Fire In My Bones: Raw, Rare And Otherworldly Gospel 1944-2007

Various Artists

No matter which deity you kneel to, this compilation transcends religion. Tompkins Square’s soundtrack covers one tumultuous historical roller coaster after another, beginning with the end of World War II, then taking us through Vietnam, the civil rights movement, both wars in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, not to mention Sept. 11, 2001. Each track sizzles with unchecked passion. Joe Townsend’s “If I Could Not Say a Word” is a foot-stomping testimonial, and you can hear the microphone diaphragm wither under the weight of Grant & Ella’s short but sweet “John Saw.” Some moments are imperfect — John Boswell’s whoops and hollers on “The Very Last Mile” border on caricature in front of The True Sounding Boswellettes’ shrill backup vocals. But the memory of the sub-par fades at the sound of Laura Rivers’ “That’s All Right (Since My Soul Has Got a Seat Up in The Kingdom).” High praise.