Little Faith: Spirituals

Hammond organ spirituals flavored with sounds of Nashville and New Orleans

The Hammond organ is no stranger to spiritual music, but seasoned with jazz, blues and country flavors of second line drumming, saxophone, fiddle, and lap steel, Little Faith delivers on what it calls “Madri Gras erupting at a tent revival behind the Grand Ol’ Opry.” The material also mixes things up, ranging from the nineteenth century African-American spiritual “Wade in the Water” (led here by the violin of Leah Zeger) to Christian hymns “I’ll Fly Away” and “How Great Thou Art” to the traditional New Orleans funeral dirge “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” (with a terrific blues guitar solo by Nelson Blanton) to the Hebrew “Kol Dodi” and the Carter Family staple “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” The album includes only two vocal tracks, a full gospel chorus on “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” and a reprise of “I’ll Fly Away” that complements the opening instrumental. Organist Jack Maeby’s pulled together an assortment of Los Angeles roots musicians who take these tracks to interesting new places anchored by the rock-solid soul of the Hammond. [©2011 hyperbolium dot com]

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