Various Artists

Sacred Steel Instrumentals

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This new collection from Arhoolie gives listeners plenty of bang for its buck -- even if punters already own the other volumes in the series. A third of the material comes from Sacred Steel, Vol. 2: Live! and Train Don't Leave Me, but even so, owners of those volumes will find the startling juxtaposition of instrumental moods and styles on this current collection to be indispensable. Tom Diamant has assembled a stellar array of studio and concert recordings to showcase the variety, depth, and mood of the sacred steel tradition here, and in so doing has given listeners a fine gospel outing for starters -- but also a killer guitar record that rocks, rolls, and wails with performers like Sonny Treadway, Robert Randolph, the Campbell Brothers, Rayfield "Ray Ray" Holloman, Lonnie "Big Ben" Bennett, Dante Harmon, Aubrey Ghent, and others. Highly recommended as both an introduction and as an aficionado's dream listen.

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