I'm looking for a capella/other Christian folk songs!
July 9, 2010 5:06 PM   Subscribe

I've fallen in love with this song sung on A Praire Home Companion (starts around 0:26:36). Can ya'll give me some suggestions as to similar tunes?

Many things have been converging in my life around religious themes as of the past few years, and especially recently the question of religious song is fascinating me and I find music like the one sung on APHC above so uplifting.

So I'm interested if people can point me to similar Christian melodies like this, especially any black gospel (again, this is what's been on my mind a lot recently in particular). Individual links or suggestions for tasteful & well-done CD comps would be awesome too (I only say this because I find that CD comps can go very, very wrong sometimes even when they seem to be great on the surface).

Thanks everyone!
posted by parkbench to Religion & Philosophy (14 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
You might like the soundtrack to Oh Brother where Art Thou?
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:21 PM on July 9, 2010

As for a capella, check out Turtle Dove has Drooped his Wing.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:26 PM on July 9, 2010

Definitely the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack. You might also like the Kingston Trio. They're not Christian or particularly uplifting, but for general folk music, they can't be beat. The Capitol Years compilation is good and very comprehensive.
posted by phunniemee at 5:44 PM on July 9, 2010

A lot of people who sing black spirituals make them really melodic and pretty, but Blind Willie Johnson has this rawness to him that lets you kind of get a glimpse of the incredibly painful origin of these songs. He's probably best known for the wordless Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground, but he sang tons of more explicitly Jesusy songs: John the Revelator. Sorrow Soon be Over. Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed. Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning.
posted by oinopaponton at 5:58 PM on July 9, 2010

Emmylou Harris sings a great version of this same song with Ricky Skaggs.
posted by cecic at 6:15 PM on July 9, 2010

I can't personally vouch for these artists but using Spotify's 'Related artists' feature and listening to snippets of their most popular songs they seem like good matches based upon your criteria.
posted by wannalol at 6:17 PM on July 9, 2010

I think you'd love The Charioteers. Here's Ezekiel Saw the Wheel on YouTube.
posted by Balonious Assault at 6:46 PM on July 9, 2010

Oh, Green Pastures! One of my favorite songs.

You'll like some music by Gillian Welch, the Peasall Sisters, the Lonesome Sisters, Ginny Hawker in all her duos and trios, and look through Ralph Stanley's catalogue for gems like the things he did under the Clinch Mountain Sweethearts project. Maybe the Louvin Brothers. This is a great CD you might really enjoy.

The genre is variously called "old-time gospel," "Appalachian gospel" or even "white gospel" to differentiate the harmonies from African-American gospel.
posted by Miko at 7:43 PM on July 9, 2010

If you're interested in black gospel, too, there's such a wealth of that. Here's a fantastic resource to start with: Classic African American gospel from Smithsonian Folkways. A lot more black gospel from Smithsonian Folkways and the Lomax collections here.
posted by Miko at 7:45 PM on July 9, 2010

I really recommend if you can find this collection called "Amazing Gospel" which has a lot of really great old time relijun songs. It also sounds like you might benefit from exploring what AllMusic.com calls "Neo-Traditional Folk."
posted by Overzealous at 7:46 PM on July 9, 2010

Another thread where this topic is discussed with some good suggestions.
posted by Overzealous at 7:59 PM on July 9, 2010

Not totally coincidentally, the song I mentioned above, Turtle Dove has Drooped his Wings, is now also available here.
posted by Obscure Reference at 8:54 PM on July 9, 2010

Bill Landford and the Landfordaires (might recognize this tune that Moby sampled)
posted by nanojath at 10:38 PM on July 9, 2010

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