Isaiah Owens

Isaiah Owens

Isaiah Owens

You Without Sin Cast the First Stone


When I think of Gospel music, I think of big mass choirs singing praises to the lord. I think of Gospel as church music or an influence cropping up in jazz, R&B and pop music. The racket Isaiah Owens kicks up doesn’t sound anything like what I hear on the Sunday morning radio shows, but his scratchy blues is Gospel nonetheless.

Isaiah Owns spent over 45 years singing more traditional Gospel music with The Flying Clouds. It was only in the 1980s that this veteran singer took up the guitar and struck out on his own. What you hear on You Without Sin Cast the First Stone sounds like raw, unschooled blues. It sounds like something crawling from the wreckage of a Jon Spenser Blues Explosion gig. It’s a gravelly voice and a gnarly guitar, with the occasional testifying of Ann Talbed.

This album was made in the tradition of Alan Lomax’s field recordings. The first two tracks, “You Without Sin” and “Jesus Will Provide,” come straight off a live AM radio broadcast from Montgomery, Alabama. The other selections are 4-track recordings. There’s nothing fancy here. This is just Isaiah shouting out his own testimony to the lord.


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