Journeys Through Pentecostal Subcultures: Sacred Steel pt 1

Today we’re continuing to look at Pentecostal music on our summer journey.  This tradition is called sacred steel. Here’s a sample of this exhilarating music–hope you enjoy this and the next few weeks installments!

Sacred Steel is used mostly in the African American Pentecostal Church and is its own unique brand of American Folk Music–whether for worship or other types of performance, it is one of the most energetic and remarkable contributions to Pentecostal music history. It, like much of African American gospel tradition, has its share of cross-over into blues, R & B, and rock n roll.

First up, Del Grace, whose produced Sacred Steel TV, a weekly program showcasing the tradition

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This trailer from Arhoolie Records (a great label for America folk music) is worth watching in its entirety:

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The denomination is the House of God, Keith Dominion, the preachers are African American women as is the drummer, and the Bishop:  since its summer and the theme for these posts is lighthearted fun…you should get up and dance–if the Spirit moves you

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This last one features women as well, one of whom named her guitar, “Steel Prayzn”  The tradition, which goes back to the 1930s, has featured women as bishops, preachers, and of late, players.

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Next week…more sacred steel and we’ll get into some Pentecostal Rock n Roll w/ Sister Rosetta Tharpe & The King…

About Arlene Sánchez-Walsh

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