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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Daptone Records presents

Como Now - The Voices of Panola Co., Mississippi (Daptone 2008)

Deep in the heart of Panola County, Mississippi lies Como, a small rural town where children and grown folks alike have been living and breathing gospel for as long as they can remember. In the summer of 2006, Daptone Records placed a small ad in local papers and on the radio inviting singers to come down to Mt. Mariah Church to record their songs. The result is COMO NOW, a stirring collection of traditional and original a cappella gospel from the voices of Panola County’s own families.

It may seem like a leap for Daptone Records to be releasing an album of a cappella gospel music. Daptone has earned a reputation for creating and proliferating the purest of today’s soul and funk music. Why gospel? And why without any instrumentation? If you put aside the analytical categories of the music critic for a moment, and just listen to the record, the answer becomes simple and clear: this is soulful music.

“When Michael Reilly came to me with his first recordings of the Como Mamas, I remember hearing it and being blown away. Though I’ve been into soul music for a very long time, it has only been in the past few years that I really got deeper into gospel music…and the line from soul to gospel eventually became much clearer to me. Less of an academic lineage than a visceral feeling that I started to get from listening to old records by the Soul Stirrers and the Highway Q.C.’s. Dorothy Love Coates, the Mighty Pilgrim Travelers, The Blind Boys, The Violinaires. They were the same sounds, the same feeling, as I got listening to James Brown, Tina Turner, Lee Fields when they were really wailing. Otis Redding when he was really pleading. Al Green when he was really moaning. Sounds that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. The recordings Michael played me gave me the same feeling.”


1.) When the Gates Swing Open
2.) It's Alright
3.) I Can See So Much
4.) Jesus Builds a Fence Around Me
5.) Trouble in My Way
6.) If It Had Not Been for Jesus
7.) If It Wasn't for the Lord
8.) New Burying Ground
9.) God's Unchanging Hand
10.) I Can't Afford to Let My Saviour Down
11.) Talk with Jesus
12.) Lil' Old Church House
13.) Send Me I'll Go
14.) Help Me to Carry On
15.) Move Upstairs
16.) Somebody Here Needs You Lord