The Dixie Hummingbirds
Diamond Jubilation

It’s hard to find another group as influential in American music as The Dixie Hummingbirds.

From their beginnings in the 1930’s in Greenville, South Carolina, they have drawn the attention of not only Gospel enthusiasts, but rising stars in mainstream genres. Artists as diverse as The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Jackie Wilson and a host of others owe them much.

CD In 1998, The Dixie Humminbirds caused a stir with their 70th Anniversary Celebration album, Music in The Air. Five years later, they’re back again with Diamond Jubilation, an album that celebrates the group’s astounding 75 years of existence.

As has always been the case since his joining the quartet as a thirteen-year old baritone in the dawn of The Hummingbird’s career, Ira Tucker fronts the group. From the strident, slightly bluegrass-ified redo of Rev. Dan Smith’s “God’s Radar” to his bass anchor of the ultra slowed down original, “When I Found Jesus Christ”, his voice remains the identify of the legendary group.

And fellow members William Bright, Lyndon Baines Jones, Frank Frierson, James Williams and Enoch Webster offer their unwavering strength of quartet vocals throughout the album.

This recording is supported by instrumental stars such as Larry Campbell (guitar, madolins etc.), Levon Helm (drums), Tony Garnier (standup bass), Garth Hudson (Hammond B3) and the famed Dr. John on pianos. And yet as great as these legends are in their own right, they are never overshadowed by The Dixie Hummingbirds. Their inclusion merely highlights the group’s diversity and ability to continue —seemingly forever.

Look for highlights such as the remake of Bob Dylan’s “City of Gold’, the sparkling Dorothy Love Coates classic “I’ve Been Born Again” and the rousing spiritual “Rasslin’ Jacob”.

Then there’s “Nobody’s Fault” that features the solo voice of William Bright accompanied only by Larry Campbell’s acoustic and resonator guitar. Absolutely classic.

Yes, The Dixie Hummingbirds are still going strong.

More Quartets ---> Click Here

Producer: Larry Campbell
album release date: October, 2003
Rounder Records / Treasure Records

— review by Stan North

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