Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Live in 1960
Gospel | Rock | Soul
the immortal sister rosetta tharpe has never sounded better than on the remastered ‘live in 1960’
By Nathan Leigh
January 19, 2018
By 1960, the rock revolution Sister Rosetta Tharpe helped kick off was already in full swing, but the great gospel singer wasn’t done changing the world. She’d recorded her first sides in 1938, and by 1942 was praised in Billboard, saying “It’s Sister Rosetta Tharpe for the rock-and-roll spiritual singing.” The first rock and roll song, “Rocket 88,” would be recorded 9 years later by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats, with a young Ike Turner on piano. Sister Rosetta Tharpe was rock before rock was rock.
Live in 1960 first came out in 1991, mastered from tapes of Tharpe’s 1960 European tour. Backed only by her inimitable Gibson SG and stomping foot, Sister Rosetta Tharpe sings through a collection of some of her best-loved songs and her unique takes on classics like “Down By The Riverside” and “Peace In The Valley.” The sparse recording highlights her revolutionary guitar technique, particularly on the raucous “The Gospel Train.”
The vinyl remaster from Org Music takes this rare document of the artist at her best and gives it a little shine, without losing the raw emotional performance that made Live in 1960 such an amazing record. The stomps, once a literal footnote sometimes vanishing into the noise floor, are made more prominent, giving Tharpe’s incredible solos even more weight. They wisely left in the little bits of tape hiss and audience responses that give it that immediacy and honesty, just adding a little clarity and definition to what was already a perfect album. If you’ve never heard Live in 1960, there’s never been a better time to experience this essential album.
Live in 1960 is out now, on black and multi-colored vinyl in select stores.
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