All hail the Godmother of Rock ‘n’ Roll! Sister Rosetta Tharpe developed her guitar playing style for use in gospel ministry and evangelism and had a recording and performing career from the 1930s to the 1960s. She is credited with influencing most of the early (male) rock ‘n’ roll stars . She also laid foundations for electric blues by using an overdriven, distorted guitar sound – here she is playing a very beefy-looking Gibson SG Custom.
‘Up Above My Head’ says that the ‘music’ of God is all around – if you can just listen out for it, you can sense God working and even speaking to you. But if you are having a hard time, it can feel like you are drowning and everything is getting on top of you. Many people in the Bible were all too familiar with that experience – as you can read in Psalm 69. Plenty of material for the Blues there.
I’m about to drown
Sinking deep in the mud
Getting swept under
by a mighty flood
So, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, here is a principal piece of evidence that indeed “God gave rock ‘n’ roll to you”. I hope you can hear that ‘music in the air’.