Forgotten Treasure: Joe Townsend & Bill Barth “Take Your Burdens To The Lord” (1972)
Sometimes it is impossible not to judge an album by its cover. During one of my spontaneous record store adventures in December, I happened to pull out an LP entitled Wolf’s At The Door: Lost Recordings From The Spirits of the South. Attention grabbing title, yes, but attention grabbing album art as well. This is all good news to a person who has no idea what the music sounds like.
I flip to the back for more information and, lo and behold, I find Nathaniel Russell credited for the cover art. He is not just any artist, but in fact one of my all-time favourites. Jackpot. And the good news just keeps on rolling in. Turns out Wolf’s At The Door is a compilation of gritty blues recordings from the 60s and 70s by a Swede named Bengt Olsson. This man traveled to the Deep South from Sweden in search of the music that he loved, and in doing so he discovered just how much he has yet to hear. Bengt subsequently recorded the musicians that he encountered in order to create a raw collection of music that can be revisited, rediscovered and revived well beyond their time. What many finds for him, and what a singular find for me.
Take Your Burdens To The Lord is one of many forgotten treasures found on Wolf’s At The Door, released in 2010 by Sutro Park Records.