This blog's inaugural post detailed our reverence for Portland's Mississippi Records, and their collection of sanctified blues called "Life Is A Problem." In keeping with the spirit of that excellent anthology, we'd like to turn your attention to the music of Reverend Charlie Jackson.

Born in 1932 in McComb, Mississippi, Rev. Jackson took up the guitar at age ten, only to be chastised by his mother for playing suggestive blues tunes. He gave up the blues temporarily, but after becoming a preacher and settling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in the 1960s, he was possessed to start playing again. Accompanying himself on guitar (a wildly raw Fender Mustang), Rev. Jackson bellowed out electrified sermons from the pulpit, detailing his desires for Jesus to hook him like a fish. Recording for the Booker and Jackson labels, Rev. Jackson sounds like the unnatural spawn of Leadbelly and Howlin' Wolf, his compositions ranging from the hypnotically inspirational ("My Eternal Home") to blissfully unhinged (the afore-mentioned "Wrapped Up and Tangled Up In Jesus").

The CaseQuarter label compiled and issued every one of Jackson's singles in 2003, the first time ever any of this music became available on CD. Crypt Records issued the LP in 2004, and Rev. Jackson died February 13th, 2006.

Digging around the internet unearthed this gem, Rev. Jackson's only known TV appearance. The host is bit condescending, but Rev. Jackson responds with sincere affability, regaling the Irish audience with tales of cowboying in Texas and trimming hair to make ends meet. A wonderful performance by a genuine and captivating talent.


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