Ain’t No Grave

by Leonard Pierce

I’ve been listening to a collection of incredible music from the ’40s and ’50s by Holiness preacher Brother Claude Ely, which is inspiring in all kinds of ways, but also deeply frustrating.

For one thing, as much as I like to denigrate religion, it is one of the few things capable of instilling people with the kind of deep conviction and emotional depths that leads to this kind of art.  Listening to this guy sing and holler and preach, listening to his congregation weep and wail and scream — it makes me feel ashamed of all the shit I’ve talked about people of faith.  They can create stuff like this; who am I to mock that?

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