THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The plan: Record 11 groups in eight days in a marathon recording session in a makeshift storefront studio in a 100-year-old building in the tiny Eastern North Carolina town of Fountain. Once the idea that would produce the stirring new gospel documentary film and compilation Sacred Soul of North Carolina was in place, Alice Vines of the Glorifying Vines Sisters started calling local musicians. It didn’t take her long to line up almost a dozen groups to come lift their voices and represent the region’s unique Sacred Soul traditions.
When the groups on this record gathered to record in February of 2020, they couldn’t have known that the world was on the eve of a global pandemic, or that the year would bring great turmoil and social upheavals. But in the reality created by gospel songs even the greatest of trials are not surprising, nor can they be ultimately devastating. Every time singers stepped up to the mic during these sessions, they created a sonic world where no amount of bad news can undermine the truth of The Good News. Even when “you can’t really see a solution to what you’re dealing with at the moment,” says Kiamber Daniels of Faith and Harmony, singing gospel music will remind you, “hey, I’m still here; I got what it takes to make it through this. It will give you a sense of peace.”
Produced by Bruce Watson (Fat Possum/Big Legal Mess/Bible & Tire), this collection of sacred soul recordings of Eastern North Carolinian gospel groups is a one-of-a-kind exploration. With a rich heritage of family gospel music, the artists in this area have been honing their craft over generations and have their own way of making the material original and unique. Rarely have the musicians of this region, whose family and musical roots date back to the 17th century, been recorded or filmed. The album and film include detailed liner notes by folklorist Will Boone as well as bios on each group. This is Sacred Soul of North Carolina.”