Various Artists

Explorer Series: The Bahamas - The Real Bahamas, Vol. 2

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The second volume of Jody Stecher and Peter K. Siegel's odyssey into the Caribbean contains as many pearls as the first. There's perhaps a slightly wider range of artists, although the magical Joseph Spence and his family are well represented. But the members of Bruce Green's trio from Moores Island, with their splendid voices, show they deserved their hallowed reputation, as do the Swains. While most of the material is sacred, there are exceptions in the form of "King Canute," a solo vocal from Lyndall Albury (although even that has holy overtones), and Albury's "The Little Black Moustache" (she seemed to be a repository of unusual folk songs). And even Frederick McQueen offers a song from his days as a sponge fisherman, "The Captain Go Ashore," before the disc finishes where it began, with Joseph Spence and Edith Pinder on a highly unusual version of the spiritual "Ain't No Grave Gonna Hold God's Body Down." With the companion disc (which had previously appeared on CD in one set), it makes a perfect introduction to the Bahamas in the 1960s and '70s.

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