Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Take Me to the Water received Grammy Nomination for Best Historical Album

Take Me to the Water receives Grammy nomination for Best Historical Album
"Best Historical Album is a Grammy category that never attracts much attention, but the nominees are usually excellent. This year is no exception: Among them are the Little Walter Chess recordings and a Sophie Tucker collection from the folks at Champaign-Urbana’s great Archeophone label. The excellent Dust-to-Digital label is a regular presence among the nominees, and this year it’s up for a fascinating package called Take Me to the Water: Immersion Baptism in Vintage Music and Photography 1890-1950.

The 8.75" x 6" hardbound book includes a gorgeous collection of rare photos of riverside baptisms by both white and black congregations, taken from the collection of Jim Linderman; there’s also a terrific essay by Luc Sante. Accompanying the images is a wonderful CD featuring black gospel, blues, and old-timey country songs that touch on baptism—including tracks by ubiquitous preacher Reverend J.M. Gates, quirky gospel singer Washington Phillips (who also played a fretless zither he built himself and called a Dolceola), the Carter Family, and J.E. Mainer’s Mountaineers. I don’t really think that baptism songs comprise a truly important genre, but the practice itself is obviously a huge part of religious life, and immersion baptism is still practiced today in the U.S. So while this may seem like a rather esoteric subject for a Grammy bid, that doesn’t make the music (or the photos) any less compelling." — Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader


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