Babylon's a-fallin' to rise no more.

Compelled by one of the best reviews of anything I've ever read, by Matt Labash in the Weekly Standard, I just bought the most extraordinary cd box set I've ever heard, Goodbye, Babylon, a six-disc set of early 20th century gospel that runs the musical gamut, as Labash notes, of "everything from Sacred Harp singing to hillbilly romps to field-holler prison chants to front-porch blues to jubilee quartets to old-timey country to Sanctified-congregational singing to Pentecostal rave-ups." The sixth disc is devoted entirely to sermons, mostly from the twenties. (Sure, I got a few odd looks when I pulled up to the gas pump with a sermon about the Black Diamond Train and its passenger manifest of liars, gamblers, and thieves blaring from my car speakers. I maintain this is not only no worse than blasting Eminem so my neighbors can hear it, it's infinitely better.)

The review is amusing, maybe slightly more so for those of us raised as Southern Baptists, but the music is divine. If you have any interest in gospel or old time music, it's well worth acquiring.

No comments: