Here’s a group we could stand to bail out, the Beacon of Hope Chapel Singers from the Kansas State Penitentiary. What’s it like to be a creative person in prison? Imagine every interaction you have with the outside public mediated in some way: two-way glass, mail inspections, phone calls monitored. And if you are so lucky as to be released you are dumped out in the world wearing ill-fitting clothes, holding bus fare with no where to go. When do we talk about what its like to be in prison?
I don’t know who the Beacon of Hope Singers are, the record doesn’t have their names on it. Someone had the courtesy to write “Recorded November 1971” on the cover, and without that the record would remain undated as well as anonymous. In addition to a 20 (?) person choir, there is a small band composed of drums, guitar and bass. This recording can be classified as amateur at best but the songs still sound amazing. This track gave me chills.