November 13 (804) – Down By The Riverside

freedom road sign

Play this show

I’m on my way to Canaan land
I’m on my way to Canaan land
I’m on my way to Canaan land
I’m on my way, great God, I’m on my way.

Now if you don’t go, don’t you hinder me
If you won’t go, please don’t hinder me
If you won’t go, don’t hinder me
On my way glory hallelujah, I’m on my way

“Being born in the twentieth century, I learned this song in the nineteenth-century version with its reference to ‘Canaan’ land. Twentieth-century ‘Canaan’ in the stories and sermons of the Black Baptist churches I attended was about a life beyond this experience we were having on earth…when we sang this song and other songs about Canaan, we were talking about an ‘over yonder,’ an ‘up yonder,’ an afterlife – ‘across our Jordan River’…”
If You Don’t Go, Don’t Hinder Me – Bernice Johnson Reagon

It is Social Justice Awareness Week at KUST and Great River Radio will take this opportunity to sprinkle traditional songs of freedom into the show. These songs have come out of the tradition of spirituals – “named so by the people who created them because they came from the spirit – deep within” says Bernice Johnson Reagon. The songs of slaves in 19th century America became the songs of the civil rights movement of 20th century America. We’ll have traditional music from Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Mavis Staples, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Mahalia Jackson and the group that Bernice Johnson Reagon founded long before Sweet Honey in the Rock, The Freedom Singers, who were very active during the civil rights movement of the 1960’s. The roots of rock and roll are deep in the gospel and even spiritual tradition, so it makes great sense for GRR to pay tribute to this music on today’s show.

We’ll also have our usual mix of new and old songs for you today, including a track from our new favorites, The Saint Johns, as well as a live performance from Sara Bareilles. You know Greg Laswell who we’ve played several times before – we’ll have a song from him with his wife and another GRR favorite, Ingrid Michaelson. Rickie Lee Jones will cover a Stones tune and newcomer Brandy Clark with a sassy tune about a crime of passion deterred by a crime of passion – “Orange is the New Black” fans, stay tuned for this one.

That and more, of course, on this week’s edition of Great River Radio.

Listen in live this afternoon or later on the blog.

Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream:
Web/Listen Later:

Down By The Riverside-Sister Rosetta Tharpe
I’m On My Way-Mahalia Jackson
Back To The River-Lily & Madeleine
Open Water-The Saint Johns
Rock and Roll-The Velvet Underground
Brave-Sara Bareilles
Landline-Greg Laswell/Ingrid Michaelson
Before We Run-Yo La Tengo
Buckets of Rain-Dave Van Ronk
Freedom Highway-Mavis Staples
Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round-The Freedom Singers
Nobody Knows the Trouble I See-The Dixie Hummingbirds
Play With Fire-Rickie Lee Jones
For You Blue-Dhani Harrison
Gasoline-Cary Ann Hearst & Michael Trent (Shovels & Rope)
Stripes-Brandy Clark
I’m In I’m Out and I’m Gone-Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite
Freedom Road-The Blind Boys of Alabama
We Shall Overcome-Mahalia Jackson

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