Don Nix – In God We Trust (1971)

FrontCover1A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Nix’s musical career began back at the beginning of Stax Records. He was a member of the young record label’s house band The Mar-Keys, where he played sax. The band had a hit in 1961 with the instrumental “Last Night”, and they went on to tour extensively as well as providing studio backing for a host of Stax artists. They later broke up, members going on to form off-shoot groups The Memphis Horns and Booker T & The MGs. Nix himself went on to befriend Leon Russell, and started work behind the scenes as a producer and songwriter. One of his most notable compositions was “Goin’ Down”, first recorded by Freddie King in 1971, which has since become a blues standard. He also worked with George Harrison on the Concerts For Bangladesh, and produced an album for Albert King (1971’s Lovejoy, on Stax).
He released his first solo album the same year, on Leon Russell’s Shelter Records label. In God We Trust was a fantastic album, a rootsy blend of rock, R&B and gospel. It was recorded at Muscle Shoals, with backing provided by their house band of Barry Beckett (keyboards), Eddie Hinton (guitar), David Hood (bass) and Roger Hawkins (drums). Mostly made up of original songs (many with strong Christian themes to the lyrics), it also featured versions of the traditional spirituals “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” and “I’ll Fly Away”. Another song (“He Never Lived A Day Without Jesus”) was co-written with Bobby Whitlock, who also featured it on his own solo debut a year later.
Somewhere around this time Nix apparently befriended Furry Lewis, the old one-legged bluesman who originally recorded in the 1920s and had recently returned to popularity through the folk revival. Lewis appears in a bizarre guest spot, one short track consisting of just him talking followed by a quick bit of slide guitar. He would later go on tour with Nix. (by stuckinthepast08.blogspot)

What a great debut Album … full of souful gospel songs ! Don Nix was much more as his classic “Goin Down” !

Don Nix was one of the most underrated musiscian of all time !


Barry Beckett (keyboards)
Roger Hawkins (drums)
Eddie Hinton (guitar)
David Hood (bass)
Furry Lewis (slide guitar)
Don Nix (vocals)
Larry Raspberry (guitar)
J,A, Spell (fiddle)


01  In God We Trust (Nix) 4.25
02. Golden Mansions (Nix) 4.04
03. I’ll Fly Away (Traditional) 3.26
04. He Never Lived A Day Without Jesus (Whitlock/Nix) 4.02
05. Nero My God To Thee (Traditional) 1.04
06. Amos Burke  (Nix) 2.57
07. Long Way To Nowhere (Nix/Raspberry) 3.32
08. Iuka  (Nix) 5,15
09. Will The Circle Be Unbroken (Traditional) 3.54
10. I’ve Tried (Truckers Lament) (Nix) 1.28




Hack Bartholomew – Holy Ghost Transfusion (1999)

FrontCover1New Orleans native Hack Bartholomew -who was once stationed at McChord Air Force Base – has been performing outside Cafe Du Monde for 40 years.

“I could play anything I heard from the time I was 6 years old, ” says Bartholomew. “When my dad gave me a trumpet I just put it to my mouth and played “When the Saints”. Just like that. Never held a trumpet. Never had a lesson Anything I heard I could just play.

Mayfield, who studied under Bartholomew, offers this note of caution:

“I would say when you see a musician playing on the street one mistake would be to classify anybody in New Orleans as one thing. He’s not just a street musician. Hack Bartholomew is a guy who plays in church on Sundays so he’s playing in front of 2000 people -4000 people –every Sunday at his church.He teaches younger musicians. I mean Hack Bartholomew is your quintessential New Orleans guy.(by king5)

Hack has played with such talents as George Benson, The Nevilles and Keith Richards. Hack can be found at the Café Du Monde beignet house, one of New Orleans’ major tourist spots. He plays the trumpet, sings and ministers the word of God to a captivated audience.


And this is his first CD and here are two reviews from amzon customers:

This was the first CD we bought on our first trip to N.O. In 2006. Hack was playing outside of Cafe du Monde. Loved his sound and immediately bought this CD. We got hooked on Hack and The Big Easy. Every year after that, this is the CD we plugged in as we crossed over the Lake and entered New Orleans. This year I got a wireless Bose speaker for Christmas, and started transferring all of my CD’s to my iPad. Much to my dismay, when I opened the case for Holy Ghost Transfusion, the CD was missing!! All we could figure was that we left it in the CD player of the rental van. (by Aunt Sharon)

Hack Bartholomew’s CD is terrific. I bought it from him while he was playing outside Cafe du Monde and didn’t really know what to expect. Turns out to be a marvelous surprise. From the first track to the last, you can hear the joy and wonder in Hack’s life brought to music. Even if you’re not particularly religious (I’m not!), this is one to savor. Give it a try!  (by MeowLady)

Hack Bartholomew (trumpet, vocals, piano)
Bryon Gitkin (guitar, bass, drums)

01. Feel Like Goin’ On 4.47
02. Praise The Lord 4.59
03. Amazing Grace (a capella) 3.07
04. Amazing Grace 2000 5.21
05. Get The Best Of Me 6.14
06. Holy Ghost Transfusion 4.33
07. Call On The name Of Jesus 4.12
08. Witness 5.04
09. Thinking And Thanking 7.45
10. Come Unto Jesus 9.53

All songs written by Hack Bartholomew except “Amacing Grace” (Traditional)


CafeDuMondeNewOrleansCafe du Monde, New Orleans

Sister Rosetta Tharpe – Gospel Train (1956)

FrontCover1“Gospel Train” consists of sessions cut relatively late in Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s career. Though Tharpe’s tenure at Mercury coincided with a controversy among her fan base (many considered Tharpe’s forays into blues and pop material a betrayal of her gospel roots), recordings like 1956’s “Gospel Train” confirm where the singer/guitarist’s true allegiances lay. Whether recounting biblical stories (“Two Little Fishes, Five Loaves of Bread”) or testifying to the power of the spirit (“Up Above My Head There’s Music in the Air”), Tharpe’s combination of traditional gospel and blues (with, by this point, dashes of jazz and R&B influences) is impossible to resist. Though Tharpe is usually remembered as a solo performer (her early recordings feature only her voice and guitar), she is equally compelling when backed by a full band. The sound on “Gospel Train” is full and rollicking: guitar, piano, organ, bass, and drums help punctuate surging, downtempo blues (“Beams of Heaven”) and uptempo rave-ups (“Fly Away”) alike. Gorgeous, tight-knit backing vocals from the Harmonizing Four perfectly complement Tharpe’s dazzling, infectiously enthusiastic singing. Overall, this set is among her best late-period offerings.


Harry “Doc” Bagby (organ)
George Duvivier (bass)
Panama Francis (drums)
Ernie Hayes (piano)
Ernest Richardson (guitar)
Sister Rosetta Tharpe (vocals, guitar)
Lloyd Trotman (bass)
The Harmonizing Four (background vocals)
01. Jericho (Traditional) 2.06
02. When They Ring The Golden Bell (Tharpe) 2.32
03. Two Little Fishes, Five Loaves Of Bread (Hanighen) 2.36
04. Beams Of Heaven (Tharpe) 3.29
05. Cain’t No Grave Hold My Body Down (Tharpe) 2.44
06. All Alone (Tharpe) 2.40
07. Up Above My Head There’s Music In The Air (Tharpe) 2.32
08. I Shall Know Him (Tharpe) 2.31
09. Fly Away (Tharpe) 2.28
10. How About You (Tharpe) 3.39
11. Precious Memories (Tharpe) 2.42
12. 99 1/2 Won’t Do (Traditional) 1.57