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

Okkervil River: The Stage Names (UN Spin)

Okkervil River: The Stage Names (UN Spin)

At his most dramatic, OkkRiver singer Will Sheff sounds like a heavily caffeinated Richard Thompson (the ripping opener Our Life is Not A Movie) or Morrissey with a very nasty attitude (on Unless... > Read more

Trygve Seim and Frode Haltli: Yeraz (ECM/Ode)

Trygve Seim and Frode Haltli: Yeraz (ECM/Ode)

One for those with refined tastes, I suspect: tenor and soprano saxophonist Seim in a duo outing with accordion player Haltli which traverses a lot of territory (the title track is an Armenian folk... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

BRIAN ENO; THE EARLY SOLO YEARS 1973-77: Alchemy in the studio

BRIAN ENO; THE EARLY SOLO YEARS 1973-77: Alchemy in the studio

Legend has it that when Roxy Music singer Bryan Ferry fell out with the band's synth player (and avant-noise merchant) Brian Eno he accused him of being a "non-musician". Eno -- full... > Read more

Chilli lime Thai fish with coriander, by James

Chilli lime Thai fish with coriander, by James

James is my Thai friend and a wonderful chef (see his Authetically Thai Chicken recipe), and this is a rare treat. It helps in the presentation to have one of those fish-shaped trays with... > Read more