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Gospel - Released May 13, 2016 | Omnivore Recordings

Booklet
From start to finish this album defies categorical classification. It employs the best of R&B, Afro-beat, folk, and blues while remaining true to the Blind Boys' gospel roots. And with a tasteful selection of material by Tom Waits, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and Ben Harper, in addition to their usual array of traditional gospel hymns and folk tunes, it will appeal to generations of listeners. Though varied in its stylings, the album works as a whole due to the high-quality production, arrangements, and musicianship throughout. The traditional "No More," in a slow and soulful arrangement, starts off with a plaintive slide guitar sampling of "Amazing Grace" and sits comfortably beside "Run for a Long Time," which features George Scott rapping over a percussive, groove-filled (à la Danny Thompson on double bass) and harmony- laden reworking of this classic. And the Stones' "Just Wanna See His Face," which is given a jubilee-like treatment that rivals the original, follows up a somber "Motherless Child" with grace and acuity. Other guests include Charlie Musselwhite on harmonica, John Hammond on guitar and Dobro, and David Lindley on oud and electric slide. ~ Travis Drageset
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Gospel - Released May 13, 2016 | Omnivore Recordings

Booklet
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Gospel - Released January 29, 2008 | Time-Life Music

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The Blind Boys of Alabama, who originally formed back in 1939, have had an amazing seven-decade career, one that has seen them release their own brand of gospel on every possible medium the history of recording has to offer, from 78s and LPs to eight-track tapes, cassettes, and CDs, and the consistency of their sound and approach through all of this makes them a venerable national treasure. What's even more telling is that their newest album, the Chris Goldsmith-produced Down in New Orleans, is one of the best the Blind Boys have ever done. Led by original member Jimmy Carter, whose raspy voice has aged into an expressive, earthy delight, the Blind Boys take a Crescent City route here, working with veteran New Orleans musicians like the legendary Allen Toussaint and a solid, push-and-pull rhythm section of David Torkanowski (piano), Roland Guerin (bass), and Shannon Powell (drums) with help from the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the Hot 8 Brass Band. The result has a joyous, lightly funky feel that reaches back into the long history of traditional Southern gospel even as it updates that tradition with some well-chosen and spiritually compatible secular material. The opener, a version of the old chestnut "Free at Last," swings in exactly the right way, emerging as a lightly funky reaffirmation of everything the Blind Boys have always stood for, and truthfully, everything here has that tone and feel, even though the group tackles a wide variety of songs, including Earl King's "Make a Better World," a pair of songs associated with the great Mahalia Jackson, "If I Could Help Somebody" (featuring Toussaint on piano) and "How I Got Over," country crooner Jim Reeves' "Across the Bridge," and Curtis Mayfield's "A Prayer." Given that New Orleans soulfulness that Crescent City musicians seem to deliver as easily as drawing breath, Down in New Orleans is a sheer delight, uplifting and funky and full of a rare kind of joy. One could say welcome back Blind Boys of Alabama, but these guys have been doing this all along, and that they can deliver one of their best albums 70-some years into their career is nothing short of amazing. Better to burn out than fade away? Don't tell these guys that. They're a testament to the fact that you don't need to do either of those things. You can instead just go out and make great music over and over again. ~ Steve Leggett
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Gospel - Released April 29, 2008 | Intersound

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Gospel - Released November 4, 2016 | Omnivore Recordings

Booklet
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Gospel - Released September 9, 1997 | Intersound

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Gospel - Released November 4, 2016 | Omnivore Recordings

Booklet
Here we go. Why can't record labels leave well enough alone? Here is the third Five Blind Boys of Alabama record on which the legendary Southern gospel quartet has to have celebrity guests as collaborators in order to noticed by yuppie tastemakers, National Public Radio. To make this one seem different than the last two -- and for the record, Higher Ground was a better album-- this is a Christmas outing. Here, Solomon Burke lends his talents to "I Pray on Christmas" and Tom Waits on the title track, with Michael Franti stepping in for "The Little Drummer Boy," Chrissie Hynde and Richard Thompson "adding" to the traditional "In the Bleak Midwinter" (which makes sense since Danny Thompson is the bassist on this date), and on and on ad nauseam. Other guests include Shelby Lynne, Les McCann, Aaron Neville, Robert Randolph and George Clinton (a ridiculous collaboration), and Me'Shell NdegéOcello. There's only one problem: These guests detract from, rather than add to, the power and majesty of the Blind Boys of Alabama; they water down the message, as well as the medium, on these sacred songs. Only Mavis Staples adds dimension to an already glorious sound. This album is a travesty; it is uninspired, sleepy, and far from joyous, a novelty record without novelty. In other words, a record only NPR could love. ~ Thom Jurek
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Gospel - Released October 14, 2003 | Intersound

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Gospel - Released September 27, 2013 | Masterworks

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Gospel - Released July 26, 2005 | Intersound

Gospel - Released January 29, 2008 | Time-Life Music

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The Blind Boys of Alabama, who originally formed back in 1939, have had an amazing seven-decade career, one that has seen them release their own brand of gospel on every possible medium the history of recording has to offer, from 78s and LPs to eight-track tapes, cassettes, and CDs, and the consistency of their sound and approach through all of this makes them a venerable national treasure. What's even more telling is that their newest album, the Chris Goldsmith-produced Down in New Orleans, is one of the best the Blind Boys have ever done. Led by original member Jimmy Carter, whose raspy voice has aged into an expressive, earthy delight, the Blind Boys take a Crescent City route here, working with veteran New Orleans musicians like the legendary Allen Toussaint and a solid, push-and-pull rhythm section of David Torkanowski (piano), Roland Guerin (bass), and Shannon Powell (drums) with help from the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the Hot 8 Brass Band. The result has a joyous, lightly funky feel that reaches back into the long history of traditional Southern gospel even as it updates that tradition with some well-chosen and spiritually compatible secular material. The opener, a version of the old chestnut "Free at Last," swings in exactly the right way, emerging as a lightly funky reaffirmation of everything the Blind Boys have always stood for, and truthfully, everything here has that tone and feel, even though the group tackles a wide variety of songs, including Earl King's "Make a Better World," a pair of songs associated with the great Mahalia Jackson, "If I Could Help Somebody" (featuring Toussaint on piano) and "How I Got Over," country crooner Jim Reeves' "Across the Bridge," and Curtis Mayfield's "A Prayer." Given that New Orleans soulfulness that Crescent City musicians seem to deliver as easily as drawing breath, Down in New Orleans is a sheer delight, uplifting and funky and full of a rare kind of joy. One could say welcome back Blind Boys of Alabama, but these guys have been doing this all along, and that they can deliver one of their best albums 70-some years into their career is nothing short of amazing. Better to burn out than fade away? Don't tell these guys that. They're a testament to the fact that you don't need to do either of those things. You can instead just go out and make great music over and over again. ~ Steve Leggett

Soul - Released December 18, 2014 | Audiotree Music

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Gospel - Released March 25, 2003 | Intersound

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Gospel - Released May 3, 2011 | Saguaro Road Records

Billed as the Blind Boys of Alabama’s country-gospel album, Take the High Road has a valuable pedigree from a country standpoint: it was recorded in Nashville with a cream-of-the-crop cast of musicians, and it features appearances from Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Jr., Vince Gill, Lee Ann Womack, and the Oak Ridge Boys. It also finds young country star Jamey Johnson in the production chair, a development that came after the Blind Boys performed with him at an Alabama Music Hall of Fame ceremony and they decided to record together. (All of which begs the question of when their rock album with Drive-By Truckers is due.) The songs are a baker’s dozen of country/gospel classics, and since the roots of country and gospel are so entwined, this is no fusion record. It’s an honest trip through the best that Southern gospel and country have to offer, full of the songs that have been sung for generations -- even the Blind Boys themselves have sung Hank Williams, Sr.’s “I Saw the Light” many times before. Of the songs with guest vocalists, Lee Ann Womack is the surprise winner, bringing just the right notes of contrition and redemption to “I Was a Burden.” Hank Williams, Jr. makes his father’s “I Saw the Light” shine as well, and the songs with the Blind Boys leading only a light accompaniment fare best. The rest of the album is a little more stiff than it should have been, fault going to the antiseptic arrangements, rigid musicianship, and Johnson’s wavering take on “Have Thine Own Way, Lord,” which needs a lot more solemnity (or at least stability) to truly get its message across. ~ John Bush
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Gospel - Released April 27, 2018 | Light Records

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Gospel - Released October 27, 2009 | Time-Life Music

The Blind Boys of Alabama, who originally met and formed back in 1939 at the Alabama School for the Negro Deaf and Blind in Talladega, AL, have had an amazing seven-decade career, one that has seen them release their own brand of gospel on every possible medium the history of recording has to offer, from 78s and LPs to eight-track tapes, cassettes, and CDs, and the consistency of their sound and approach through all of this makes them a venerable national treasure. Always, in all of their configurations, a gospel group, the Blind Boys have still done a fair amount of secular material, often as vocal guests on other artists' projects, and this delightful 14-track compilation assembles some of those. It's a surprisingly varied set, ranging from rock and light reggae to country, Western swing, and blues, and finds the Blind Boys backing up Ben Harper (the wonderful "Take My Hand"), Solomon Burke (the striking "None of Us Are Free"), Timothy B. Schmit (the beautiful ballad "Secular Praise"), and on previously unreleased tracks with Toots Hibbert ("Perfect Peace"), John Hammond ("One Kind Favor"), and Lou Reed (the chilling, anguished "Jesus," one of the best recordings Reed has done in years). This isn't a duets album in the normal sense, since the Blind Boys are present on these sides mostly as background vocal support, but once they enter the song's arrangement, everything invariably gets lifted to a new plane, and while the results may not technically be gospel, one would be hard put to call it anything else. ~ Steve Leggett
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Gospel - Released June 27, 2006 | Alliant Music

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Ambient/New Age - Released October 17, 2014 | Masterworks

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Rock - Released August 2, 2013 | Masterworks

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Gospel - Released October 27, 2009 | Time-Life Music

The Blind Boys of Alabama, who originally met and formed back in 1939 at the Alabama School for the Negro Deaf and Blind in Talladega, AL, have had an amazing seven-decade career, one that has seen them release their own brand of gospel on every possible medium the history of recording has to offer, from 78s and LPs to eight-track tapes, cassettes, and CDs, and the consistency of their sound and approach through all of this makes them a venerable national treasure. Always, in all of their configurations, a gospel group, the Blind Boys have still done a fair amount of secular material, often as vocal guests on other artists' projects, and this delightful 14-track compilation assembles some of those. It's a surprisingly varied set, ranging from rock and light reggae to country, Western swing, and blues, and finds the Blind Boys backing up Ben Harper (the wonderful "Take My Hand"), Solomon Burke (the striking "None of Us Are Free"), Timothy B. Schmit (the beautiful ballad "Secular Praise"), and on previously unreleased tracks with Toots Hibbert ("Perfect Peace"), John Hammond ("One Kind Favor"), and Lou Reed (the chilling, anguished "Jesus," one of the best recordings Reed has done in years). This isn't a duets album in the normal sense, since the Blind Boys are present on these sides mostly as background vocal support, but once they enter the song's arrangement, everything invariably gets lifted to a new plane, and while the results may not technically be gospel, one would be hard put to call it anything else. ~ Steve Leggett