn't for people like Alan Lomax then we'd be severely lacking in all that incredible culture. Everyone knows him for his blues recordings but I'll Meet You On That Other Shore is a collection of his folk recordings. He went all across the American South and made these recordings.

For me, it's like a keyhole view into the birth of music. Even though this was 1959-60, these were recordings of songs by people where these songs had been handed down from generation to generation and included songs from the old world and wherever they had travelled from. You know, like the Highlands of Scotland or Ireland and from Africa. It's really beautiful. There are a couple of songs on there like 'I'll Meet You On That Other Shore' by the St James Church that makes me think of the sea whenever I hear it. They way they sing sounds like the waves. It's almost psychedelic but it's so human with a really incredible energy.

It's also got 'Moses Was A Servant Of The Lord' by Charles Barnett and it sounds like he's playing on an old oil drum and with all the other artefacts stripped away it all boils down to the human spirit. This is what people felt and believed and brought with them across generations and continents to the South, where at that time things were particularly segregated. Listening to this stuff is like going to school. Whatever music you like, you can zone into this and hear the seeds of everything in there. It's down-to-the-knuckle, raw humanity and it's impossible not to be moved by it.


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