Blind Boys Of Alabama Reaffirm A Lifelong Commitment To Spreading Light And Love On New Album
By Stevie Connor.
First Album In Six Years 'Echoes Of The South' Comes September 8 Via Single Lock Records
Blind Boys of Alabama have shared “Work Until My Days Are Done,” which finds the five-time GRAMMY winners shifting between heart-wrenching doo-wop and a raucous, rafter-raising second half; recalling the group’s rich history “epitomizing a livelier breed of gospel” (New York Times).
While the Blind Boys make this standard their own, the themes of “Work Until My Days Are Done” perfectly suit the group’s long-held mission statement: “as long as everybody gives all that they have to give and we sing songs that touch the heart, we'll live on forever.” That belief has taken on even deeper meaning recently, as they've reckoned with the loss of two of their own - Paul Beasley and Benjamin Moore - and they’ll release their first album in six years Echoes Of The South (Single Lock Records) on September 8 in their honour.
“We lost two great champions in Ben and Paul,” reflects 91-year-old group leader Jimmy Carter. “But I know they would want the Blind Boys to keep on going.” Both the new album and song were co-produced by Matt Ross-Spang (Margo Price, John Prine), Ben Tanner (Alabama Shakes, Jason Isbell) and Charles Driebe.
Echoes Of The South marks the first album that the Blind Boys of Alabama have ever fully made in their home state - a homecoming for the ages. The album’s title takes its name from a Birmingham radio show that the Blind Boys grew up idolizing - tuning into groups like the Golden Gate Quartet each afternoon - before they eventually became guests on the show themselves. The tracklist is similarly rooted in coming home, drawing from the music that’s most inspired them over their careers: long-lost gospel classics, traditional spirituals and timeless R&B/soul cuts made famous by artists like Pops Staples and Curtis Mayfield. Even the album’s cover features braille for the first time; among the personal touches that establish Echoes Of The South as a "homecoming" in so many senses of the word.
Blind Boys of Alabama are Gospel Music Hall of Fame members who overcame incredible odds to become legends - from singing for pocket change in the Jim Crow South, to performing for three different American presidents, soundtracking the Civil Rights movement and helping define their genre as we know it. Hailed as "gospel titans" by Rolling Stone, the Blind Boys have collaborated with artists as diverse as Stevie Wonder, Chrissie Hynde, Lou Reed, Tom Waits, Peter Gabriel, Bonnie Raitt and Bon Iver. Still regularly touring across the globe, the group currently have North American tour dates announced into 2024 - with a full list below.
July 19 - Mendocino Music Festival 2023 - Mendocino, CA
August 19 - CHOMP - Redmond, CA
August 27 - Vancouver Wine & Jazz Festival - Vancouver, WA
September 9 - Paramount Centre for the Arts - Saint Cloud, MN
September 10 - Reif Performing Arts Centre - Grand Rapids, MN
September 11 - Pablo Centre at the Confluence - Eau Claire, WI
September 15 - City Winery Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA
September 16 - City Winery Boston - Boston, MA
September 17 - City Winery New York - New York, NY
November 19 - Edwin J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall - Akron, OH
November 26 - Lone Tree Arts Centre - Lone Tree, CO
January 13-20 - Sandy Beaches Cruise 2024 - Fort Lauderdale, FL
February 8 - Fred Kavli Theatre (with Bobby Rush) - Thousand Oaks, CA
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