CD Review – The Blind Boys Of Alabama “Spirit Of The Century”
It’s time for a good ol’ revival with The Blind Boys Of Alabama! First started in 1939 when they were only 9 years old, these spiritual-blues-gospel singers have stuck together through thick and thin.
The main three lead singers are: Jimmy Carter, Ben Moore & Eric McKinne. They are all three blind hence the name. But they have never let that stop them. In fact it has helped them uplift other disabled people by: “spiritually uplifting audiences” since their beginning in 1939. For seven decades they have sung and performed together and they are also five time Grammy winners including this very album which represented a turning point for the group in 2001. It won a Grammy too.
I cannot tell you enough about The Blind Boys without sounding like a PR guy for the group. Let me tell you that once you hear this album and really get into it…you’ll never be the same. If you’ve already heard it you know what I’m talkin’ about. Their soulful voices blend together like some gift from heaven which they sing about a-lot! No wonder there.
On this great album they are joined by three legends of the music business: John Hammond on Dobro and other guitars. The Charlie Musselwhite on harmonica and Jackson Browne’s famous guitarist…David Lindley.
The album starts out with a Tom Wait’s tune about Jesus called: “Jesus Gonna Be Here.” On first listen I was a little perplexed by this choice but upon further listens I grew to love it. Then comes another traditional titled: “No More.” Followed by my favorite cut on the CD: “Run On For A Long Time.” This song contains a lead vocal by George Scott that is so smooth it caught my ear right away. Unreal in the uplifting department. Then another traditional: “Good Religion.” Ben harper gets a writing credit on: “Give a Man A Home.” This is followed by: “Amazing Grace” sung to the melody of “The House Of The Rising Sun.” Very entertaining.
The three guest musicians I mentioned earlier all do a fine job of blending in with these soulful vocals and never get in the way…they just add.
The rest of the album is fleshed out with mostly traditionals The Blind Boys arranged. “Soldier”, “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”, another Tom Wait’s tune: “Way Down In The Hole.” “Motherless Child”, a great spiritual. Then a Jagger/Richards cut: “Just Wanta See His Face.” Ending with: “The Last Time.”
Although this album/CD was released in 2001, 12 years ago, I feel that has no bearing on how it holds up. This is one of the most amazing albums I have ever heard and I cannot recommend it enough. These men can really see through their voices! God bless them for giving us so much of themselves on this album/CD.