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Precious Bryant: The Truth

Precious Bryant is the Grandma Moses of Southern-fried blues, arriving very late to the arena yet, at age 63, at the very top of her game. As the story goes, she was born outside Columbus, Ga., began singing at the local Baptist church, was first recorded in 1969 by regional folklorist George Mitchell and made her professional debut nearly a decade later at the Columbus Museum’s Chattahoochee Folk Festival. Throughout the next two decades she would make sporadic appearances at festivals and church functions. But it wasn’t until three years ago that producer Amos Harvey coaxed Bryant into an Atlanta studio to lay down the 15 tracks, recorded live with no overdubs, that filled her debut disc, Fool Me Good. Now Bryant is back with another 14 slices of heaven (with a bit of hell tossed in for good measure) on The Truth (Terminus). Blending the secular (“My Babe”) with the spiritual (“Morning Train,” “Sit Down, Servant”) and the sweet (“Good Night”) with the salty (“You Can Have My Husband,” “Don’t Jump My Pony”), Bryant again proves herself a vibrant blues traveler who’s been around the track enough times to fully appreciate-and communicate-the exultant joy and empowering pain of which she sings.

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