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Get Right With God: Gospel Truth

James Hunter, The Boston Phoenix, 18 September 1984

A SMOKY, finger-snapping cavalcade of bold quartets, plainspoken guitarists/vocalists, and feverish singing preachers. Get Right with God: Hot Gospel 1947–1953 (Krazy Kat, UK import) is a revelation even in mono. The 16 obscure sides that Bob Laughton has compiled (they were recorded up and down the East Coast, from New York to Miami) sound awful: they snarl, hiss, crack, and waver in tone and volume. The first effect is Clint Eastwoodish: the record writhes as if it had been viciously mugged, stripped of its covers and left out in the night to die. But it doesn't. This 1983 anthology catches gospel music in its postwar 'golden era" crudely but inspirationally making itself into records — a genre dawning. The Dixie Hummingbirds at their Peacock peak are several years away, and Al Green’s a couple of decades away, but Get Right with God creates one big noisy impression.

Total word count of piece: 529


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