Jimmy Martin & the Sunny Mountain Boys

This World Is Not My Home

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Piety and hard living aren't mutually exclusive -- just look at the complicated lives of Jerry Lee Lewis and Hank Williams. The late Jimmy Martin was another one of those rough characters who sometimes took a break from hell raising to do a little heaven raising, infusing his plangent bluegrass with a note of spiritual yearning and gospel fire. This World Is Not My Home is a straight reissue of a 1963 Decca album that contains religious songs Martin recorded between 1958-1962. The interesting subject matter and original material elevate the album above the typical hymns-and-standards country-gospel platter of its era. Martin had a hand in writing most of the songs, which deal with a range of spiritual issues, most prominently including the power of prayer. "Shut-In's Prayer" describes a homebound sufferer's plea for good health, and "God Guide Our Leader's Hand" expresses hope that nuclear war will be averted while simultaneously asserting that the end times are nigh. Martin was one of the absolute masters of bluegrass music and his talents are displayed in full on This World Is Not My Home.

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