Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Sound of the Night Howard Finster Got Saved

I first write about Howard Finster HERE, where I described it thusly:
Although Rev. Howard Finster, a preacher from rural Georgia with little formal education whose paintings went so far as to become REM and Talking Heads album covers, may be America's best known folk artist, he also had a little-discussed musical side. The album "The Night Howard Finster Got Saved" is largely dedicated to spoken-word tracks, but there's some ace tunes on it as well. Singing in a high'n' lonesome twang, playing guitar, harmonica, and...piano, Finster's music should sound familiar to anyone who's heard the "O Brother Where Art Thou" soundtrack."

After receiving a comment asking for more last August, I looked into it and it turn
s out that the album is now out-of-print and pricey, so I could indeed put the whole thing up. Only I couldn't find my copy. Recently whilst looking for something else entirely, I did found my copy and here 'tis:

The Night Howard Finster Got Saved

There's much to enjoy here: Finster's old-fashioned Southern speech, his charmingly out-of-tune piano, the passionate singing. One of the spoken-work tracks, "Last Call I Had," is particular stirring, as Finster describes how he talked a suicidal New Yorker out of jumping, over the phone. But the climactic title track truly must be heard to be believed - over two different tape recordings playing two different fiery Finster sermons, the good rev. sings, shouts, whistles, whoops and hollers over the din. For 25 minutes. Absolutely mental.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. Just this week I was watching some footage of Finster playing some banjo and talking from a festival in the 80's, wondering about more recordings..
Glory Be.

bunnyman said...

Thanks! My ex wife and I met Howard and his wife @ Gasperi's Folk Art Gallery in New Orleans. We had bought a wonderful litho of his as a wedding present to ourselves (Visions of Other Worlds - Road of Eturnety). Anyway, he played banjo for a little while (his wife was sipping some champagne from a little plastic glass), then switched to a rinky-dink piano that was there (all he played were the black keys!). He asked me to hold his bubble gum while he played, so he could use it later! Fun night all around!

scott wainwright said...

Hello There. Found your Comment on Howard Finster very helpful... Just bought album too. you can find some of my music if you so please at it is music for maniacs.

Anonymous said...

link is dead

Mr Fab said...

it lives again!