When I first heard Jamaican gospel music in the living room of longtime gospel radio show host and label guy Kevin Nutt
about seven years ago, I was pretty sure I hated it. But I had to immediately hear it again. And then again, until I could only listen to it for a few weeks straight. That was the start of an obsession that led me to produce and release two separate compilations of the material on my own, Noah Found Grace
and Put No Blame on the Master.
The records I released started out as straight-up, limited edition bootlegs, because I had no idea on earth how to contact any of the artists. I'd written to all address listed on the records, but as they were from the 1960s and '70s those addresses were no longer good, and I never got a reply. I was later able to track down a handful of the artists and get them money and copies of these now out-of-print records. It also led to me compiling a licensed full-length double album of the music for the venerated, London-based Honest Jon's label, which was scuttled at the last minute due to licensing issues. I really, really hope to see a different version of that British compilation released later this year.
Anyway, if you're curious what this stuff sounds like, and really nothing else in the world sounds quite like this music, I played only Jamaican gospel using recently ripped vinyl transfers on my last week's gospel radio program
and also this week's show
. I've also thrown up a few YouTube links to some favorite tracks here, above and below.