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Living on the Hallelujah Side

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 10, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

Joseph Spence's music is a style unto itself. Working with songs learned from hymnals, from the radio and from local tradition in his native Bahamas, Spence developed an astounding guitar style with wild, syncopated rhythms and a unique but sophisticated sense of harmony, while he casually growled out excerpts of lyrics. Spence was a major influence on Ry Cooder. These are '70s recordings made near his home in Nassau and in concert in the U.S.

This product is manufactured on demand using CD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 10, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rounder
  • Run Time: 36 minutes
  • ASIN: B0000002V7
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #274,928 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
It's almost impossible for me not to smile while listening to this wonderful record. There are many times in fact, when I have laughed with joy and amazement at the pure, unadulterated music-making of this amazing man. 'Neighbor Gone Home' and 'I'll Be A Friend To Jesus' are among my favourites here, with the latter in particular having me in hysterics when Joseph pulls up abruptly at the high notes, leaving his friend Blooming Rosalie Roberts to carry the tune. All through the album Joseph's half-sung, half-grunted, half-mumblescatted vocals (a new term that fits, I think!) are just amazing and delightful. Trust me, you have never heard ANYTHING like the singing of Joseph Spence! It is absolutely outrageous!
For the uninitiated, Joseph Spence played guitar exclusively in something called 'Dropped D' tuning, and his beautiful, syncopated Calypso fingerstyle is inimitably great. He was a gem of a musician, and a true original. Joseph was not as young as he used to be by this time, but don't let that deter you. This is a wonderful album. Check out "More and More With Jesus", "I'll Overcome Someday", or "Where Shall I Go" for some wonderful Joseph Spence guitar performances.
This album is a complete blast of infectious, wonderful, guitar-and-voice simplicity. There's some kind of joy and delight that just comes out in Joseph Spence's music. It's unique, and something hard to explain; you just have to hear him. And you MUST hear him! The Book of Proverbs says that "A merry heart does good like a medicine." With this in mind I have no hesitation in recommending to everyone a good listen to Mr. Joseph Spence. His music and his spirit will do you a power of good. Absolutely unmissable!
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By A Customer on March 31, 1999
Format: Audio CD
It is impossible to praise Joseph Spence highly enough. He was an authentic original on the guitar and a one-of-a-kind singer. This is a great record, but then everything he recorded was wonderful. Not sure? Ask Ry Cooder, John Renbourne, Duck Baker, Stefan Grossman,etc.etc. All of these highly regarded musicians hold Spence in their highest estimation.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
great cd ...glad i found out about this man.
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