David Essig

David Essig - Presbyterian Guitar


( click on title to listen )

1. What a Friend We Have in Jesus
This is the version I learned from Mississippi John Hurt when I was starting out back in the Sixties in Washington D.C. It's still a favourite fingerpicking gospel tune.

2. I'll Fly Away
A duet for two electric slide guitars. I learned this one when I was an aspiring bluegrass mandolin player and always loved its transcendental imagery.

3. Presbyterian Guitar
John Hartford's classic from his Steam Powered Aereo-Plain days. One of the simplest, yet most evocative pieces of instrumental music ever in the country gospel tradition.

4. Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burnin'
Simplicity itself in the deep delat gospel tradition.I've recorded this Mance Lipscombe classic several times and am always amazed at its powerful simplicity. We've dressed it up with some Sacred Steel this time around.

5. The Old Rugged Cross
We used to sing this one in Sunday school back in the days when Ike was President and our rec rooms were fallout shelters. This tune has often received the big commercial gospel production - here we keep it plain and simple.

6. Trinity
About as slow and measured as gospel music ever gets. We were looking for a sort of Caribbean Requiem here - thanks to Doug and Steve's inspired playing, we got it!

7. When I Lay My Burden Down
Our take on the "linin' out" style of Sacred Steel gospel music. My musical life changed forever the day I played with the Campbell Brothers for the first time at the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival.

8. Life Is Like A Mountain Railway
Written in 1890, this song remains a favourite of traditional country and bluegrass performers. We do it as a simple fingerpicking piece here, much in the style of Mississippi John Hurt.

9. Berkley Springs
I originally wrote and recorded this as a guitar solo back in the early 1980's and always wanted to hear it as an ensemble piece. Steve and Doug bring this slide trio version together with powerfully spontaneous playing.

10. Leaning On The Everlasting Arms
Tobin and i had a lot of fun with this classic old gospel tune, doing it as an extended improvised duet: a happy conversation piece between two musical brothers.

11. What a Friend We Have in Jesus - Reprise
We bring it back home with a Sacred Steel version of our opening song and then a closing bow to the memory of the great Mississippi John Hurt.

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