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The Salem Travelers

Tell It Like It Is / Give Me Liberty Or Death

    Two tracks from Chicago’s mighty Salem Travelers, from their brief time on the Chess subsidiary Checker in 1968.

    The A-side, ‘Tell It Like It Is’, goes for around £45 on seven, its follow up, an previously unheralded classic from the same year. Both tracks are a unique funky take on gospel.

    ‘Tell It Like It Is’ is filled with wah wah guitar chops and some excellent lead breaks that spice up the conga-adorned upbeat; a heady song grasping for the truth.

    ‘Give Me Liberty Or Death’ is slightly slower, with a Motown-styled backbeat behind a fist pumping anthem that reels in its churchy roots and some great vocal interplay, a message song filled with emotion.

    Two fantastic tunes from a transient ever-changing group who, in the 1960s and 1970s, were known for soulful harmonies, glass-shattering lead singing.

    Typical of their repertoire of songs that provided social commentary on the troubles of the world from the war in Vietnam, drugs, violence, prejudice, civil rights and child delinquency.


    1. Tell It Like It Is
    2. Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death

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