The Blind Boys of Alabama: Take the High Road (Stem/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

The Blind Boys of Alabama: Jesus Hold My Hand
The Blind Boys of Alabama: Take the High Road (Stem/Southbound)

The on-going career of the Blind Boys -- now well past the half century mark -- takes an interesting turn away from the bluesy and soulful sounds they embraced in the past decade. Here they team up producer Jamey Johnson for an album which pulls in country artists to sing and testify on material which has the overt religious commentary but also digs deep into very human problems.

So here are the Oak Ridge Boys (the title track, not the strongest here), Lee Ann Womack (the quietly self-flagellating I Was a Burden), Vince Gill (the rural sounding Can You Give Me A Drink? with harmonica player Mickey Raphael, and not what you think but about Jesus on a pilgrimage), Willie Nelson (the standard Family Bible) and Hank Williams Jnr (on his father's joyous I Saw the Light).

Of the tracks with just the BBoys, Jesus Hold My Hand gets a delivery as raw as anything by Ray Charles, Jesus Built a Bridge to Heaven is positively uplifting over a real cowboy backdrop and Lead Me Home is a holy moment as death descends and a new life opens up to the sound of pedal steel guitar and gentle organ.

The BBoys have constantly broadened their platform from traditional gospel and this spiritual-country makes perfectly good sense.

Like the sound of this? Then check out this

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Endless Boogie: Long Island (No Quarter)

Endless Boogie: Long Island (No Quarter)

New York's Endless Boogie – who played Auckland last year – might not seem to do very much but, like the Ramones, it's more than enough. The truth-in-packaging quartet nail down... > Read more

ONE WE MISSED: Devils Elbow; Absolute Domain (Hit Your Head)

ONE WE MISSED: Devils Elbow; Absolute Domain (Hit Your Head)

Because Elsewhere is a one-man outfit, "we" can't be everywhere at once -- and sometimes we are very elsewhere -- so every now and again there will be slightly apologetic postings under... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE SEX PISTOLS; THE FILTH AND THE FURY. JULIEN TEMPLE INTERVIEWED (2000): A Rotten and Vicious business

THE SEX PISTOLS; THE FILTH AND THE FURY. JULIEN TEMPLE INTERVIEWED (2000): A Rotten and Vicious business

The Sex Pistols changed many lives, aspiring filmmaker Julien Temple’s more than most. After accidentally meeting them in their dockland rehearsal room one afternoon in 1975, he followed... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Tift Merritt

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Tift Merritt

On the occasion of the release of her impressive debut album Bramble Rose in 2002 I joked along the lines of "remember this name". Tift -- actually her middle name -- was of course a hard... > Read more