Thursday, January 17, 2008

Soul Stirrers

AMG review: If you want to hear what I humbly submit as one of the most impassioned gospel performances ever recorded, just throw this disc in the player, and brace yourself. Rebert Harris was undoubtedly one of the great voices and stylists of the genre, and his performances on this disc go a long way to justifying the claim that he was the greatest of them all. Every track on here is a gem of beauty, tone and commitment. But the kickoff track on this compilation, an alternate take of their two-part single, "By and By," is absolutely devastating in its use of shading, dynamics, and unrelenting fervor in getting its message across. The Soul Stirrers lock the groove down mightily, chiming up on those low seventh chords like twelve feet of concrete. Harris, as the old saying goes, sings his rear end off on this one, and, as transcendent moments go, this one is in a class all by itself. If the issued versions included here are slightly less subdued and don't quite hit as high a quotient on the fervor meter, so what? — we should be grateful enough that this performance has survived. If impassioned gospel is your thing, boy, are you gonna love this.

Soul Stirrers - Shine On Me
128kbps, 68mb on sharebee
1. By And By
2. I'm Still Living On Mother's Prayer
3. Fell Like My Time Ain't Long
4. Today
5. I Have A Right To The Tree Of Life
6. In That Awful Hour
7. Jesus Hits Like The Atom Bomb
8. Shine On Me
9. Faith And Grace
10. Everybody Ought To Love Their Soul
11. Blessed Be The Name Of The Lord
12. I'm Gonna Move In The Room With The Lord
13. My Loved Ones Are Waiting For Me
14. How Long
15. Who'll Be The One (There's A Vacant Room In Glory)
16. The Lord Is My Shepherd
17. Christ Is All (The World To Me)
18. By And By Part I
19. By And By Part II
20. By And By Part II (Version 2)
21. I'm Still Living On Mother's Prayer (Version 2)
22. Feel Like My Time Ain't Long (Version 2)
23. I Have A Right To The Tree Of Life (Version 2)
24. In That Awful Hour (Version 2)
25. Faith And Grace (Version 2)
26. My Loved Ones Are Waiting For Me (Version 2)

Amazon: While Sam Cooke certainly made beautiful music in the pop realm, his greatest sides were those made with the Soul Stirrers. When Cooke joined the group in 1950 at the age of 19, he'd already spent 4 years singing with the Highway Q.C.'s. The Soul Stirrers lead singer, R.H. Harris, who quit just before Cooke's arrival, had spent almost 25 years molding the group into gospel stardom through an innovative use of two lead singers matched with utmost energy and sophistication. Cooke initially sang in a style similar to Harris's, but soon took off into his own unearthly realm, writing spine-tingling songs like "Nearer to Thee," "Mean Old World," and the brilliant "Touch the Hem of His Garment," then singing them in his soaring, inimitable style with perfect control of phrasing and enunciation. This is an awesome collection, a record to listen to many, many times--to grow old with. Save it for those days when you need absolute proof that true grace does exist.

Sam Cooke - Sam Cooke with the Soul Stirrers
128kbps, 62mb on sharebee
1. Peace in the Valley
2. It Won't be Very Long
3. How Far am I From Cannan?
4. Just Another Day
5. Come and go to That Land
6. Any Day Now
7. He'll Make a Way
8. Nearer to Thee
9. Be With Me Jesus
10. One More River
11. I'm so Glad (Trouble Don't Last Always)
12. Wonderful
13. Farther Along
14. Touch the Hem of His Garment
15. Jesus, Wash Away My Troubles
16. Must Jesus Bear This Cross Alone?
17. That's Heaven to Me
18. Were You There?
19. Mean Old World
20. Lord Remember Me
21. Lovable
22. Forever
23. I'll Come Running Back to You
24. That's All I Need to Know
25. I Don't Want to Cry


  1. "It was the little complexities that made the Soul Stirrers great, and at their best they were as smooth as any group that ever existed."

    Erik Greene
    Author, "Our Uncle Sam: The Sam Cooke Story From His Family's Perspective"

  2. Thanks for the Soul Stirrers with RH Harris. I've been looking for this one.

  3. Great album, great post!!Sam Cooke singing gospel is "Wonderful..."

  4. many many many thanks!

  5. Wow, I've been searching for 2nd album for a long time...Many many thanks! Wonderful blog, loads of good music

  6. Thanks for sharing these links and the other stuff on your blog.