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Can't Nobody Do Me Like Jesus
Can't Nobody Do Me Like Jesus by Robert L. Stone
by Robert L. Stone


 
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Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi (December 2020)

Hardback.

New in dust jacket.

A powerful witness of the electric steel guitar tuned to worship the Lord

Folklorist Robert L. Stone presents a rare collection of high-quality documentary photos of the sacred steel guitar musical tradition and the community that supports it. The introductory text and extended photo captions in Can’t Nobody Do Me Like Jesus! Photographs from the Sacred Steel Community offer the reader an intimate view of this unique tradition of passionately played music that is beloved among fans of American roots music and admired by folklorists, ethnomusicologists, and other scholars.

In 1992, a friend in Hollywood, Florida, introduced Stone to African American musicians who played the electric steel guitar in the African American Holiness-Pentecostal churches House of God and Church of the Living God. With the passion, skill, and unique voice they brought to the instruments, these musicians profoundly impressed Stone. He produced an album for the Florida Folklife Program, which Arhoolie Records licensed and released worldwide. It created a roots music sensation.

In 1996, Stone began to document the tradition beyond Florida. He took the photos in this book from 1992 to 2008 in Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Florida, and at concerts in Italy. The images capture musicians as they play for worship services before spirit-filled believers singing, dancing, shouting, praying, and testifying. Stone gives the viewer much to witness, always presenting his passionate subjects with dignity. His sensitive portrayal of this community attests to the ongoing importance of musical traditions in African American life and worship.

Robert L. Stone is an independent folklorist and photographer based in Gainesville, Florida. He has been documenting the steel guitar tradition of African American Holiness-Pentecostal churches since 1992. Supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Stone produced an album for the Florida Folklife Program released by Arhoolie Records as CD 450 Sacred Steel in 1997. Stone, continuing his work with Arhoolie, has produced eight more CDs and directed the Sacred Steel documentary video. In 2011, the Florida Department of State honored him with the Florida Folk Heritage Award.

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