Como Now, The Voices Of Panola County  
Como Now
The Voices Of Panola County
USA 1xLP 
Label: Daptone Records
Release Year: 2008
Style: Funk & Soul
 
  Tracks  
  1. Mary Moore - 'When The Gates Swing Open'
2. The John Edwards Singers - 'It's Alright' -
3. Brother & Sister Walker - 'Can See So Much'
4. Della Daniels & Ester Mae Smith 'Jesus Builds A Fence Around Me'
5. Como Mamas feat. Mary Moore - 'Trouble In My Way'
6. Irene Stevenson - 'If It Had Not Been for Jesus'
7. Brother & Sister Walker - 'What Would I Do'
8. The John Edwards Singers - 'New Burying Ground'
9. Como Mamas feat. Mary Moore - 'God's Unchanging Hand'
10. Rev. Robert Walker - 'I Can't Afford To Let My Saviour Down'
11. The Jones Sisters - 'Talk With Jesus'
12. Irene Stevenson - 'Lil Old Church House'
13. Como Mamas feat. Mary Moore - 'Send Me I'll Go'
14. Brother & Sister Walker - 'Help Me To Carry On'
15. Della Daniels & Ester Mae Smith - 'Move Upstairs'
16. Mary Moore - 'Somebody Here Needs You Lord'
 
  Deep in the heart of Panola County, Mississippi lies Como, a small rural town where children and grown folks alike have been living and breathing gospel for as long as they can remember. In the summer of 2006, Daptone Records placed a small ad in local papers and on the radio inviting singers to come down to Mt. Mariah Church to record their songs. The result is COMO NOW, a stirring collection of traditional and original a cappella gospel from the voices of Panola County's own families.

It may seem like a leap for Daptone Records to be releasing an album of a cappella gospel music. Daptone has earned a reputation for creating and proliferating the purest of today's soul and funk music. Why gospel? And why without any instrumentation? If you put aside the analytical categories of the music critic for a moment, and just listen to the record, the answer becomes simple and clear: this is soulful music.

"When Michael Reilly came to me with his first recordings of the Como Mamas, I remember hearing it and being blown away. Though I've been into soul music for a very long time, it has only been in the past few years that I really got deeper into gospel music�and the line from soul to gospel eventually became much clearer to me. Less of an academic lineage than a visceral feeling that I started to get from listening to old records by the Soul Stirrers and the Highway Q.C.'s. Dorothy Love Coates, the Mighty Pilgrim Travelers, The Blind Boys, The Violinaires. They were the same sounds, the same feeling, as I got listening to James Brown, Tina Turner, Lee Fields when they were really wailing. Otis Redding when he was really pleading. Al Green when he was really moaning. Sounds that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. The recordings Michael played me gave me the same feeling."
- Gabriel Roth

The 16 songs on this record feature performances by every one of the singers that came down to Mt. Mariah Church on July 22nd, 2006. Though their music is steeped in tradition, it should not be filed away as some sort of academic field recording. It was not made for the archives of the Library of Congress, nor for the benefit of musicologists and anthropologists. COMO NOW is a contemporary recording of contemporary people. From the slow stirring duets of Brother Raymond and Sister Joella Walker to the bouncing harmonies of the Jones Sisters, every song on this record is meant for you, their contemporary, to hear how the people of Como, Mississippi sing � right now.
 
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