In 1970, Sister Gertrude, a painter and preacher who sermonized on street corners in the French Quarter, released an album titled Let's Make a Record. More than three decades later, Rope-adope label head Andy Hurwitz found the obscure recording while in a New Orleans record store and immediately called producer King Britt with an idea for a project. Enthusiastic, Britt enlisted longtime collaborator Tim Motzer (Sylk 130) to help mix some gumbo into Sister Gertrude's tambourine-accompanied pontifications. Wisely, the best tracks, including "Precious Lord Lead Me On" and "Power," don't stray far from gospel and blues. With tasteful instrumentation backing her, Sister Gertrude offers timely visions of hope. After the recent deluge, listeners should find her work inspiring -- particularly considering that in 1965, Hurricane Betsy ravaged an orphanage that she had established. Undeterred, she built a new one in her home in the 9th Ward. Although Sister Gertrude passed away in 1980, you can feel her spirit resonate today in those people determined to resurrect the Crescent City, and you can hear it when she sings, "I was healed by the wounds in his eyes."
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