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    Blind Boys of Alabama

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    Rank:5187 history »
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    Most Popular Songs (more)

    1Oh Happy Day lyrics
    Blind Boys of Alabama feat. Clarence Fountain
    2None Of Us Are Free lyrics
    3Talk About Suffering lyrics
    Free At Last lyrics
    5Picture of Jesus lyrics
    6Just Wanna See His Face lyrics
    7Just A Closer Walk With Thee lyrics
    8Way Down In The Hole lyrics
    9I'll Fly Away lyrics
    10I Know I've Been Converted lyrics

    Most Popular Albums (more)

    1There Will Be a Light [2004]
    2Gospel Legacy [2008]
    3Praying Time [2005]
    4I Brought Him With Me [2003]
    5Higher Ground [2008]
    6Atom Bomb [2005]
    7Retrospective [2007]
    8Amazing Grace [2003]
    9Sanctify My Soul [2005]
    10Sacrifice [2008]


    The Blind Boys of Alabama have spread the spirit and energy of pure
    soul gospel music for over 60 years, ever since the first version of the
    group formed at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in 1939.
    Today, founding members Clarence Fountain, Jimmy Carter and George
    Scott are joined by more recent arrivals Joey Williams, Ricky McKinnie,
    Bobby Butler, and Tracy Pierce on a mission to expand the audience for
    traditional soul-gospel singing while incorporating contemporary songs
    and innovative arrangements into their hallowed style.

    The group toiled for more than 40 years on the traditional gospel circuit.
    But in 1983, their career reached a turning point with their crucial role in
    The Gospel at Colonus, the smash hit musical drama created by Bob
    Telson and Lee Breuer. This Obie Award-winning Off-Broadway and
    Broadway success, coupled with their appearance on two original
    soundtrack albums (in 1984 and 1988), brought the Blind Boys' timeless
    sound to an enthusiastic new audience.

    The 1992 album DEEP RIVER - produced by Booker T. Jones and
    featuring a transcendent version of Bob Dylan's I Believe In You - earned
    the Blind Boys their first GrammyÆ Award nomination. It was, as their
    executive producer and long-time booking agent Chris Goldsmith notes,
    "the first time the Blind Boys ventured into 'gospelizing' relevant
    contemporary songs that weren't traditional soul-gospel songs." In 1995,
    the Blind Boys released the roof-raising live album I BROUGHT HIM WITH
    ME; it was followed (in 1997) by HOLDING ON, an experiment in funked-
    up contemporary gospel.

    The group did not record again until 2001, when Chris Goldsmith decided
    to self-finance the Blind Boys album he'd been hearing in his head for
    years. "I saw a show with [blues singer/guitarist] John Hammond and the
    Blind Boys performing together that was an epiphany for me. Around the
    same time, John Chelew came by to talk about his ideas for a Blind Boys

    The result was the Blind Boys' Real World label debut, SPIRIT OF THE
    CENTURY - a set of hot-wired traditional gospel and carefully chosen
    contemporary songs that became the group's best-selling album to date
    and won the 2001 GrammyÆ Award for Best Traditional Soul Gospel
    Album. One track, a version of Tom Waits' Way Down in the Hole,
    became the theme song for the acclaimed HBO dramatic series The Wire.
    (Throughout their 2003 touring season, the Allman Brothers Band played
    this cut over their PA system each night just before hitting the stage.)

    HIGHER GROUND - a spiritual excavation into the soul music tradition -
    earned the group its second consecutive GrammyÆ Award for Best
    Traditional Soul Gospel Album. Backed by Robert Randolph and his
    Family Band (as well as Ben Harper, on several tracks), the Blind Boys
    offered masterful interpretations of Curtis Mayfield's People Get Ready,
    Aretha Franklin's Spirit in the Dark, the Stevie Wonder-penned title tune,
    and even a touch of Funkadelic (Me and My Folks). During the 34th
    annual Dove Awards (2002) sponsored by the Gospel Music Association,
    the Blind Boys of Alabama were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of
    Fame and presented with the Dove Award for Higher Ground as the Best
    Traditional Gospel Album.

    The Blind Boys' willingness to work with artists from the world of
    contemporary rock music marks a refreshing openness, and Ben Harper's
    presence on several tracks is a prime example. "The performance of the
    song 'Higher Ground' is so amazing, says producer John Chelew, who
    returned to guide the sessions after his previous work on 'Spirit of the
    Century'. "There was some great guitar interaction between Ben and
    Robert on the tune. It sounds like something off a Cream record. Ben's
    got a very psychedelic sound, and there's Robert, playing like he's off
    in the Florida Everglades, just grooving. It was a big jam."

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