BLACK DIAMOND TRAIN TO HELL - PT. 1 & 2 * REV. A. W. NIX * VOCALION 1093 * USA
Black Diamond Train To Hell (in two parts) is a rare glimpse at not only the style and form of a black Gospel sermon but a taste of the morals and ethics of a people in the first quarter of the 20th century. Musically the preaching style of the Rev. Nix (and the response from his congregation) is no different from many Gospel preachers of today, the form is very much a 'toast' or rap, found in both Jamaican and American music now, and the 'sins' and 'sinners' listed by the reverend in his sermon have also changed little over the years. The 'train', on it's way to hell, stops at many stations each one named after a particular 'sin', or vice and those who commit the said 'sins' or vices are compelled to board the train and thence to hell . . . Fantastic, as the train moves on apace, fuelled by brimstone, so does the Reverend and his congregation and his voice becomes more impassioned and urgent; it's great stuff. Not surprisingly it was his most popular recording - difficult to see how he could top it - it was even released in the UK on Decca F.9720, and although he had other records out on Vocalion he was dropped by them a few years latter.
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