In African American folklore, trains portend deliverance. They figure the promise of safe passage from here to there, pointing the way from conditions of constraint, perhaps literal bondage, to freedom or at least release. From this vantage, Rosetta Tharpe’s ‘Gospel Train’ is an aptly named album. It is a collection of old songs — old as in venerable but also old as familiar — that mark her “return” to the fold after several years of fraught experimentation for Decca Records, which had been trying to rebrand her for the R&B era. As an album of gospel songs and spirituals, ‘Gospel Train’ thus represented as a re-righting of Tharpe’s professional path via the repertoire of African American spiritual song.