Train Don't Leave Me: The First Annual Sacred Steel Convention

Train Don't Leave Me: The First Annual Sacred Steel Convention


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Most church services don't feature the wailing sounds of lap steel guitars. The electrified instrument's unctuous and weighty sound, which can be similar to that of a theremin, is more often associated with Hawaiian slack key recordings and blues bar bands than with sermons or homilies. However, among a handful of African-American Pentecostal churches in Florida, the instrument does play a powerful role in worship services. First introduced by brothers Willie Eason and Troman Eason in the 1930s, the art of playing lap steel and pedal steel guitars in a sacred context has since blossomed into a vibrant tradition. On The First Annual Sacred Steel Convention, sixth in the Sacred Steel series from Arhoolie, you can hear a bevy of these pedal and lap steel believers -- both young and old -- showcasing their talents. "Something's Got a Hold of Me," a shuffling blues tune stitched with the slippery and wah-wah affected sounds of Dante Harmon's pedal steel, opens the CD's 14 tracks. From Harmon's tune to the frenetic double-time "What's His Name?...Jesus!," the many steel players, backup bands, and singers presented here give impassioned recitals. As the primary goal of these musicians is to infuse their congregations with spirit, heavy religious sentiments are part of the package and go hand in hand with the incendiary steel performances. But even if you are not a devout churchgoer, don't worry. The First Annual Sacred Steel Convention is an interesting CD that should please secular blues fans, steel guitar buffs, and curious music seekers as well.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/24/2001
Label: Arhoolie Records
UPC: 0096297048924
catalogNumber: 489
Rank: 135506

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Alvin Lee   Guitar
Freddie Dixon   Vocals
Ken Ellis   Guitar
Jerry Taylor   Vocals
Chuck Campbell   Pedal Steel Guitar
Campbell Brothers   Track Performer
Aubrey Ghent   Vocals,Lap Steel Guitar
Glenn Lee   Track Performer
Rico Beard   Bass,Guitar
Carlton Campbell   Drums
Phillip Campbell   Guitar
Calvin Cooke   Pedal Steel Guitar,Vocals
Katie Jackson   Vocals
Harvey Shaw   Guitar
Ivan Shaw   Drums
Darick Campbell   Vocals
Robert Randolph   Pedal Steel Guitar
Lonnie "Big Ben" Bennett   Pedal Steel Guitar
Jay Caver   Guitar
Grace Cooke   Vocals
Dante Harmon   Pedal Steel Guitar
Elton Noble   Lap Steel Guitar
Marcus Randolph   Drums
Bryan "Josh" Taylor   Lap Steel Guitar
Keith Lee   Vocals
Jesse Greene   Guitar
Alvin Cordy   Bass

Technical Credits

Chris Strachwitz   Executive Producer
Ray Valla   Engineer
Calvin Cooke   Cover Photo
Robert L. Stone   Producer
Darick Campbell   Cover Photo
Traditional   Composer
Robert Randolph   Arranger
Buddy Ray   Engineer
Ray Valla   Engineer

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