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Blind Boys of Alabama coming to Kent Stage

By Rich Heldenfels Published: January 31, 2014

The official word: Music Legends, Grammy & Gospel Music Award Winners, The Blind Boys of Alabama will appear in concert on Saturday, March 22nd, 2014 at the historic Kent Stage.

 "I'll Find A Way," the Blind Boys' latest release, was produced by Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver). 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 Dienelof White Hinterland, Patty Griffin, and Justin Vernon himself.

 

Nearly seventy-five years after they hit their first notes together, the Blind Boys of Alabama are exceptional not only in their longevity, but also in the breadth of their catalog and their relevance to contemporary roots music.

 

Since 2000, they've won five Grammys and four Gospel Music Awards, and have delivered their spiritual message to countless listeners. "We appreciate the accolades and we thank God for them," says Jimmy Carter, a founding member and the Blind Boys' leader for five years now. "But we're not interesting in money or anything other than singing gospel. We had no idea when we started that we would make it this far. The secret to our longevity is, we love what we do. And when you love what you do, that keeps you motivated. That keeps you alive."

 

In 2001, they released Spirit of the Century on Peter Gabriel's RealWorld label, mixing traditional church tunes with songs by Tom Waits and the Rolling Stones, and winning their first Grammy Award. The next year they backed Gabriel on his album Up and joined him on a world tour, although a bigger break may have come when David Simon chose their cover of Waits' "Way Down in the Hole" as the theme song for the first season of The Wire.

 

The HBO series remains critically regarded as the greatest television show ever aired. Subsequent Grammy-winning albums have found them working with Robert Randolph & the Family Band (2002's Higher Ground), a plethora of special guests including Waits and Mavis Staples (2003's Go Tell It On The Mountain), Ben Harper (2004's There Will Be a Light), and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band (2007's Down in New Orleans).

 


Showtime is 8:00 pm and doors open at 7:00 pm.
Tickets are $42.50 for Gold Circle seating and $32.50 for
general reserved seatsand are on-sale now at
kentstage.org or 877-987-6487
 

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