Everything old is new again

By Stephen A. Nelson – Journalist

When making his famous ’68 Comeback, ELVIS PRESLEY said that “rock-and-roll music is basically gospel – or rhythm-and-blues.” 
Elvis, of course, had grown up in church and with both kinds of music – rhythm AND blues .

And none other than Howling Wolf – who (not coincidentally) recorded with Sam Phillips Recording and Sun Records – said that there were only two white men he knew of who could actually sing the blues.
One of them was “that Hound Dog kid.”

Big Sister Rosetta Tharpe – the TRUE founding mother of rock-and-roll – was a GOSPEL singer who said: “All this new stuff they call rock ’n’ roll, why, I’ve been playing that for years now… Ninety percent of rock-and-roll artists came out of the church, their foundation is the church.”
If what they say is true, then DC Rapier aka Douglas C Rapier must have listened to a lot of gospel in his lifetime.
I’ve jammed with DC – mostly playing standards such as Shake, Rattle and RolI and Baby What You Want Me To Do? I can testify he’s listened to early #Elvis as well as Big Joe Turner.
We know for a fact that DC has recorded at Sam Phillips very own Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee.
And when you hear DC live, it feels like he was raised with a harmonica in his hand and that he was born to rock.

ALL OF THAT comes to life in his album, Feeling Fifteen Again.
Especially on the opening track Bloodied But Unbowed.
It practically IS gospel. It’s ALL there.
The beat. The harmonies. The story.
The triumphal ending. The “hallelujah!”

There are other great songs in this CD celebration of “basically gospel – or rhythm-and-blues.”
A favourite is, If It Ain’t Broke.
The folk-gospel spiritual, ‘ Sinnerman’ (most famously recorded by Nina Simone) is evoked in DC’s song, ‘Who You Gonna Run To?’

But for this old “rock-and-gospel” fan (I’m Older Than I Look), Bloodied But Unbowed is the diamond in a gold mine.
Rosetta Tharpe would recognize it.
Sam Phillips would like it.
Elvis would love it.
And even Howlin’ Wolf would have to admit that there IS one other white man who can sing the blues:
DC Rapier.
Listening to the album feels like opening an early Christmas present.