Saturday, August 29, 2009

Utah Smith almost makes me a believer

A recent post on Memphis Gold noted the deep influence his upbringing in the Church of God in Christ had on his music. When chatting about it and the name of Utah Smith came up he launched into an a cappella Smith's iconic number "I Got Two Wings," and recalled seeing Smith perform wearing his wings. To reiterate a point I made, while Robert Wilkins showed Chester Chandler specific things on playing the guitar, Utah Smith's music is part of the musical DNA of his music as displayed on his recent albums.

When I was in New Orleans this past spring I came across (at the Louisiana Music Factory) Lynn Abbott's book on Utah Smith, "I Got Two Wings which comes with an accompanying CD that includes several versions of "Two Wings," including some previously unreleased versions and recordings by associates (Arizona Dranes, Sister Rosetta Tharpe) and his daughter, on this intriguing biographical study that I recommend enthusiastic. Additionally the CD has some wild fervent music. There is a review on amazon that is also helpful. You can get it from either or amazon.

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