A spirit/geographic union of Montgomery, AL and Brooklyn, NY: CaseQuarter is a recording label devoted to sacred and spiritual music of the American South. Launched in hot August 2003 with the widely acclaimed Reverend Charlie Jackson archival collection God's Got It; the mission continued with the debut solo recordings of brother Isaiah Owens, and the recording debut of The Spiritualaires of Hurtsboro, AL. The dawn of 2009 delivers the long-promised Elder Utah Smith project!

Full Mission Statement -&- ...

 

 

CASE104 - ELDER UTAH SMITH     I GOT TWO WINGS: Incidents and Anecdotes of The Two-Winged Preacher and Electric Guitar Evangelist   (author: LYNN ABBOTT)    Read Reviews

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CD which accompanies the BOOK:

1. Two Wings / Rev. Utah  Smith, 1953 (RealAudio)
2. Glory To Jesus, I’m Free / Rev. Utah Smith and Congregation, 1947
3. Two Wings and Every Man’s Got To Lay Down And Die / Rev. Utah Smith and  Congregation, 1947 (RealAudio Excerpt)
4. Take A Trip / Rev. Utah Smith, 1953 (RealAudio)
5. I Have Good News To Bring / Sister Rosetta Tharpe, 1958
6. I Want Two Wings / Rev. Utah Smith, 1944
7. God Rode In On A Windstorm / Sister Sarah James and the Sanctified Six, c.1961 (RealAudio Excerpt)
8. Crucifixion / Arizona Dranes, 1926
9. With His Stripes We Are Healed / Rev. F.W. McGee, 1927
10. Memphis Flu / Elder Curry, 1930
11. God’s Mighty Hand / Rev. Utah Smith, 1944
12. There’s A Two Wing Temple in the Sky / Johnny Wiggs and His New Orleans Music, 1949
13. Two Wings Flying Home, Parts 1 and 2 / Brother Bill Louis (Utah Smith), date unknown possibly early 1950s. (RealAudio)
14. A New World In My View /  Elder Utah Smith and Congregation, date unknown possibly mid 1950s. (RealAudio Excerpt)
15. New World / Rev. Robert Ballinger, 1964 (RealAudio Excerpt)
16. Two Wings / Elder Utah Smith and Congregation, date unknown possibly mid 1950s.
17. Prayer Changes Things / Sister Sarah James and the Sanctified Six, 1961
18. I Got Two Wings / Rev. Utah Smith and Congregation, 1947

P+C 2009 CaseQuarter

HEAR HERE NOW! ... Despite waxing three of the hottest electric guitar records of the pre Rock and Roll years, almost nothing has been known about the life of the sanctified electric guitar preacher Elder Utah Smith. Until now. African-American music scholar Lynn Abbott's years of research has produced a remarkable biographical study finally shining a light onto the preaching, healing and guitar playing ministry of this path breaking performer, one whose revivals and appearances were as well known and anticipated in his time as any other sacred or secular musician or performer.  I Got Two Wings firmly places Utah Smith within the Church of God of Christ tradition along with such COGIC contemporaries as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Elder Curry and the Rev F W McGee. Filled with fascinating anecdotes and first hand remembrances and testimonies, I Got Two Wings also features many rare and unpublished photographs and an 18-track CD produced by CaseQuarter’s Kevin Nutt. The CD is the definitive collection of Elder Utah's recorded works and includes 5 previously unknown Utah Smith songs along with relevant performances by Tharpe, Curry, McGee and two rocking, sanctified performances by Utah Smith's daughter, Sister Sarah James and the Sanctified Six.
 
Author Lynn Abbott is an inveterate student of American vernacular music. He lives and works in New Orleans. He is the co-author with Doug Seroff of Out of Sight: The Rise of American Popular Music, 1889-1895 and Ragged But Right: Black Traveling Shows, Coon Songs, And the Dark Pathway to Blues and Jazz, both from the University Press of Mississippi.

• The long-awaited new production from the widely respected CaseQuarter label, whose previous three releases have drawn great praise from the New York Times, NPR, Rolling Stone and across many illuminated corners of the blogosphere.
• African-American scholar Lynn Abbott has deeply researched and written the definitive account of the sanctified electric guitar preacher and star of his time Elder Utah Smith. The 128-page perfect bound book is filled with fascinating anecdotes and first hand remembrances and features many rare and unpublished photographs.
• The accompanying 18-track CD, produced by CaseQuarter’s Kevin Nutt, is the definitive collection of Elder Utah Smith’s recorded works (with 5 previously unreleased Utah tracks), and also features a stunning array of very rare contemporaneous tracks by COGIC friends and associates.


ADVANCE RESPECT:
“This project is a gift to gospel music scholars, enthusiasts, and anyone interested in the roots of today's African American sacred music. It's the best of both worlds: Lynn Abbott has contributed a fascinating examination of the life and music of Elder Utah Smith, and CaseQuarter has compiled the original soundtrack, with rarities to please even the most rabid collector. Praise be to CaseQuarter for giving wings - "two wings" - to the story of an underappreciated but important figure in gospel music history.”
– Bob Marovich, Host, "Gospel Memories" - WLUW 88.7 Chicago

“I vividly remember the first time I heard Reverend Utah Smith in 1965 on a 78 rpm record on the Two Wing Temple label.  God, what a sound!  Screaming vocals by Rev. Smith, heated responses by a chorus of young women, and manic, distorted electric guitar with the volume knob turned all the way up. Since that time I have longed to know more about this mysterious evangelist and pioneer of the electric guitar but have learned very little.  Now, after more than forty years of waiting, Smith's story is finally here, and we all can read this wonderful and extensive biography by Lynn Abbott, gleaned from press accounts and interviews of family members, friends, fellow musicians and members of the Church of God in Christ.  It turns out that Smith was a major player in the growth of America's largest predominantly black Pentecostal denomination.  This is a remarkable story that opens up a world of music little known outside church circles.”
– Dr. David Evans, The University of Memphis

“Long derided in some pulpits as a tool of the Devil, the electric guitar was nothing short of a sanctified soul-saving device in the clutches of evangelist Elder Utah Smith. He spent a lifetime conjuring ecstatic sounds in the service of Holy Ghost revivals across the nation, but Smith, buried in an unmarked grave in 1965, has largely been forgotten. So all praises to Lynn Abbott for I Got Two Wings, a work of meticulous research and devotion that weaves together eyewitness accounts, personal testimony and dusty documents from the historical record to resurrect the glorious and charismatic life of an unsung hero.”
– Doug Schulkind, host of "Give the Drummer Some" on WFMU-FM (wfmu.org)

 


CASE103 - THE SPIRITUALAIRES of Hurtsboro, AL    Singing Songs of Praise   Read Reviews

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1. I'm Going To Tell On You (RealAudio)
2. Packing Up Our Clothes
3. Spiritualaires Radio Program Introduction
4. I've Got Somewhere To Lay My Head
(RealAudio)
5. Come Over Here
6. When The Gates Swing Open
7. The Lord's Prayer
8. Spiritualaires Radio Program Announcements
(RealAudio)
9. Trouble
10. I'm On My Way To Heaven Anyhow
11. Some Folk Say
(RealAudio)
12. I've Done What You Told Me To Do

All contemporary recordings made between 2004-2005.

P+C 2007 CaseQuarter/The Spiritualaires

Robert Marion - vocals
Willie J. Smith - vocals
Sam Relf - vocals
Rufus Jordan - vocals
Jimmy Anthony - vocals
Curtis Harris - guitar

The Spiritualaires of Hurtsboro, Alabama are one of the very last still active gospel quartets with origins in Gospel's Golden Age of the 1950s. Weaving together influences from the blues and country & western, the Spiritualaires over the years have remained faithful to their ever-distinct yet traditional sound. Drawn from recent studio recordings and live radio broadcasts, Singing Songs of Praise reveals the Spiritualaires as both a super-fine harmony quartet and a unique blues-guitar-driven ensemble. What a treat it is to have - after almost six decades together - the debut recording of the Spiritualaires of Hurtsboro, Alabama.

"I think we’ve all spent some time in our own private Hurtsboro? Even as a charismatic agnostic, this gets an “Amen” from me. Gospel, like its savior, works in mysterious ways…and genres. It can draw strength from suppressed sexuality via soul, it can get earthy in a country vein (like a miner baptised in a coal mine). Or, as the Spiritualaires do, it can dig deep inside via the blues. If you are in pain, something about a profound bass vocal gives you a rock to build from, fill that out with some sweet harmonies but don’t rush things. Let the notes and the pain linger, just a bit. Add in slow clap, it help with the weariness. Not too fast, now. Guitarist Curtis Harris testifies in tight spots here as well, delivers his own slow-mo Mali style fretting…you could plug him in next to Tinariwen and not miss a beat. Radio fans do not miss tracks #3 and #8, clips from the Spiritualaires Radio Program! “If that car run good and look bad…bring it on in…he’ll make it look good.” Sounds like a modern-day miracle worker to me! KFJC should do all our underwriting in Spiritualaires style. “Some Folk Say” brings in a falsetto voice, and a peppier beat, and almost tastes like a hootenanny. While I may reserve judgement regarding the big If in the sky, I’m fine worshipping the pride and joy of Hurtsboro." - Thurston Hunger, KFJC Radio

 

 

CASE102 - ISAIAH OWENS  You Without Sin Cast The First Stone    Read Reviews

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1. You Without Sin
2. Jesus Will Provide
3. I'll Fly Away ...(Real Audio)
4. If It Wasn't For The Lord
5. Slip In & Tip In ...(Real Audio Excerpt)
6. Prayer Wheel ...(Real Audio Excerpt)
7. I've Been Down To The Water
8. Everything Will Be Alright
9. Yes Jesus Loves Me
10. Cheerful Angels Commercial
11. I Wonder Do You Know
12. Wake Me, Shake Me
13. Nobody's Fault But Mine ..(Real Audio Excerpt)
14. Heaven Must Be A Beautiful Place

PLUS: FIRST EDITION of 2000 INCLUDES FOUR BONUS TRACKS

All contemporary recordings made between 1998-2001.

P+C 2004 CaseQuarter/Isaiah Owens

Isaiah Owens - guitar and lead vocals
Ann Talbert - vocals and testimony
Clarence Campbell - MC

The CaseQuarter label launched last August with the Reverend Charlie Jackson archival collection, God’s Got It. This stunning debut went on to be lauded across the board by the likes of Rolling Stone, The New York Times, NPR, BBC, The Wire, MOJO, Le Nouvel Observateur and many more. The CaseQuarter mission continues full-force with its second installment of the wondrous and sacred musical beauty that avails itself in the American South. This time it is a collection of contemporary recordings - You Without Sin Cast The First Stone, the solo debut of singer/guitarist Isaiah Owens.

In the early 1990s, Isaiah Owens ended a distinguished 40-year career singing lead with the gospel quartet the Flying Clouds of Montgomery, Alabama in order to focus on solo performance. Early in the 1980s, Owens had begun to teach himself guitar and he soon began sitting in on local AM gospel radio broadcasts, most notably with the Montgomery Gospelaires and later with Ann Talbert’s Cheerful Angels program. Always known for his dynamic vocals and piercing falsetto, Owens augmented the initial chords he taught himself with extremely loud volume. Along with emphasizing the rhythmic over the traditionally musical, Owens was not afraid to incorporate dissonance into his playing. The merging of Owens’ unique guitar style with his accomplished vocals makes for an intriguing and original musical experience truly not heard anywhere else in the gospel world.

You Without Sin Cast The First Stone comprises 14 songs selected from original radio broadcasts and multi-track studio recordings of performances from 1998-2001 and at the age of 69, this is Isaiah Owens’ solo debut.

ISAIAH OWENS New York City Debut in November!

 

 

CASE101 - REVEREND CHARLIE JACKSON   God's Got It: The Legendary Booker and Jackson Singles    Read Reviews

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1. God's Got It 2:43 ...(Real Audio Excerpt)
2. Fix It Jesus 3:37
3. Wrapped Up and Tangled Up In Jesus 3:29
4. Testimony of Rev. Charlie Jackson 4:23
5. I Gave Up All I Had 2:12 ...(Real Audio Excerpt)
6. What A Time 3:06
7. Trouble In My Way 3:10
8. My Eternal Home 3:07
9. Something To Think About 3:14
10. Lord You're So Good 4:15
11. I Shall Not Be Moved 2:37
12. Morning Train 2:42 ...(Real Audio Excerpt)
13. The Goodness of God Part 1 2:41
14. The Goodness of God Part 2 2:33
15. I Gave Up All I Had to Serve the Lord 2:39
16. This Old Building 4:25
17. I Am Thinking of a Friend 2:57 ...(Real Audio Excerpt)
18. All Aboard 4:41

All recordings made between 1970-1978.

P+C 2003 CaseQuarter/Reverend Charlie Jackson

Reverend Charlie Jackson - vocals and guitar
Brother Ike Gordon, Laura Davis, Caravan No.2 of Zachary - vocals
Mary Bennett, Ike Gordon, Frances Jackson, Johnny Jackson - chorus vocals, clapping

Also Available NOW! (August 2011):

 

And then there is the Reverend Charlie Jackson. Once in a great while a record comes along that is so cripplingly amazing that it betrays all common manner of description.

- Michael Hurtt in OFFBEAT
(New Orleans)

   

 

Reverend Charlie Jackson's God’s God It is the first release on the brand new CaseQuarter label. After the better part of twenty-five years, the legendary early 1970s New Orleans Booker label (and mid 1970s Jackson label) recordings of the Baton Rouge gospel guitarist have finally been collected on CD. Ever since Reverend Jackson’s Booker singles were discovered by gospel collectors in the 1970s and began to trickle out to a wider audience, his primal, funky guitar riffs have astounded listeners. Raw and unadorned and at other times spare and lyrical, these recordings are infused with sanctified energy and singing. In addition to his own singles collected here are records by Brother Ike Gordon and Caravan No. 2 of Zachary, which feature Reverend Jackson as accompanist. Further special features are two very rare songs from his own Jackson label which feature the wonderful vocals of Laura “Tiny B” Davis, as well as a recently discovered (in March 2003 !) Booker single that had seemingly been forever lost.

“Rev. Charlie Jackson has immense rhythmic power, and the recordings bristle with intensity. The music is meant to make you move,
and it is hard not to. These songs rock without taking even a small vacation.”
- The New York Times

Until now, these singles have never been fully collected together and have never been issued on CD.

God’s God It comprises 18 songs and a 16-page booklet with rare photos, discography,
and extensive liner notes covering Reverend Jackson’s life and career.


(((((((((((((o))))))))))))

 

The purpose of CaseQuarter is to document and make available all manner of obscure, eccentric and original sacred and spiritual music of the Southern U.S.

As ubiquitous and familiar as the blues is in the minds of music listeners, the sacred sister of the blues, gospel, hovers on the edges - ambiguous, overlooked and unknown to many. Over the years, the juke joints have all but disappeared. The churches remain. CaseQuarter Records, based in Montgomery, Alabama, will make accessible contemporary and historical gospel and sacred recordings, both commercial and informal.

Sacred music in the South is not just confined to churches, but informs the outlook of many idiosyncratic and original artists who follow their own particular and unique visions and callings. African-American gospel music performed live by male quartets in a style firmly rooted in the immediate post-war years can still be heard on small community based AM radio stations in the South. Since 1970, many older, traditional gospel groups have produced interesting but difficult to find vanity records. Indeed, these recordings, usually much rawer and unpolished than contemporary releases, represent a presence often overlooked or ignored even within the gospel community itself. It is difficult to find an outsider and folk artist who does not draw inspiration from the Bible. Many of these artists are often also musicians in some way and sing songs to accompany or compliment their paintings and sculptures. Since 1970, dozens of small short-lived locally based predominately gospel record labels have sprung up, and then disappeared leaving obscure but often striking recordings behind. Virtually all of these records have never been collected or presented beyond the immediate communities they were originally intended for. These are the kinds of musics that CaseQuarter Records will locate, document and release. Also, CaseQuarter makes a commitment to a respectful, unsensationalistic and unexploitative presentation of these artists and their musics. The liner notes and documentation of each project will be as complete, informative and authoritative as possible. - Kevin Nutt, CaseQuarter

Know Also: CaseQuarter producer Kevin Nutt is a long-time devotee and collector of this profoundly affecting music. His gospel music radio program Sinner’s Crossroads can be heard on WFMU (91.1 fm in NJ/NYC; wfmu.org to the world) on Thursdays 7pm - 8pm E.S.T.

 

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