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

Dr John and the Lower 911: City That Care Forgot (Shock)

Dr John and the Lower 911: City That Care Forgot (Shock)

The good Doctor's voice can be an acquired taste and there is no doubt he lost many loyalists when he went schmaltzy and kinda boring in the late 80s/early 90s. It was almost as if he had run his... > Read more

DYSE: Das Nation (Cargo)

DYSE: Das Nation (Cargo)

Don't believe the publicity material, let alone the hype. Right? The advance PR for this duo of guitar/drums/vocalists -- who play in New Zealand soon, see dates below -- bills them as a... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Sydney, Australia: Family, friends and fine dining

Sydney, Australia: Family, friends and fine dining

Lucio pauses mid-stride as he passes my table and then – perhaps because he can recognise the colour and bouquet, or maybe he cheated and peaked at my order – says enthusiastically,... > Read more

Dinah Shore: The Gypsy (1946)

Dinah Shore: The Gypsy (1946)

Here's a pub quiz question for you: What was so remarkable about the song The Gypsy in the year 1946? And the answer isn't that it's sentimental pop. That was an odd year in... > Read more