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  • Higher Ground
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Higher Ground


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Audio CD, August 27, 2002
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Amazon's Blind Boys of Alabama Store

Music

Image of album by Blind Boys of Alabama

Photos

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Videos

Blind Boys of Alabama with Jamey Johnson on their new album Take The High Road

Biography

As a teenager, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon dreamed of working with his heroes, except his weren’t the typical heroes for a kid growing up in the Midwest during the 1990s. When his friends were getting into punk and hip-hop, the seventeen-year-old Vernon was obsessed with gospel music. As teenagers, he and his best friend—and future band mate—Phil Cook steeped themselves in ... Read more in Amazon's Blind Boys of Alabama Store

Visit Amazon's Blind Boys of Alabama Store
for 41 albums, 6 photos, videos, and 4 full streaming songs.


Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 27, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Real World
  • ASIN: B00006AO77
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,352 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. People Get Ready
2. Spirit in the Dark
3. Wade in the Water
4. Stand by Me
5. The Cross
6. Many Rivers to Cross
7. Higher Ground
8. Freedom Road
9. I May Not Can See
10. You and your Folks/23rd Psalm
11. I Shall Not Walk Alone
12. Precious Lord

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

On the follow-up to their Grammy-winning album Spirit of the Century, the three gospel-singing septuagenarians celebrate the holy side of secular songs in hopes of connecting with "the generations that are behind us," as founding member Clarence Fountain put it. Always alert to the potent message of God's mightiness, they exuberantly spiritualize the Stevie Wonder title track and Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready," as well as choice picks from the songbooks of Prince ("The Cross"), George Clinton ("You and Your Folks," grafted onto the 23rd Psalm!), Ben Harper ("I Shall Not Walk Alone"), and others (Harper guests on three tracks). A few uplifting traditional gospel numbers turn up, too. Throughout the program, Blind Boy Jimmy Carter's stirring tenor voice is a minor miracle. And "sacred steel" guitarist Robert Randolph and his Family Band are important to the success of the album, supplying genuine fervor to grooves that complement the elders' heaven-bound vocals. --Frank-John Hadley

Amazon.com

On the follow-up to their Grammy-winning album Spirit of the Century, the three gospel-singing septuagenarians celebrate the holy side of secular songs in hopes of connecting with "the generations that are behind us," as founding member Clarence Fountain put it. Always alert to the potent message of God's mightiness, they exuberantly spiritualize the Stevie Wonder title track and Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready," as well as choice picks from the songbooks of Prince ("The Cross"), George Clinton ("You and Your Folks," grafted onto the 23rd Psalm!), Ben Harper ("I Shall Not Walk Alone"), and others (Harper guests on three tracks). A few uplifting traditional gospel numbers turn up, too. Throughout the program, Blind Boy Jimmy Carter's stirring tenor voice is a minor miracle. And "sacred steel" guitarist Robert Randolph and his Family Band are important to the success of the album, supplying genuine fervor to grooves that complement the elders' heaven-bound vocals. --Frank-John Hadley

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
26
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See all 31 customer reviews
Very glad I picked this one up.
JM Bunkin
If you love traditional Gospel, this is the real deal.
Lynne OConnor
The music is soulful and the harmony is terrific.
David Kilgore

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By bensmomma on August 31, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I'd hate to see the Blind Boys typed as "genre" singers. They are not just great gospel singers, they are great artists period. Although much of this album consists of either old gopsel chestnuts (Precious Lord, Wade in the Water) or covers of more modern recording starts (Stevie Wonder's Higher Ground, Jimmy Cliff's Many Rivers to Cross, for example), on every single occasion you get something new from the Blind Boys that you did not get from previous recordings of the same songs.
Listen, for example, to their take on "Many Rivers to Cross," or Clarence Fountain's remarkable and contemplative solo on Precious Lord.
Sit back, listen to the art, and be revived.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By H. Coffill on October 10, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you haven't experienced the Blind Boys, you're in for a treat. I bought this on a lark after a casual reference in a magazine and I've nearly worn it out listening to it.
If you see a dorky looking guy singing real loud in the car next to you, it's me singing along with the Blind Boys.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Karen Foreman on September 20, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Several times all I could think is that this is the sort of spiritual gem Van Morrison strives for but increasingly misses.
I'm not a big gospel fan but I was transfixed by their performance on Letterman last year when they "Amazing Grace" to the tune of "House of the Rising Sun."
The blending of rock, blues, jazz and R&B is rooted firmly in the gospel tradition and the range of voices is startling. They have the high, fervent and hopeful tenor of Jimmy Carter and the Old Testament gravity of Clarence Fountain.
"People Get Ready" is better than the original or the Rod Stewart Cover. It's almost impossible not to rock to "Wade in the Water" and "Stand by Me". I don't know the original "the Cross" and "You and Your Folks" but I doubt they had the cresendo's and building tensions of Robert Randolph and the Family Band. The cover of "Higher Ground" was funky but too long.
The standout for me was "I Shall not Walk alone". I was almost in tears at the assurance and faith in their delivery and the delicacy in the harmonies.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Hocquard on September 7, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Glad they weren't the Deaf Boys of Alabama. My first listen was off Peter Gabriel's latest album which features the Blind Boys in a couple tracks. Great harmonies brought me to this album, and after accidentally running into a concert of theirs during the Montreal Jazz Festival a night before I was to see Peter Gabriel in concert, I was only disappointed that they didn't show up to perform at the last concert of Gabriel's tour the next night. However, I was in awe! The presence, the power and they rocked the house. I wished I was able to find a rockin baptist church so I could hear this kind of live musical power on a weekly basis. You won't be disappointed in this CD.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "wave-twister" on September 29, 2002
Format: Audio CD
The Blind Boys have topped their wonderful 2001 album with this supreme effort. The Boys wisely enlisted Robert Randolph and the Family Band, and their righteous funk infuses every track with burning energy. Though the songs are quite different, each one seeks out a groove to build upon, from the carefully metered stomp of Wade in the Water, to the dirty bluesy funk of Higher Ground. Indeed, the title track improves upon the Stevie Wonder's already excellent original by adding Ben Harper's ferocious guitar and The Family Band's roof-shaking jamming. A couple of other tracks benefit from Ben Harper's presence, especially his Mayfield falsetto on the superb People Get Ready, and his emotionally devestating original, I Shall Not Walk Alone. Throughout, Randolph's pedal steel stands out, a whole choir unto itself. Choice cuts: People Get Ready, Wade in the Water, Higher Ground, Freedom Road, You and Your Folks/23rd Psalm and I Shall Not Walk Alone.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jeevan on February 25, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Though they have gospel origins, the Blind Boys of Alabama have garnered world-wide secular acclaim with the raw passion of their singing and harmonizing. They've been together for so many decades that they have all blended their vocal skills together to form a spiritual orchestra that moves you through not just spiritual classics but some original versions of popular contemporary hits as well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 4, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This was another wonderful CD of Blind Boys. The songs are more traditional and have a more traditional gospel sound, but I doesn't sound 'old'. The guest musicians do a great job. The guitar on this CD sounds spectacular. This is nothing like Spirit of the Century, but it is just as good. If you like and follow the music of the Blind Boys, this will not dissapoint you!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Teetor on November 15, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This album was a bit disappointing after "Spirit of the Century". It has some good, soulful numbers, and those are great. But the producer often chose to emphasize electric instruments over the Blind Boys' vocal harmony, which is a shame. The choice of numbers is weak, too, emphasizing "hit tunes" rather than the Blind Boys' gospel roots. I do listen to this album, hitting the "Next Track" button to skip over the fluff.
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