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Diamond Jubilation: 75th Anniversary

4.9 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 7, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

When gospel quartets age--and hey, this is the Dixie Hummingbirds’ 75th anniversary here--they’re required to make crossover records that match them up with a wide array of pop musicians. Since the Dixie Hummingbirds already did that for their 70th anniversary on Music in the Air, this time they match themselves with a sure-footed backing band of rock and soul all-stars including Dr. John, Larry Campbell, Garth Hudson and Levon Helm. "God’s Radar" clues the listener in that something different is going on here: it starts off like a bluegrass tune, then the guitars kick in and they’re pure honky-tonk, while the bridge is a Cajun riff. The weirdest thing about the song is how well it works. The same can be said for the entire album, which mixes contemporary songs with traditional classics. "Too Many Troubles" matches swampy blues-rock to a mournful song written by Buddy and Julie Miller, with a nice, golden-age-style lead vocal by William Bright. The sole survivor of the original group is lead baritone Ira Tucker, who joined the ‘Birds in 1938 at the age of 13, and he still delivers rich bursts of inspired shout-singing that’s absolutely goose bump-inducing. Gospel is more than the root of soul music, it’s a vital, wholly American and very alive music; this expertly-produced and laidback album presents sweet proof. --Mike McGonigal

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. God's Radar
  2. He Watches Out For You And Me
  3. Too Many Troubles
  4. Someday
  5. When I Found Jesus Christ
  6. When I Go Away
  7. I've Been Born Again
  8. City Of Gold
  9. Nobody's Fault
  10. I Bid You Godnight
  11. Rasslin' Jacob


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 7, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rounder / Umgd
  • ASIN: B0000CERLK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,246 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Mercik on November 18, 2003
Format: Audio CD
..
Occasionally and too-infrequently I stumble across some music so good that it reminds me of why I got into music in the first place, way-back in the fuzzy past. Well this Dixie Hummingbirds record does just that. It's completely alive in spirit and music.
I picked it up sight unseen because I always liked the classic Hummingbirds stuff, and because the CD's backup band is really intriguing. What a pleasant surprise. This record is flat-out exciting and even dance-able. Hats off to Larry Campbell for the production, and hats off too, of course, to Ira Tucker, Sr. and the rest of the Hummingbirds for their incomparable virtuosity, energy, and commitment to excellence.
Song Number 6, "When I Go Away" is my favorite, an example of just how rhythmically inventive and totally exciting classic gospel vocal arrangement can be. Everything's great though. Mr. Tucker, Sr. joined the Hummingbirds so long ago... His rich baritone voice is as strong as ever. This really IS roots music, performed by the actual originators. Don't think twice about this one... it is all meat and no gristle. Well worth the investment.
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Format: Audio CD
A great disc from beginning to end, "Diamond Jubilation" is an inspiration. Intense energy, great harmony. And with assistance from Bob Dylan's bandmates past and present (Garth Hudson on organ, accordion and piano on four tracks; Levon Helm on drums on eight tracks; Tony Garnier on bass on eight tracks; George Recile on percussion on six tracks and Larry Campbell on guitars, mandolin and violin on all eleven tracks) as well as Dr. John (piano on two tracks), you can't pass this up.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the first and only album by the Dixie Hummingbirds I've listened to, and all I can say, as someone who's not really very experienced with gospel, is Oh, My, God. This is INCREDIBLE. It works on so many levels that at times you might not even realize you're tapping your foot like mad to a GOSPEL song. If I ever see that this band is scheduled to perform within 500 miles of me, I'm jumping in a car and heading out!
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If the voice of Ira Tucker doesn't give you chills on "Too Many Troubles" and "When I Go Away", you may beyond hope. The whole album exudes warmth, and truth, and sincerity. Hats off to Larry Campbell's production, which surrounds the Hummingbirds with some top shelf talent. Here you have Campbell (guitarist with Bob Dylan), and the rest of the core of Dylan's mighty touring band, plus Garth Hudson, Levon Helm, and Dr. John. I particularly liked the Delta blues flavor of "Too Many Troubles" and "Nobody's Fault."
Slip it into the CD player; crank it up; feel better about life. It's that simple.
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Format: Audio CD
I heard "Too Many Troubles" on the radio and had to hear more! Their harmony is rich; but their rhythm is unhurried and impeccable. The lyrics are simple and believable - not over the top w/ religion. The pieces are diverse and each is enjoyable in its own right. Nothing compares to black gospel. Thank goodness for the Dixie Hummingbirds!
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IRA TUCKER IS HANDS DOWN THE MOST VERSATILE FRONT MAN OF MODERN AMERICAN MUSIC. THE HUMMINGBIRDS HAVE DONE IT AGAIN. THE MUSICIANS FEATURED HERE ARE MASTERS OF THEIR CRAFT! DON'T WAIT...GET IT NOW!
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