An especially primitive cover design--I love it. Not much of a 3D feel to it, which makes it kind of interesting--that, and the weirdly proportioned people up front. Today's group is the Home Gate Quartet, and I'll let the liner notes introduce them: "Playing rhythm guitar and singing the lead is John Vaughn, singing alto his wife, Joyce, both from Somerset, Ky. Singing baritone is Carl Fiffe from West Liberty, Ky. Singing the bass is Alvin Collins from Harlan, Ky." In short, you'll be hearing a falsetto-sounding male voice on the melody, and a female alto supporting same (unless the order is flipped). Now you know.
This is pure country gospel, which is to say it's pretty much bluegrass gospel, only generally slower and minus a banjo or mandolin. By slower, I mean the rhythm is less pronounced. The two styles are really very close, and I would have no issue with calling this bluegrass. Maybe we can settle on country/bluegrass gospel. Carl Story and the Chuck Wagon Gang rolled into one act.
This gem of an LP is a prime example of the type of "local," small-label gospel I live to find (especially when it's this well performed), and it has introduced me to standards I hadn't heard of. The Rite matrix #'s (29497/98) place this at approximately 1972. And so we have songs that were 25 to 35 years old when this was cut--"modern" gospel numbers, as I regard them, since my song knowledge is focused on earlier stuff. Still catching up with the second half of the last century.
Some challenges with the image editing and rip, since 1) the imperfectly-printed Rose Records labels showed up on my scanner as white with a hundred (or so) black specks, plus 2) the tracks are listed out of order on both the jacket and label. I searched for credits where none were given, and I found a total of one: Geneva Stroud and Hale Reeves for Love Will Roll the Clouds Away (1946). And John Baxter, Jr. is allegedly the lyricist on I'm Living in Canaan Now (1938) or else he was doing the publisher-copping-song-credit bit. Not sure which. Oh, and I was expecting the famous 19th century Ring the Bells of Heaven (Cushing-Root), but this is definitely a different Ring the Bells... Fine, toe-tapping number, though. Actually, I'm not sure the older hymn would translate well to country/bluegrass gospel.
Apparently, stereo Rose Records LPs were in compatible stereo: "Rose stereo records can be safely played on today's monaural phonographs." Unless "today's monaural phonographs" presumes a stereo cartridge and stylus, which seems unlikely.
Loved this one. An interesting contrast to the slick, extroverted Southern quartet fare I've been posting lately.
DOWNLOAD: The Home Gate Quartet: Love Will Roll the Clouds Away (Rose Records 504; c. 1972)
Love Will Roll the Clouds Away (Stroud-Reeves)
When I Get Home (Reed)
I'm Livin' in Canaan Now (Baxter-Center)
Will Someone Be Waiting (Presley)
Springtime Blooms in Gloryland (Summers)
Praise God I'm on My Way
Last Altar Call
Ring the Bells of Heaven
Working the Road
Mansion in Glory (Shiver)
Rocking on the Waves (A.B. Sebren)
Till I Prayed Thru
Love Will Roll the Clouds Away--The Home Gate Quartet (Rose Records 504; c. 1972)