Lead Belly

Let It Shine on Me

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The third volume of Leadbelly's incredible Library of Congress sessions includes several searing spiritual numbers, among them "Down in the Valley to Pray," "Must I Be Carried to the Sky," "Run Sinners," and "You Must Have That Religion, Hallaloo." The CD begins with an informative interview/performance segment that features Leadbelly answering questions about his life and stylistic influences, then demonstrating techniques and recounting the origins of particular songs. The disc also contains an interesting renditions of "When I Was a Cowboy" and the topical tunes "Mr. Hitler," "The Scottsboro Boys," and "The Roosevelt Song." Leadbelly's mournful, moving, and authoritative vocals, plus his sometimes surging, sometimes reflective guitar playing, were never more moving or appealing than during the Library of Congress sessions.

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