Sunday, December 14, 2008

I Feel Like Going To Church: Natural blues - Moby

Natural blues - Moby

According to Wikipedia
"Natural Blues" is a 2000 single by the musician Moby. It was originally released in 1999 in his album Play. It is essentially a retitled remix of the originally a cappella song "Trouble So Hard" by American folk singer Vera Hall and her cousin Dock Reed. "Trouble So Hard" can be found on Alan Lomax's "Sounds of the South: A Musical Journey From the Georgia Sea Islands to the Mississippi Delta" disc 1, track 8. It was first released in the UK, where it peaked at number eleven.
Another interesting connection, besides being a remake of a gospel blues song, that this video has with blues music in general is that it features Christina Ricci who also played in the movie Black Snake Moan.

And finally there are critics who consider Moby's Play to be a techno blues infused gospel album. Beth Massa says;
Those who have followed Moby's career are familiar by now with his deep convictions and spiritual connection. On his 1999 release, Play, he celebrates his faith in a masterful, unobtrusive way, channeling gospel and other inspirational samples through beats so earthy they could grow grass on a cement dance floor. It's impossible to separate the joy of the message from the joy of the grooves.
Matthew Cooke said;
Play's concoction of breakbeat rhythms, ambient mixology, and inspired blues and gospel samples cry out across musical genres and histories, imparting a time-tested wisdom to beat-driven ears. Moby's devout faith--in both God and his own musical whims--give this approach a sort of legitimacy that another, less sincere artist would never have.
This is in my mind a perfect example of modern popular music being informed by gospel blues music. And why I argue that if you want to understand and or create new music, you would do well to study and understand gospel blues music. Because it is one of the roots of all modern music. And the beat goes on...

Play - Moby
click image

Sounds of the South
Sounds of the South - Alan Lomax

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