Category Archives: Gospel



I just stepped outside to have my good-morning-cigarette-with-coffee to find that it is now snowing here in NY. Looking up at the level, bleached-slate sky, today’s song popped into my head. It could be this was already swimming around in there because of my recent post of Ken Boothe’s 1973 rock-steady rendition of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine.”

Perhaps this too could be considered a “cover” of the Withers’ classic, but it is also so much more than that. Taking Withers’ original as a jump-off, The Prodigal Sons deliver solid-rock gospel with a rhythm section that trudges on through the darkness; a darkness that they are urging you to know will pass with a persistent spirit. What stands out for me on this track are the emphatic lead vocal by Johnnie Holmes and the odd organ that twitches around the melody (I believe by Cority Quarles), which sounds like a precursor to RZA’s instantly captivating yet always peculiar production technique.

On Newark, New Jersey’s Richburg Records label, and off their 1976 Fred McGriff produced album of the same name—here’s The Sensational PRODIGAL SONS with “No Sunshine In A Storm.”

The Sensational PRODIGAL SONS

To those who don’t have to shovel–enjoy the snow; and to those that do–I’m sure It’ll melt soon.

                                                                                                                                                                 ————————Bobby Calero


Withers, B. (1971), & Prodigal Sons. (1975). No Sunshine In A Storm. [recorded by Prodigal Sons] On No Sunshine In A Storm. [Vinyl] Richburg. (1976)

Something In Its Infancy…Let Me Ride

How else to begin the show but with the voice of Regina Havis to cleanse the air and give a little plea to let me ride? Recorded  April 20, 1980 at Massey Hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, This was Concert # 4 with the Third Gospel Band for Bob Dylan. Backed up by Clydie King, Gwen Evans, Mary Elizabeth Bridges, Mona Lisa Young, and Terry Young on piano, here’s Regina explaining how it came to be that she would open the shows with this Spiritual number by Rev. Willie Morganfield.

If I got my ticket, Lord, can I ride?
If I got my ticket, Lord, can I ride?
If I got my ticket, Lord, can I ride?
Ride up to Heaven in the mornin’.

This was recorded just about the same day Dylan composed a letter to a friend who had just joined the U.S. Military, in which he writes:

“the Spirit of the Lord is calling people here in this beautiful and clean city but they are more interested in lining up for Apocalypse Now than to be baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost —” (lettersofnote).


Marshall, S. (n.d.). An exclusive interview with Regina Havis. B-Dylan. Retrieved Dec. 17th, 2011, from

Morganfield, W. (Can I Ride) If I’ve Got My Ticket Lord [Recorded by Bob Dylan]. On Born Again Music [CD]. Luxembourg: Flashback. (April 20, 1980).

Usher, S. (2011). People are more interested in Apocalypse Now than the Holy Ghost. Letters of Note. Retrieved Dec. 17th, 2011, from