Rev. J.C. Burnett

1927-1945, Vol. 2

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Modern rappers could learn a lot listening to these J.C. Burnett sides -- varying between gospel-style hymns and sung/spoken sermons with accompaniment, they're spellbinding examples of preaching and performance, as powerful as the best blues records of their era, and easily capable of rousing crowds in any setting. Some of the quality is at the outer edge of acceptability -- "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," in possibly one of the best renditions ever heard, could easily have missed the boat on this release in another producer's hands -- but it almost all passes muster; only the final three cuts brush up against true unlistenability, and their placement makes them work, after all that comes before it.

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