King Britt is back with a new album which is yet another bold journey into the unknown. I can talk you through the project but you may as well speak to the King:
A few months ago, I had a discussion with my mother about a rut I was in musically - I couldn't seem to create anything worthwhile for weeks. I was trying to find something new that kept the old vibe alive as I usually do in my productions. My mom said that I should look for God to show me the way. We then discussed religion; how I respect them all and take a little from each to make my own. She told me that God would show me the way back to my music. A few days later, I received a call from Andy Hurwitz, who runs Ropeadope Records. When you get a call from Andy, you know it's usually good news. He asked if I had heard of Sister Gertrude Morgan. I said I was not familiar with her but I was interested to learn more.
He told me about Sister G, a woman thoroughly dedicated to God. Andy told of her evangelistic mission to express her faith through painting unique folk art, which is now exhibited in the Smithsonian and other prestigious museums and galleries. She was on a mission to spread God's word through art, music and her spirit. Andy asked if I would re-interpret Sister G's beautiful recordings of a cappella and tambourine hymns. I suddenly was taken back to my mother's words, God will show you the way. Was Andy's call a sign? I thought so.
Sister Gertrude Morgan, born in 1900, spent most of her life in New Orleans . The dark voodoo history and jazz heritage of New Orleans has always piqued my interest. When Andy sent me her recordings, put down on tape in 1969 in the now famous Preservation Hall (the original home of New Orleans jazz), I was overcome by the songs, particularly God's Word, Living Bread and, my favorite, Power. The vibrancy of New Orleans echoed through every rhythm. Her lyrics hit upon issues of the moment that we continue to struggle with today. It was revelatory to hear Sister G calling to God to address all the war and tragedy in her day.
With so much conflict still plaguing the world, her music holds a sense of urgent currency and great importance. Andy asked me to redo her whole album in today's context. I was honored and inspired so I jumped at the opportunity. I called upon my musical partner in crime, Tim Motzer, who was blown away by the whole concept. While I had not been back in the studio since Sylk 130, I felt re-interpreting Sister Getrude was the perfect project to explore.
After several months in the studio working with some of my favorite collaborators, I had found what I was looking for; I was looking for Sister Gertrude Morgan in myself. I had found her spirit. In February, we traveled to New Orleans to see where Sister G lived, breathed and preached the word of God. As I walked the streets of the French Quarter listening to the mixes we had made I felt a strong presence there: Her presence. The music on this disk is an offering to this amazing woman. An individual I feel connected to in a moving, spiritual way. I now bring you the fruits of our labor. I present to you Sister Gertrude Morgan, as seen through our own eyes!