Tune of the Week – “Trouble In My Way”
For our last Tune of the Week for 2008, lets go to Como, Mississipi Back in 2006, Michael Reilly from Dapotone Records (Gabriel Roth’s label which is home to Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings and many others) had an …
For our last Tune of the Week for 2008, lets go to Como, Mississipi
Back in 2006, Michael Reilly from Dapotone Records (Gabriel Roth’s label which is home to Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings and many others) had an idea. He’d go to Como in the heart of Panola County in deepest Mississipi, issue an invitation to local singers to come to the Mt Moriah Church and record them as they sang. No pianos, no drums, no musical accompaniment of any stripe – just those voices singing and hollering and testifying for the Lord. These people, Reilly knew, had been singing and living gospel for generations so he was bound to get some good stuff from the trip.
It was now as if Reilly was the first one to veneture to Panola. The great Alan Lomax had done the same trip in the 1940s and 1950s and recorded people like Otha Turner and Fred McDowell on his visits. But it really doesn’t matter how many times you go to the well if you come back with material like you’ll hear on “Como Now: The Voices of Panola County, Mississippi”.
Reilly’s recordings during that single sultry Sunday afternoon, as singers of every age rolled up to participate, has become the meat for an extraordinary album. “Como Now” is music as pure as it comes. It’s unadorned and unvarnished, but full of soul, verve, atmosphere and spirit. While a lot of gospel music tends to either be from the schmaltzy wing of the house or kept under lock and key in the academic basement, “Como Now” is about those moments when the hairs on the back of your neck begin to tingle from what you’re hearing. These are truly exceptional sounds.
The Como Mamas are the ones singing “Trouble In My Way”. They’re two sisters (Angela Taylor and Della Daniels) and a cousin (Ester Mae Wilbour) who have been singing their entire lives. When they sing, it’s all about heart and soul. And you can never go wrong with that.