The legendary five-time Grammy winners Blind Boys of Alabama have steadily brought inspired grooves to the stage since the group’s beginnings in the 1930s. Greater Cincinnati has witnessed some special shows by the group, especially their gig at the last Tall Stacks Festival in 2006, when lead singer Jimmy Carter was led into the outdoor crowd with a microphone and he proceeded to lift up the audience with goodness and light and soul.
Even though the Blind Boys have been around for many decades, the group found new success in the late ’90s and early ’00s when they signed to Peter Gabriel’s Real World record label. Since then, their open-minded approach to Gospel music, which includes Pops Staples-esque electric guitar and a smoking rhythm section, has led to collaborations with artists such as Ben Harper, Willie Nelson, Michael Franti, Chrissie Hynde, Vince Gill, Prince, Allen Toussaint, Aaron Neville, Charlie Musselwhite, Robert Randolph, Solomon Burke and many more.
The Blind Boys of Alabama return to town this week in support of their latest release, last year’s I’ll Find a Way. The album was produced by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon (who became obsessed with Gospel music as a teenager) and adds to the group’s long list of collaborators, with guest appearances by Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond and Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, among others.
THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA perform Friday, March 21 at Greaves Hall on the campus of Northern Kentucky University. Tickets and more info here .