Blind Boys of Alabama Set to Perform at Boulder Theater, 12/5
Z2 Entertainment will present Blind Boys of Alabama to the Boulder Theater on Thursday, December 5th, 2013. Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday, August 23rd, 2013 at 10:00 am for $25.00 general admission seated, $30 reserved and $40 gold circle.
Sony Masterworks announces the release of the Blind Boys of Alabama's new album, I'll Find a Way, produced by Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver) and available on October 1st, 2013. A unique collaboration between one of popular music's longest-running acts and one of its fastest- rising stars, it is a powerful collection of gospel and spiritual songs new and old, featuring some of the Blind Boys' most fervent vocals as well as contributions by a new generation of Blind Boys fans - Sam Amidon, Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, Casey Dienel of White Hinterland, Patty Griffin, and Justin Vernon himself.
I'll Find a Way represents a strong new chapter for the Blind Boys of Alabama, whose career stretches back more than seventy years. Formed in the late 1930s at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in Talladega, the group has harmonized throughout the turbulent twentieth century and well into the twenty-first: from Jim Crow through Civil Rights and into the Obama era. They have, however, enjoyed some of their biggest and most rousing successes in the last ten years, during which they've won five Grammys, four Gospel Music Awards, and multiple invitations to sing at the White House.
For I'll Find a Way, their ninth studio album of the twenty-first century, the Blind Boys of Alabama - which includes Jimmy Carter, Eric 'Ricky' McKinnie, Joey Williams, Tracy Pierce, Ben Moore, and newest addition Paul Beasley - decamped to the wintry wild of rural Wisconsin to record at Vernon's April Base studio. Known primarily for his work in the indie and folk realms, the Bon Iver frontman proved a perfect fit to work with the Blind Boys, exhibiting a deep knowledge and appreciation of gospel music.
Vernon and old friend and band mate Phil Cook (Megafaun, The Shouting Matches) corralled a lively backing band for the album and hand-picked a range of songs for the Blind Boys to sing. Some numbers, such as "Take Your Burden to the Lord And Leave It There," have been sung for nearly a century now, while others, like "I Am Not Waiting Anymore," were penned only a year or two ago. The result of this unique collaboration is a collection of rousing tunes that address life's most desperate hours but also savor the triumphs and reassurances of faith.
One of the band's own stories of trial and triumph involves Clarence Fountain, a founding member of the Blind Boys and the group's leader for many decades. Serious health problems requiring weekly kidney dialysis have prevented him from touring with the other members of the group. When he couldn't travel to the Wisconsin sessions, the Blind Boys found a way to include him on the album, recording his robust bass vocals in Birmingham and adding them to the mix.
"That's an important part, that bass under everything," explains Carter, the group's current leader and standout tenor. "He gave those songs a true Blind Boys bottom. We wouldn't want to do a Blind Boys project without including Clarence. He will always be a Blind Boy even if he's not out on the road with us."
A strikingly and confidently diverse album, I'll Find a Way features an array of guest vocalists representing a whole new generation of artists who find contemporary musical inspiration in America's gospel past. The daughter of two musicians who played in a Pentecostal church, Shara Worden of Detroit-based My Brightest Diamond lends her soaring voice to the title track (originally written and recorded by the Motown session musician Ted Lucas). Casey Dienel of White Hinterland sings lead on the Blind Boys' glorious cover of the Chi-Lites' "There Will Never Be Any Peace (Until God Is Seated at the Conference Table)," whose luxuriant string arrangement has been replaced with a stoical beat, quietly ascending keyboard theme, and stirring saxophone solo courtesy of Minneapolis musician Mike Lewis.