-Fontella Bass. The Blind Boys of Alabama. The Fairfield Four. The Holmes Brothers. The Gospel Christian Singers. Ethel Caffie Austin. Sweet Honey & the Rock. Sounds of Heaven. Pops Staples
"This album is focused on the African American gospel heritage. We have featured other gospel styles - and several kinds of religious music other than Christian - on Mountain Stage, but the black gospel sound has been particularly influential on modern popular music. So many R&B, soul and blues singers got their start in churches that the rhythms and harmonies of church music have an immediate familiarity to people who have never experienced it in their own backgrounds.
Both venerable veterans and lesser-known voices are included in this collection. Some of the performers heard here began singing as adolescents and are now in their eight or ninth decade. We are humbled and encouraged by their dedication. Preacher Richardson, "Step-out vocalist" of the Fairfield Four, has passed on since he visited us in 1992. No doubt he is singing and preaching on other shores now. Whatever your beliefs, we hope you find joy and consolation in the music. It will continue to find a welcome place on the Mountain Stage."
Host and Artistic Director of Mountain Stage