Various Artists

The Blues & Salvation

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Labor Records was founded in 1973 by songwriter, novelist, and playwright Kent Cooper and jazz composer, record producer, pianist, and arranger Heiner Stadler (who went on to be director of artists and repertoire at Tomato Records, a label with a similar multicultural approach, from 1978 to 1981, and as Tomato Records' director of operations/executive producer from 1987 until 1991). Cooper and Stadler took a decided restorative approach in the recordings they released, often working with old country blues players who were having trouble adjusting their styles with the modern pop world. The pair would bring artists like Louisiana Red, Rev. Gary Davis, and George Higgs into the studio and track them, often on songs written by Cooper, or co-written by Cooper and the artist in question. These tracks, part old, part new, form a unique catalog in the blues world. This set centers around the gospel blues of Rev. Gary Davis, but also adds related tracks by Louisiana Red and George Higgs, as well as tracks by gospel vocalists Jemima James and Deneen McEachern, re-creating a time and place already fading away when these sessions were held in the mid-'70s.

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