Motherless Children: A Collection of Bottleneck Gospel Blues

Various Artists

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Motherless Children: A Collection of Bottleneck Gospel Blues Review

by Dave Sleger

The title pretty much says it all. Predominantly an East coast gathering, Motherless Children is produced by Time & Strike artist Michael Hakanson-Stacy, whose penchant for authentic, acoustic blues is well documented. He assumes the bulk of performing chores, appearing on six tracks. Fellow like-minded New Englanders Ben Demerath and Mark Nomad, along with Brooks Williams, contribute in varying degrees. Nomad's "Heavenly Bound" and "Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning" are sure to set your feet a-tappin' with impeccable National steel and soul-stirring vocals. In deference to his Green Linnet recordings, Williams has never sounded better; "Happy All the Time" and "Amazing Grace" transform him into the bluesman he fancies himself to be. Glenn Kaiser (Rez Band) and Darrell Mansfield serve up two choice cuts, including Blind Willie Johnson's "Nobody's Fault but Mine." The album appropriately culminates with Hakanson-Stacy, Williams, and Nomad "havin' church" to the rousing spiritual "Jesus on the Mainline." As Hakanson-Stacy is wont to say, "I hope you like it real nice."

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