Mississippi Fred McDowell – I’m So Glad I Got Good Religion (from Amazing Grace 1966)
Hearing Amazing Grace for the first time about 4 years ago was like one of those corny record collector stories about music that changed your life. Like “the first time I heard White Light White Heat I knew I wanted to start a band”, or “I got my first kiss to DJ Funk”, or “I lost my virginity to Schlachthofbronx”. Well it wasn’t really, I just happened to put it on as the sun was rising after being up all night from partying or something. Fred McDowell is often lumped in with the rest of the Delta Blues musicians, although he is actually from the northern Mississippi region, and if you ask me better than them all (save Blind Willie Johnson, Son House maybe). These recordings were made with his wife and the Como church choir and are some of the best these ears have ever heard. Not really into his later electric stuff, but I’m not into much of that anyways. And there aren’t many things that bother me as much as college kids ranting about Robert Johnson or Leadbelly. Maybe it’s just as bad listening to a collage graduate ranting about Ghetto House? I can’t even listen to other versions of a lot of these songs, namely this track. They just aren’t as convincing.