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  • Sacred Steel: Traditional Sacred African-American Steel Guitar Music In Florida
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Sacred Steel: Traditional Sacred African-American Steel Guitar Music In Florida


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Audio CD, January 21, 1997
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Sacred Steel: Traditional Sacred African-American Steel Guitar Music In Florida + The Best of Sacred Steel + 2nd Annual Sacred Steel Convention
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 21, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Arhoolie Records
  • ASIN: B0000001L7
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,905 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Don't Let The Devil Ride - Sonny Treadway
2. In The Garden - Sonny Treadway
3. At The Cross - Sonny Treadway
4. Call Him By His Name - Glenn Lee
5. Pass Me Not, Oh Gentle Savior - Glenn Lee
6. Joyful Sounds - Glenn Lee
7. Just A Closer Walk With Thee - Willie Eason
8. Little Wooden Church On A Hill - Willie Eason
9. Franklin D. Roosevelt, A Poor Man's Friend - Willie Eason
10. This Is A Holy Church - Sonny Treadway (Jewel Dominion)
11. At The Cross - Sonny Treadway (Jewel Dominion)
12. Amazing Grace - Sonny Treadway (Jewel Dominion)
13. God Be With You - Sonny Treadway (Jewel Dominion)
14. Closing Prayer And Amen - Sonny Treadway (Jewel Dominion)
15. Praise The Lord Everybody - Henry Nelson (Keith Dominion)
16. Amazing Grace - Henry Nelson (Keith Dominion)
17. Praise Music - Aubrey Ghent (Keith Dominion)
18. Father In Jesus' Name - Aubrey Ghent (Keith Dominion)
19. House Of God March - Aubrey Ghent (Keith Dominion)
20. God Be With You - Aubrey Ghent (Keith Dominion)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

The idea that recordings exist of bluesy, intense gospel fueled by and starring the electric steel guitar might strike one as strange. But that very thing has transpired for decades in the Jewel and Keith Dominions of the Church of the Living God, and, as this mid-'90s recording demonstrates, the results are brilliant. Sonny Treadway displays the agile virtuosity of Chet Atkins on "At the Cross" and Glenn Lee's mournful, nimble, dulcet licks on "Call Him by His Name" recall B.B. King at his fiercest. However, such facile comparisons really do a disservice to this vital sound; none of this music really resembles anything else. Particular highlights of this satisfying set's 20 tracks are the 3 sublime contributions by Willie Eason. The elderly Eason may not display the liquid bravado of others here, but his songs possess unbounded soul. His original composition "Franklin D. Roosevelt, a Poor Man's Friend" is a wonderful example of both topical material and eulogy in gospel music. His songs are sung in a baritone, preach-singing style and the playing juxtaposes strummed chords with eerie, long, looping notes that seem to hang in the air forever. The section of live religious services by Treadway, Henry Nelson, and Aubrey Ghent are stomping fun at its most sanctified. Treadway's "This Is a Holy Church" even approaches the unbridled Holy Ghost stomp of street musician Rev. Louis Overstreet. --Mike McGonigal

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Shawn Moore on April 1, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Being raised in the pentecostal church (Mt.Calvary and House of God keith Dominion). This cd is a reminder of the church services in Mt.Airy, NC. with my uncle on the steele and sweet sounds of the steele, giving direction and inspiration to the church service. GLenn Lee is remarkable,the way he blends country and blues with tradional steele playing. His interpretation of "Pass me not. oh gentle savior" is without comparison, an old gospel favorite, with a country twist. Totally original! Also his own "Joyful sounds" has the uncanny imprint of his uncle bishop Harisson, with a nice twist. Nothing can compare to the old favorite "Franklin D Roosevelt,A poor man's friend", by Willie Eason. Let's not forget the foot stomping "Live religious services on the cd. IF you don't get uplifted by these selections from both Jewel and Kieth Dominions check your pulse 'cause something is definitely wrong. Believe me you will love this cd and be uplifted.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael C. Browning on April 6, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I grew up in North Florida and the sounds and faith behind the words of this beautiful album are a revelation and a confirmation both. NPR uses bits of it as bridge music on their "All Things Considered" and "Morning Edition." I think it is because of the essential purity and sweetness of the music. "Little Church on the Hill" is something celestial. It evokes heaven, a place that exists only in time, not on a map. I don't listen to this every day, it is too good for that. I just listen to it in moments, and those moments, like this collection, are too lovely to convey.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Forbes on March 16, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Mention the steel guitar and most likely you will get images of the Hapa Haole music of Hawaii in the 30s, or the twangy sounds of hard country. But there's another side of the steel guitar, one that is not as well known, but is perhaps one of the most amazing roots traditions still alive in this country, the black Pentecostal tradition of the pedal and laptop steel guitar.
The sacred tradition of steel guitar playing reaches back to the late 20s and early 30s and is tied to the history of the Holiness churches, particularly the Keith and Jewel Dominions of the Church of the Living God, headquartered in Northern Florida. Holiness churches are deeply Pentecostal churches, taking as their primary spiritual tradition the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit" which they trace to the second chapter of Acts. Music in this tradition is more than just a pretty decoration for the service. It is a sacrament in itself, serving to open congregants to the power of the Holy Spirit. True Pentecostal music, whether in traditionally white or traditionally black churches is characterized by an infectious rhythmic quality and an ecstatic lyricism based on the spirituals of the south.
In the Church of the Living God, the steel guitar is the primary instrument of the worship service, replacing the more common electronic organ of most gospel music. This disc presents music from some of the Church's finest musicians. The first 9 selections are mostly instrumentals. Each practitioner approaches his instrument differently, from the almost vocal inflections of Sonny Treadway, to the more modern, jazzy improvisations of Glenn Lee, the youngest musician on this disc. Particularly amazing are the three cuts by Willie Eason, the granddaddy of the steel tradition.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 4, 2003
Format: Audio CD
A thoroughly captivating collection of one of the most obscure offshoots of the blues/gospel music axis, this disc collects 20 tracks of African-American gospel music as performed on electric steel guitars. The liner notes trace the style back to the 1930s, when steel guitars came into vogue; the performances are by a handful of contemporary performers who come from a Pentecostal church in Florida, where the tradition is still very much alive. Blues, R&B and gospel have always had an interesting Saturday night/Sunday morning interrelationship, and these recordings inject a distinctive "white" country flavor into that mix. This is one of Arhoolie's biggest-selling and best received releases in recent years and when you check it out, you'll understand why. Cool stuff. (There have also been several follow-ups and solo albums featuring the same artists on here, but this is the disc that, to me, seems most magical.)
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