The Sensational Nightingales: Guide My Mind
Available on The Lord Will Make a Way: Early Recordings 1947-1951

On the second day of Soul Hut, I gave Tofu my this of thee, Afrique’s cover of Bill Withers’ “Kissing My Love.” Tofu, in turn, hit us with the Sensational Nightingales and their “Guide My Mind,” of which John says:“A friend mondegreen-ed [interpreted] the chorus of this song (which actually reads “put your bit down into my mouth and bridle down my tongue”) as “put your FIST into my mouth”. In some way, that interpretation feels just as honest. I have a particular appreciation for good ol’ Spirituals that cry out to a god that takes no bullshit. Praying to a god to rein you in and set you on a right path is something different than bitching about not getting a Playstation for Christmas, y’know?

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that “Guide My Mind” is driven by the powerful and moving cries of the Nightingales demanding direction “RIGHT NOW LORD”. It is a prayer that sounds desperate, painful and elated all at once.

Meet the current lineup for the Sensational Nightingales.The Soul Sides .02:

What I like about this song is its great sense of rhythm and pacing. This is a very fast song, probably over 125 BPM and it just swings. I know John says it’s got some heavy content but honestly, I never even get around to listening to what the group’s preaching: I just get caught up in that quick-stepping it inspires. The elation I understand but I don’t hear the desperation or pain – just the power of testifying fast and furious.

By the way, just to give ample credit where ’tis due, Soul Sides often times finds images for long, lost artists by visiting the well-nigh impressive Soul Generation out of the UK. Kudos to Martin and his team of crack scholars of the soul science. Damn, that’s a lot of soul in that sentence. Dig it.