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Sister Gertrude Morgan – Gospel

Posted in music by Britt Melewski on April 18, 2009

I recently (whatever) ran into a friend on the internette. He is currently living in London—Hello to you Mark Ess. . . can you find him? He mentioned to me that he has gotten caught up in a small fissure of esoteric gospel music. I was instantly turned off because I thought of Crefflo $’s prognosticating and people of the like who sort of rent godliness; who consign The various Gospels to hoodwink the vulnerable or sell the latest sin. But Mark S. is an amazingly gifted judge of the special— he knows his everything, but he is especially knowledgeable in a great array of music and literature milieus. Mark, I thank you for the recommendation.

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Our subject is Sister Gertrude Morgan. She was an artist, the operator of an orphanage, a poet, a missionary, and, as highlighted in the post, she was a preacher. She patrolled the streets of New Orleans tirelessly, spreading The Word of the Lord. Using only her hearty voice, her passion, and—at times— a tambourine, she channeled through herself an unyielding faith “way in the middle of the air.”

Pieces of her art, along with a more specific/better written bio can be viewed here . The paintings remind me, somewhat, of Daniel Johnston’s , maybe? : simplistic, but psychedelic/inspirations from the wily subconscious/a similar style.

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When it comes to the Bride of Christ’s recording collection, it is slim pickin’s. I’m going to post a few tracks from a field-recording session from the 1970 Let’s Make a Record. This is a collection that follows Gertrude in her natural state: The Sister; an unaccompanied acoustic extension of her God.

If you want a more contemporary Sister Gertrude experience, King Britt put out a remix album. It’s not just clicks beats and bass from the accomplished hip hop dealer. The King attempts to keep the authenticity of Gertrude’s simplicity and folk ghost. In the recordings, along with the keys and percussions, you will find harmonica, acoustic guitar and other folk wears. It’s a great mix of old and new. “I am the living bread,” has a wonderful feel.

You can purchase both records on amazon.com, so do it brother/sister! Don’t be square.

Few of the tracks from Let’s Make a Record are available on last.fm

Here is my little play-list sample. The following songs are included:

Sister Performing Solo:

Let Us Make A Record

Way In The Middle Of The Air

Power

I Was Heard From The Wound In His Side

King Britt Remix:

I Am The Living Bread

Live Like Jesus

New World In My View

Precious Lord Lead Me On

Let Us Make A Record

These Sister Gertrude Morgan ditties hit me the deepest, for the exception of King Britt’s take on Let Us Make A Record. I only added that track so listeners can hear the direct contrast between the two recording sets. Enjoy– three people who view this!

If you are getting frustrated and can not find the play list.  Please click the blue Playlist button here.