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4.2 out of 5 stars
Go Tell It on the Mountain
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 9, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Every year I try and find a new Christmas music collection that is unlike any other collection I own. This year I have found it. THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA'S recording GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN has a bluesy/gospel feel to it. Most of the tracks are standard Christmas fare, with the exception of I Pray on Christmas." The arrangements are far from standard, and have a simplicity that is appropriate for Christmas music, but a musical style that is addictive. The group also has great musical guests for most tracks. Guests include Aaron Neville, Mavis Staples, and George Clinton and Chrissie Hynde of Pretenders fame. I know I will enjoy this disc for years to come and plan to give copies of it to friends for Christmas.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
We've all heard the Blind Boys of Alabama, however, you have not heard them until you've listened to this CD. "Go Tell It On The Mountain" is one of the best rousing new Christmas CD's.
The Blind Boys of Alabama started their singing group in 1939 at the Alabama Institute of the Negro Blind. They had sung for 35 years before they became known outside of the South. In the 1990's one of their gospel songs caught on and from then on they have been on the cutting edge of gospel. Now,most of the Blind Boys are in their 70's and singing strong and loud with Praise from the Lord. Hallelujah!!
This CD is #1 on the Billboard Gospel chart, and it is no surprise. Most of the songs are well known except for "I Pray On Christmas" Solomon Burke is the guest soloist on this song, and will have you bopping in the aisle. The mix of his fabulous voice with the Blind Boys marks the tune.
The Best is, of course, "Go Tell It On The Mountain" with soloist, Tom Waits. Tom Waits is a favorite of mine, and he and the Blind Boys 'get it on down'. My head is bopping and fingers snapping as I listen to it and scribe these words.
Michael Franti sings "Little Drummer Boy" with the best dum, dum dum,dum,da, da ,da, dum I can remember. The Blind Boys fill in with supreme tenderness.
"In The Bleak Midwinter" with Chrissie Hynde and Richard Thompson
brings back memories of Olde England. Great voice that Chrissie.
Aaron Neville sings the joy right into "Joy To The World" as only Aaron can. A superb rendition of the South.
"The Christmas Song" with Shelby Lynne and Clarence Fountain is as good as the original. A unique arrangement that has me singing with them.
George Clinton and Robert Randolph's rendition of "Away In A Manger" IS the absolute best I have heard. A little jazz mixed in with the gospel will have you stompin' your feet.
Les McCannn and Me'shell Ndegeocello bring it on home with
"Oh Come All Ye Faithful" and "White Christmas". So very fine.
The Blind Boys of Alabama, (Clarence Fountain, Jimmy Carter, George Scott, Joey Williams, Ricky McKinnie, Bobby Butler, and Tracy Pierce) sing the finale with "Silent Night".
I must recommend this CD- it is one of the most original Christms CD's- I absolutely love it- reminds us of what Christmas is all about without all of the glitz. If you are into rhythm and blues with gospel and a little country all thrown in together, this CD is for you.
The Blind Boys of Alabama will be featured in a PBS special singing from this Christms CD with many of the soloists as their guests. Prepare for it by listening to this CD over and over.
Hallelujah, Brothers and Sisters! prisrob
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2003
Format: Audio CD
An extraordinary accomplishment and one of the best albums of the year. Does for Christmas music what the Buena Vista Social Club did for Cuban music and the Oh Brother Where Art Thou soundtack did for traditional American mountain music.. Souful and authentic with an amazing roster of guest stars who give uniformly great performances but never overpower the Blind Boys. Choice cuts: The Little Drummer Boy with Michael Franti (never would have guessed that song could be so moving!) and a rockin' version of Away In the Manger (isn't that an oxymoron?) featuring George Clinton and Robert Randolph. The love, care and passion the went into making this record is obvious in every note. A masterpiece from a true American treasure.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is the most impressive Christmas release I've heard in years, and I collect the stuff. BBofA are joined by a stellar cast from Tom Waits(amazing texture!) to Robert Randolph (politely underscoring the vocals) to many other brilliant vocalists. I especially love Mavis Staples, Aaron Neville, and Shelby Lynn. Beneath it all are the likes of Duke Roballard. Listening to this, I'm ready for the holiday season on October 1. The best summary can offer if I hope this leads to Vol. 2 and then an annual CD. It's that great!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 17, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is a great Gospel record. Forget that it is Christmas songs, this is positively majestic mighty music in service of devotion from deep, all the way deep in the soul. I actually can not stand Christmas music, but I felt driven to my knees the first time I heard this. There is quite a panoply of diverse guests on this that makes the ecumenical message of Christmas all the more clear and direct. This is a record for the ages.
"Last Month of the Year" resounds profoundly as the CD gets under way, and from there, the music just gets more and more awe-inspiring. Tom Waits joins the Boys for the title track, and you'll never listen to this song again without remembering this take on it. The great Solomon Burke steps away from his ministry in Philadelphia to essay "Prayer on Christmas" and the marraige of his voice with the Boys is one made in heaven itself. Chrissie Hynde delivers "Bleak Midwinter" with just the right sense of loss before redemption. Mavis Staples sweeps all before her with "Born in Bethlehem."
In one of the most unexpected pairings you'll ever hear, the Boys enlist George Clinton for "Away in the Manger" and it is absolutely the right touch. The entire album has been put together with such incredible care that you are moved by its spirituality as well as in awe of its sheer conception and power. When it all comes to a profoundly reverential close in "Silent Night", you'll feel even the Pope couldn't get his close to God.
You'll return to this disc often, and not just at Christmas. The Blind Boys of Aalabama have a vision of what Music cand be and can do. God Bless them with a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This CD is heartfelt and unique, with great instrumentation and good production and has a nice sampling of guest artists. But overall the Blind Boys voices are what makes it shine. They really make the songs thier own - even the ones you've heard a thousand times before - and THIER versions will stick in your head all season long.

The GREAT majority of reviewers give this CD 5 stars and many others give it 4 stars. But there are 3 or 4 people bringing the overall rating down by giving the CD 1 or 2 stars. Please ignore those reviews. One of those reviewers said the CD was overproduced and too polished, yet another reviewer said they must have used the first take on every track implying the recordings are sloppy? Contradictory and unfounded. Just click on the track samples right here on Amazon and listen - is it what you expected?

Folks, if you love the Blind Boys and/or love Christmas music with an original R&B twist (R&B in the true old-school sense of the word, not the way the phrase "R&B" is used today), then this CD is for you. If you have any idea what you're buying before you purchase (and these days it's hard not to), then buy it and enjoy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2003
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I'm listening to this as I type. This is great Southern Gospel type of music. These Christmas songs have been reworked to have some real oomph. The guests are good, even surprising. Aaron Neville is a pleasure on "Joy to the World," and there is something engaging about Chrissie Hynde and Richard Thompson's "In the Bleak Midwinter." Good choice for driving music. This is a CD that adds a fresh and yet old-fashioned flavor to your collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Let me add my voice to the praise for this album. I've heard numerous versions of most of these songs and "Blind Boys" have just reset my ultimate covers for both "Go Tell it on the Mountain" and "In the Bleak Midwinter" just to name a few. Admittedly, this review is posted too late for you to get this CD for this Christmas, but trust me you will very much be enjoying the songs on this album throughout the year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2005
Format: Audio CD
"Go Tell It On The Mountain"! . . . The Blind Boys Of Alabama present us all with their gifts of "Gold Frankinsence, and Myrrh" in spirit and sound. Every track on this cd is a true "gem" and will stand the test of time to last for generation after generation of listeners . . . it is 'classic" in that it defies the fads of time . . . no matter your age or musical taste preferences, these true musical artists will touch a chord in your soul that only "spiritual gospel" can stricke and resound . . .these singers create spiritual harmonics is your soul and heart.

The Christmas season is special . .and in truth it is all too short . . . but there ARE several "christmas albums" which i listen to and enjoy throughout the year, regardless of the month or season or "temperature on the thermometer": the one is The New Christie Minstrels' "Merry Christmas" . . . another John prine's Christmas album . . . and now, "Go Tell It On The Mountain" by The Blind Boys Of Alabama! :)

Don't wait for the holiday season to near to get a copy of this album . . . and don't delay until the department stores begin decorating with reindeers and snowflakes . . . get it now . . get it anytime of the year . . and put it on your cd player and just let their soulful harmonies engulph you in wave after wave until you find yourself a part of the flow . . . you will find it's Christmas all year long . . every day . . . and if you're like me, you'll go out and get yourself more and more albums by these men who have "real talent" . . "real abilities" . . and "real gifts" . . .

I give my thanks to The Blind Boys of Alabama for this album and for all of their recordings . . . American . . and "world" music . . . owes them a debt of gratitude for the treasures they have created and made permanent on recording after recording . . . long after these men have departed . . and long after all of us have vacated this world, these tracks will be listened to and appreciated and enjoyed by countless not yet born . . .and THEY TOO will be grateful to The Blind Boys Of Alabama for leaving these tracks behind . . .

I hope that they record many many more albums yet to come . . . but for now, i am happy to have this "Christmas All Year" album from them, "Go Tell It On The Mountain"! :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
I had not heard any music by this group prior to borrowing a copy of this album - however, this is an excellent Christmas album. As you would expect from a gospel group, they focus almost exclusively on the religious aspect of the festival, the sole exception being White Christmas. There is a different guest singer on each track except the opening and closing tracks, which are without guests.

With any album featuring a variety of guests, one's favorites depend to some extent on one's opion of the various guests. For example, my favorite guest is Shelby Lynne, who does a fine duet of The Christmas song - however, it's not quite my absolute favorite track. That distinction goes to Chrissie Hynde singing In the bleak midwinter, almost as a solo track with the group providing backup harmony. It is one of my favorite carols and I get the impression that it is more popular in Britain than in America, where it turns up occasionally on Christmas albums (this one included) but is by no means common. Other favorites include I pray on Christmas (a cover of a Harry Connick Jr song featuring Solomon Burke), Born in Bethlehem (with Mavis Staples), Little drummer boy (with Michael Franti) and Joy to the world (with Aaron Neville).

This is an album with plenty of variety - they put plenty of energy into Last month of the year (no guests) and Go tell it on the mountain (with Tom Waits), which provide plenty of contrast with the slower songs.

If you are looking for a bluesy gospel Christmas album, this is certainly a good one to choose.
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