Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
This may not be the easiest listen, but this is very important for its historical significance. These tracks were recorded in the mid to late 20’s by the Reverend Edward W. Clayborn. This is a mix of gospel, delta blues, and the prototype for country music. Just a man and his guitar belting out the blues. Once you get over the crackles and pops, this is a very enjoyable listen. Clayton belts out the lyrics in a similar style to Blind Willie Johnson. The songs are primitive but contain a certain raw beauty that transcends time.
Track 2 is titled “Then You’ll Need That True Religion” which may sound familiar to some of you. The words are identical to the song “True Religion” by Hot Tuna off their Burgers LP. Yourma Kaukonen is credited with writing this song, even though this version existed close to 40 years before his. I prefer this version. It is raw and full of energy, completely stripped down. Like I said, just a man and his guitar. If you want to own a part of American musical history, go to the Bandcamp page and download the tracks. There was a cassette but it is sold out.