God Don`t Like It – Document Sampler Vol 1
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Shortcuts 1: God Don’t Like It is a 20-track introduction to the Document label, which specializes in reissuing blues, jazz, folk, country, and gospel recordings dating from the late 19th century through the middle of the 20th. Document’s catalog is swarming with unfamiliar names and fascinating recordings that many people have never heard or even imagined. During the ’90s, Document’s policy was to reissue 78 rpm recordings on CD regardless of sound quality, even if the surface noise made it difficult to hear the music or if the needle skipped on the old platter. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the company has changed hands and the overall quality of Document CDs released since then tends towards excellence. This compilation is guaranteed to move, amuse, entertain, and educate anyone who spends some time absorbing its contents and savoring the blend of genres and styles. Jazz is somewhat underrepresented on this particular volume, although guitarist Teddy Bunn serves up a fine interpretation of Jelly Roll Morton’s “King Porter Stomp,” and pianist Richard M. Jones is heard with cornetist Willie Hightower’s Nighthawks . The Blues is represented here by Son House, Little Brother Montgomery, Roosevelt Sykes, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Louisiana-born guitarist Jesse “Babyface” Thomas, singing pianist George Davis, straight-edge-razor-brandishing Perline Ellison, and nine-string guitarist Big Joe Williams. The more rural and/or string instrument-oriented acts are wonderfully diverse. The Three Stripped Gears (mandolin man R.W. Durden and guitarists Cliff Vaughn and Marion Brown) are heard performing the “Black Bottom Strut.” The Memphis Jug Band grinds out one of their fiddle- and guitar-driven singalong numbers, Ralph Willis and Brownie McGhee discuss the “Sportin’ Life,” and Hattie Ellis and Cowboy Jack Ramsey take you out to the middle of the desert and leave you there. Two classic country duos, Kirk & Sam McGee and G.B. Grayson and Henry Whitter, set a clear precedent for what the Holy Modal Rounders were to sound like in the early ’60s. Religion is represented here by the Hall Johnson Choir, the Junior Four Quartet, Elder A. Johnson, who provided the collection’s title track, and Elder Charles Beck, who delivers a “Rock and Roll Sermon.” Relative to the overall size and depth of the Document catalog, this very enjoyable core sample constitutes a tiny sliver that only begins to hint at the cultural riches therein. Great cover photo too.