It’s my second day of “Recovery Week” and the plan is no different that yesterday: buckus, well… aside from my afternoon core workout that is.
Today’s core routine then is set to another interesting listen, the ‘Like A Ship…(Without A Sail)‘ by the Pastor T. L. Barrett and the Youth for Christ Choir.
This is another gift from Uncle Lance and – as usual – it’s as eclectic as fuck.
Right up my alley, of course.
Seriously, if Uncle Lance gave me a field recording of elephant farts I’d be just as excited and likely, would end up loving it. Such is Uncle Lance’s eye (ear) for really great and unusual records.
T.L. Barrett is certainly a very complicated figure and context definitely colors perceptions of the man. To many on Chicago’s South Side, Barrett has been known for more than four decades as an activist and pastor, an influential figure in the city’s black community, and an active participant in numerous projects and initiatives intended to improve social and economic conditions on the South Side. To record collectors, he’s known for recording the classic, much-sought gospel record ‘Like A Ship…(Without A Sail)‘. To the Illinois legal system, he’s the man who fronted a series of pyramid schemes that defrauded thousands of people (for which Barrett was ordered to pay restitution to avoid a prison sentence) *. Among his supporters at one time, were Jesse Jackson and former Chicago mayor Eugene Sawyer. To his parishioners, Barrett (who continues to minister) acts as a social conscious by preaching a doctrine of personal responsibility, and is a champion of economic development. To music critics and collectors, he was the purveyor of top-notch gospel recordings. The one certainty Barrett proves is that the complexities and contrasting elements of lives are what make individuals so compelling.
You can click HERE for more detail regarding this very interesting dude.
So… is your interest piqued yet?
Self-released by Barrett in 1971, this album communicates many things, foremost being adoration and praise and, on the title track, the lost, aimless feelings that were undoubtedly shared by many a youth in the late ’60s. Barrett got help on arrangements from some of Chicago’s best studio hands, Chess/Cadet maestro Gene Barge, bassists Phillip Upchurch and Richard Evans, and drummer Charles Pittman. The opening title track is a moving piece of progressive soul, closer to Rotary Connection than Edwin Hawkins – Barrett’s vocals evoking Stevie Wonder singing in the style of Donny Hathaway – and the choir is powerful and recorded well. Shit, the dude has even been sited by Radiohead as an influence and Kanye (God, I just hate seeing that name mentioned on this blog) even sampled him earlier this year.
Personally, I hear a lot of what Spiritualized likely has used for inspiration at some point as it’s certainly within their wheelhouse.
Honestly, the whole is incredible regardless about what you might think about Gospel music. The title track is the obvious kicker but other tracks like ‘It’s Me O Lord‘ and ‘Joyful Noise‘ will just as probably have you up off the couch and high-stepping around the house in religious fervor just as easily. It’s certainly a gem of contemporary gospel album, much more obscure (at least outside of Chicago) than it deserved to be and as such, there was a whole lotta Lordy Lordy goin’ on on my mat this afternoon through my series of planks, crunches, push-ups and v-sits.