Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Beacon of Hope Chapel Singers Kansas State Penitentiary Lansing, KS Over The Walls Cavern Sound Corp 1971
This put out by Cavern Sound Corp. out of Independence, MO and apparently recorded at their facility. There's no catalog number listed on the jacket or record. The year, 1971, is from Discogs.com and seems about right, but it is also not listed anywhere on the LP.
It's fantastic. The back cover indicates the inmates wanted a Chapel in Kansas State Penitentiary but it was not allowed by the State. So, to raise money the State Legislature allowed a group of inmates to perform across Kansas to whomever would allow. The funds raised at those shows went to build the prison a chapel. The liner then states, everywhere the prisoners went, there was requests for a LP. This is the result.
A second taped on note I have on my copy indicates that the album was donated to the M2-W2 program. A program developed to train civilians to assist with men and women while confined. By signing up or donating to the program, you got this LP.
No matter how people got the album back in the day, they got a solid LP. As expected, it's Gospel. It's got hints of soul vocally, but it is deeply rooted in old time gospel. It sounds nothing like the 60's or 70's. The music is stripped down to the basics. It's electric, but you can tell this was recorded in a large open room, the musical accompaniment playing alongside the men's choir, so it gives the guitar and bass a rootsy feel. There isn't any tricks. It's just some dudes, prisoners to be exact, singing.