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The Blind Boys of Alabama

Higher Ground

  • Real World

The Rolling Stones have certainly been on the road a long time, but they've got a ways to go to catch up with The Blind Boys of Alabama, who are still going strong some 60 years into their career.

Original Blind Boys' Clarence Fountain, Jimmy Carter, and George Scott are all in their 70s now, but these old lions of gospel music sound exhilarating on this new album of fairly well-known covers.

Together with a band anchored by slide guitar hotshot Robert Randolph, The Blind Boys deliver sturdy versions of cuts like Aretha Franklin's “Spirit in the Dark,” the traditional “Wade in the Water,” and even take on Prince's salvation saga “The Cross.”

“People Get Ready” is always wondrous, but a tad too predictable here, though the Boys pick up the pace considerably during Fountain's own “Stand By Me” and a wild rendition of Stevie Wonder's “Higher Ground.”

Kevin O'Hare