Take Me to the Water.
Immersion Baptism in Vintage Music and Photography 1890-1950.
Text by Luc Sante, Jim Linderman, Steven L. Ledbetter.
Dust-to-Digital, 2009. 96 pp., 75 duotone illustrations, 8¾x6".
Making the past vividly present once again, Grammy winners Dust-to-Digital unveil Take Me to the Water, a revelatory examination of baptismal rites and music. Comprising a beautiful hardcover book and a CD featuring rare, vintage songs and sermons recorded between 1924-1940, Take Me to the Water draws on the collection of Jim Linderman, a scholar of American 'outsider' art, early American folk art and daguerreotype photography. It reproduces 75 sepia photographs that depict amazing scenes of immersion baptisms-the likes of which are rarely seen today-with preacher and baptismal candidate shown immersed mid-river, while the congregation looks on from the riverbank. The CD compiles rare gospel and folk recordings from original 78-RPM records, with artists such as Washington Phillips, Carter Family, Tennessee Mountaineers, the Belmont Silvertone Jubilee Singers and rare vocal recordings of baptismal sermons. Renowned writer Luc Sante provides a history of baptismal rites in America, and writes of this volume: 'Whether you have ever actually experienced a baptism or not, whether you are a believer or not, these pictures and the music that accompanies them transmit all the emotional information: the excitement and the serenity, the fellowship and the warmth, the wind and the water… you would have to have a heart of tin not to recognize this as one of the happiest collections of archival photographs ever assembled.'
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