Isaiah Owens

You Without Sin Cast the First Stone

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Brother Isaiah Owens is a force of nature. The latest installment in the CaseQuarter label's catalog that showcases the extreme frenzied edge of all-but-underground Southern gospel music is another example of intense, vanguard creativity, spirit-filled vision, and integrity. Having fronted the Flying Clouds of Montgomery, Alabama for over 40 years, Brother Owens bought an electric guitar, learned how to play some chords and went solo. His music is wide open, full of dissonance and space, strange elliptical phrases, dynamic utterances and slurs, and comes from the heart of deep blues. These 18 cuts were recorded by musicologist Kevin Nutt in three separate settings: As broadcasts over WMGY, an AM gospel station in Montgomery, in the studios of that station, and in a proper studio in the Alabama Center for Traditional Culture. The sheer wildness and blessed wailing here is unlike anything one has ever heard, whether it be on traditional hymns or his own compositions. It's rough, brutal and sweet at the same time, like Junior Kimbrough singing gospel accompanied by Wild Man Fischer. The spirit is in Brother Owens and he rises above the flesh by tunneling through the body. He rocks, he rolls, he slips, slides and strolls, with a voice from the highest heaven and a guitar sound from another world. Highly recommended for the stout of heart. This is sanctified gospel, untamed, untainted and beyond the pale.

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