Recorded at Sun Studio in Memphis, “Baptist Town” is steeped in the rich history of the South and the folklore that is so important to American culture. The catalyst for the record is the small neighborhood outside Greenwood Mississippi where legendary blues guitarist Robert Johnson was murdered in 1938. The track “Somebody Been Runnin'” references the final chapter of Johnson’s “deal with the devil” made at the crossroads, and some say fulfilled in the tiny community of Baptist Town the night he died.
The record also focuses on the poverty and racism of the past, and still existing in the Deep South today. Baptist Town remains mostly as it did in Johnson’s time and is a stark contrast to the surrounding city of Greenwood Mississippi. The dichotomy between love and hate, rich and poor, sin and salvation, black and white, are apparent throughout the record, and reflect many of society’s struggles that continue to haunt us all.
Jerry Angel – Drums & percussion
John Bazz – Upright & electric bass
Mike Eldred – Guitar & Vocals
John “Big Nick” Samora – Harmonica on “Hunder Dollar Bill”
Jarvis Jernigan – Lead vocal on “You’re Always There”, 2nd vocal on “Somebody Been Runnin’”, background vocals on “Papa Legba”, “Black Annie”, “Baptist Town”.
Jarvis and Tracy Jernigan – Background vocals on “Bess”
David Hidalgo – Accordion and background vocal on “Bess”
John Mayer – Lap steel and electric guitar on “Roadside Shrine”
Robert Cray – Electric lead guitar on “Baptist Town”
Lauren Brown – Tap dancing on “Run Devil Run”
James Pennebaker – Mandolin on “Run Devil Run”
Papa John DeFrancesco – Organ on “You’re Always There”
Emmanuel Church Inspirational Choir featuring Vicki Dove & Michael Buccowich
– Background vocals on “Somebody Been Runnin’” and “You’re Always There”