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Take Me to the Water: Immersion Baptism in Vintage Music and Photography 1890-1950

4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Making the past present once again, Grammy winners Dust-to-Digital unveil what could easily be seen as the seventh part of their acclaimed Goodbye Babylon box set. Take Me to the Water is a 96-page hardcover book which contains photographs from the collection of Jim Linderman, a scholar of 20th Century self-taught American art and a noted collector of outsider art, early American folk art, and daguerreotype photographs of even earlier American folk art portraits. Also included is a compact disc featuring rare, vintage songs and sermons recorded between 1924-1940 and an introductory essay by Luc Sante.

Review

Whether you have ever actually experienced a baptism or not, whether you are a believer or not, these pictures and the music that accompanies them (from rare 78rpm records) transmit all the emotional information: the excitement and the serenity, the fellowship and the warmth, the wind and the water... --Luc Sante, from the Introduction
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 26, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Dust-to-Digital
  • ASIN: B00261E0HU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,908 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Victor Minx with Jim Linderman Store

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By Janna Rosenkranz on May 31, 2009
Format: Audio CD
GRAMMY NOMINATED BEST HISTORICAL RELEASE 2009

Review by John Foster, Accidental Mysteries, April 2009

FOR MOST OF HIS LIFE, COLLECTOR JIM LINDERMAN has searched high and low for authentic things--unique and special objects that define the artistic culture of the American experience. From folk art to popular culture, from pulp fiction to Delta Blues-- Jim is a walking authority on so many things American they are too numerous to mention. One thing is certain-- his collecting interests are for things that have fallen through the cracks, those things lost and forgotten--the box of material under the table at the flea market booth. If it wasn't for dedicated collectors like Jim Linderman-- so many important objects about our culture would have surely been lost to time and indifference.

TAKE ME TO THE WATER: Immersion Baptism in Vintage Music and Photography 1890 - 1950 is Linderman's first book. The 96-page hardcover book (8.75 x 6 inches) has 75 sepia photograph reproductions from 1890-1950 and is accompanied by a CD of rare gospel and folk recordings from original 78-RPM records (1924-1940). It features recordings of artists like Washington Phillips, Carter Family, Tennessee Mountaineers, and lesser known and rare groups like the Belmont Silvertone Jubilee Singers, a vocal quartet in 1939. Included as well are rare vocal recordings of sermons and preaching which highlight the fervor leading up to the moment of cleansing one's soul in immersion baptism. Certainly, allowing oneself to lie backwards into deep river water for the washing away of sin would be a powerful moment in anyone's life.
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Format: Audio CD
The folks at Dust-to-Digital are in the business of reclaiming and documenting America's musical past and they are quite good at it. Their collection of pre-war gospel music, Goodbye Babylon, is a stunning success and has become a cornerstone of any collection of American vernacular music. This latest release, Take Me to the Water - Immersion Baptism in Vintage Music and Photography 1890-1950, is less ambitious in scope but in many ways just as successful.

The book itself is a small (6x8.75 inches) volume comprised of 75 sepia-toned plates of baptisms from the collection of Jim Linderman. The credits state that the majority of these photos were found at flea markets, auctions and antique shows and as such are almost completely without documentation. Although a little disappointing, this lack of documentation adds to the mystery of the volume - these people standing in the water could be anyone from almost anywhere. Interspersed among the images are a brief essay by Luc Sante and selected lyrics from a few of the songs on the CD. The last few pages contain short, informative essays about each of the songs and sermons on the CD.

The CD itself is nicely tucked away inside the back cover. The selections themselves are on par with those found on Goodbye Babylon which is to say very, very good. Songs range from old chestnuts (Wade in the Water, At the River) to pieces that are simply one of a kind. Washington Phillips, for example, sings Denomination Blues - an enumeration of the various baptismal traditions of Protestant churches - like a man who knows HE is going to heaven. Sound quality is excellent for material of this vintage.

My only quibble with this release is the size of the photographic reproductions.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
GRAMMY NOMINATED BEST HISTORICAL RESEASE of 2009

"Instantly become(s) the definitive volume on the subject"-- Joey Lin Anonymous Works May 2009

"One is reminded of the commonality of the human experience...I can put it on any time and immediately feel a sense of renewal and relief"-- Other Music Newsletter May 2009

"Raw, unvarnished emotion...leaps out. Whatever your beliefs, you'd have to be made of ice yourself not to be moved by the spirit coursing through the images and music of Take Me to the Water."-- El Toro Weird at My School June 2009

"Just Wonderful...like you've stumbled upon a forgotten box of family photos hidden in a mildewed corner of the basement"-- Anne Kristoff The Southernist June 2009

"Gorgeous...collected over the years by Jim Linderman, a character who seems the perfect subject for a Harvey Pekar comic. Faith isn't a requisite for finding the power in either the visual or aural representations of this tradition. The transportive properties are immediate and lasting. ...Potent tokens of time and place."-- Derek Taylor Dusted Magazine June 2009
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I found a short article on this book and CD on baptism, and immediately went out to buy it for my mother. She is deeply interested in the role of baptism in early christianity. She loved it!!
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