Various Artists | Devil Music

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Devil Music

by Various Artists

An Americana compilation that explores the peculiar role of the Devil in the Christian and the secular world.
Genre: Country: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Halleluia
John Hermanson
2:36 $1.00
2. The Devil Says (She's Gone)
House of Mercy Band
3:39 $1.00
3. Please Take the Devil Out of Me
Blood Washed Band
2:06 $1.00
4. Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down
Dana Thompson
2:08 $1.00
5. Otis Meets the Devil
Charlie Parr
3:56 $1.00
6. The Devil Ain't Lazy
The Daddy Squeeze Band
3:25 $1.00
7. You Bring the Devil out in Me
Miss Becky Kapell
3:50 $1.00
8. There's No Hiding Place Down Here
John Magnuson
3:03 $1.00
9. Lookin' Like the Devil
Matt Arthur
2:57 $1.00
10. Trials, Troubles, Tribulations
The Tune Jerks
4:04 $1.00
11. Fallen Angel, Lonesome Devil
Brett Larson
2:51 $1.00
12. Chased Old Satan
Roe Family Singers
3:25 $1.00
13. Almighty Trial
Neighborly Deeds
3:48 $1.00
14. Old Lady and the Devil
Corpse Reviver
3:14 $1.00
15. The Devil Hasn't Won
Ellen Stanley
1:29 $1.00
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
“We are not endorsing the personification of evil, we are not really taking old Satan seriously. What we are taking seriously is importance of passions, desire and the exploration of dark inclination in music,” said Rev. Russell Rathbun. “With out these ‘Devilish’ influences, Country, Gospel, Rock and Roll, Punk Rock are not telling the truth about what it is to be human—and they are way less kick-ass.”

Devil Music (MR038) is an Americana collection compilation featuring The House of Mercy Band, Charlie Parr, The Blood Washed Band, the Roe Family Singers, John Hermanson (Storyhill), John Magnuson (The Carpetbaggers), Miss Becky Kapell, Corpse Reviver, Mother Banjo, Dana Thompson—and many, many more. The fifteen-song collection ranges from the old-time country sound of Charlie Parr’s “Otis Meets the Devil” to the brooding folk-pop of John Hermanson’s “Halleluia” to the straight-up country rollicking of the Blood Washed Band’s “Please Take The Devil Out of Me” to the jazzy, swingy “The Devil Ain’t Lazy” by The Daddy Squeeze Band. Guarantee to throw open the gates of Heaven and Hell.


For its cover Devil Music borrows the goofy cardboard-cutout Old Scratch, complete with buck teeth, who adorns the cover of what may be the greatest country-gospel album ever, the Louvin Brothers' Satan is Real. Originally issued in 1960, it's remained in print in various formats ever since. The Brothers created the model themselves, and it's been the source, at least among those who aren't worried that they're putting their immortal souls at risk, of much jocularity over the decades. Even so, no one chuckles at the fierce, brilliant music on the disc itself. Nearly all of Satan's dozen songs have been covered repeatedly by country, gospel, bluegrass, folk and rock artists. Even the most casual listening can leave no doubt that Charlie and Ira Louvin, the products of Deep South evangelical Christianity, believed every word they sang.

This new CD from the St. Paul-based House of Mercy label takes a more relaxed approach. In its judgment Satan may or may not be real -- the brief liner notes attributed to the Rev. Russell Rathbun don't seem too wrought up over the question -- but he is undeniably a rhetorical source of humor, euphemism, sexual infidelity, self-loathing and excessive behavior. Still, two cuts that take the devil to be as described in the Bible and elsewhere turn out to be among the most hard-hitting, John Magnuson's "There's No Hiding Place Down Here," from the Carter Family, and Dana Thompson's plaintive interpretation of the traditional "Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down."

More characteristic of the content, however, are spirited renditions of venerable comic folk songs such as "Chased Old Satan" (Roe Family Singers) and "Old Lady & the Devil" (Corpse Revivers). The latter, of course, is the ballad, dating to the 18th century or earlier, that Prof. Child called "The Farmer's Curst Wife" and numbered 278 in his collection. Charlie Parr, who is the most (relatively) prominent contributor, offers up the amusing talking-blues "Otis Meets the Devil," showing the influence of Spider John Koerner. The Daddy Squeeze Band's breezy, accordion-driven "The Devil Ain't Lazy" comes from the Bob Wills repertoire.

The musical settings draw on folk, folk-rock, and country forms. In the last category an original by Brett Larson puts a skeletal hillbilly arrangement to one of the most interesting songs here, "Fallen Angel, Lonesome Devil," which pursues an intriguingly elusive metaphor that carries the piece far from stock honkytonk sentiment. The accompanying notes have nothing to say about who the various performers are or where they come from, though as a Minnesotan I recognize some as fellow residents. In any event, Devil Music makes for an unusual, consistently entertaining perspective on history's biggest and baddest dude.



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