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Take The High Road

4.8 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 3, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

MUSIC LEGENDS THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA RECORD COUNTRY GOSPEL ALBUM!
Five-time Grammy Award winners The Blind Boys of Alabama's amazing spirit and soul is celebrated through songs as
they team up with country music royalty to release TAKE THE HIGH ROAD, a powerful new album that explores the deep connections between traditional country and gospel music. Jamey Johnson, currently one of country music's most acclaimed and compelling artists, co-produced the album and performs on it along with guest artists Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Jr., Lee Ann Womack and The Oak Ridge Boys. This amazing country roster is further backed by an A-list of top Nashville studio musicians, with the result a stunning and powerful testament to the historic relationship
between these genres.

The concept for the collaboration started with original Blind Boy Jimmy Carter's longstanding love of country music and his desire to do a traditional country-tinged gospel album. The idea blossomed when the Blind Boys were asked to curate a series of shows, including a country gospel night, at the prestigious Lincoln Center Festival last year, and was further ignited when the band met Johnson at the 2010 Alabama Music Hall of Fame dinner in Birmingham where they asked him to participate in the new album. The result is a remarkable recording of 13 songs, some time-tested and some brand new.

"There wasn't one person who didn't bawl like a baby or bust their heart open at least once," said Johnson in a recent New York Times interview, reflecting upon these historic Nashville sessions. New friendships formed quickly between the
artists, and soulful sounds were crafted out of a shared love of real and authentic spiritual music. Recorded live in just a few days at the old RCA soundstage, this album has the soulful feel of an old-school country-gospel classic.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 3, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Saguaro Road Records
  • ASIN: B004RIACQ8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,142 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Music
A friend of mine was playing this in his car yesterday and I got hooked by "I Saw The Light". After playing the whole album, I immediately went out and bought it and have been listening non-stop for the past 9 hours. What an awesome record! Not sure who came up with the idea of mixing country in with Gospel, but it's a great mix here. I'm gonna have to buy more Blind Boys records. Pick this one up!!
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Format: Audio CD
I've had this CD for a while now but just getting around to posting the review. I was fortunate enough to see the BBs LIVE last week in a showcase for non-commercial radio folks (the only stations that will probably play the CD). They got great response. (I've seen earlier versions of the BBs over the years - as members die, they are replaced - and the current lineup is as good as any I've seen.

This CD does for country crossover what the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Del McCoury are doing: Cross-pollinating the music and helping blend the line between genres. It's all good music. It's actually a sequel to 2009's Duets, which had the BBs singing with Lou Reed, Bonnie Raitt and Asleep At The Wheel - to name a few . For this album The BBs are joined by Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Jamey Johnson, The Oak Ridge Boys (who really are "White" Blind Boys of Alabama when you listen with your ears). The songs include gospel standards like "I Saw The Light" but also Muddy Waters' "Why Don't You Love So God Can Use You".

Jimmy Carter is the only Founding Member left in the group (founded in 1939!)

The group won Grammys for four straight years and there is a reson why. Listening to this album will give you the answer.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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Format: Audio CD
The Blind Boys have been making music since the 1930's, but they have unquestionably been at their artistic best during the past decade. No need to mention the five Grammy awards, the number of US presidents they've performed in the White House for, the admiration music fans and musicians alike have for the Blind Boys--just listen to what they've been releasing and that should be enough proof.

"Take The High Road" falls in line with this recent momentum. This time, they pair old-school gospel with Nashville country. Using traditional recording and arranging methods while still putting interesting twists on old (and new) songs, and working with legendary country heroes and fresh Nashville faces, this is a treasure of American music. It's inspiring to find a band in their 70's and 80's who aren't afraid of trying something new; and country music is a decidedly welcome and seemingly perfect change.

Opening up with the title track, backed by the Oak Ridge Boys, "Take The High Road" is a sonic blast of hope and joy. It really sets the pace for the entire record: optimism, salvation, faith.

Co-producer Jamey Johnson's sweet baritone voice supports the old-timey hymn "Have Thine Own Way Lord". The song evokes another world in another time. You feel like you've found yourself in some cozy 1970's church deep in the American South; Johnson summoning the voice of country greats while the Blind Boys pray along as the church choir.

The iconic Willie Nelson with his superstar mouth harp player in tow, Mickey Raphael lace "Family Bible" with some real musical magic, as to be expected. The Blind Boys echo "rock of ages, rock of ages cleft for me"--their reverent response serves as the song's chorus.
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
I just received my copy of the Blind Boys' new record and am blown away. Jamey Johnson! Hank Williams Jr! Willie Nelson! And more! This record literally gives me goose bumps. The combination of gospel and country is brilliant and the blending of the Blind Boys' harmonies with the various guests is outstanding. It's been a few years since I've seen them live and I can't wait to see them perform these songs in concert. The Blind Boys still create some of the best music out there. Hank Jr.'s rendition of "I Saw The Light" is uplifting and I just love "Take The High Road" (with the Oak Ridge Boys). Check it out - you won't be disappointed.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had purchased one other album by The Blind Boys of Alabama and I loved it, and I read about the making of this album on their website and thought the description was intriguing. However, this album didn't capture my spirit the way Down in New Orleans did. I probably haven't evolved enough as far as country music goes to appreciate this album fully.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
" the Spirit " Album was so full of GOD, But, and However, " high Road ' wrote the book on being of GOD, and GODLY, and far surpasses, just about anything that has come before, and for a spectacular trip through Heaven escorted by a small Army of Blind angels listen to "high Road" and "Duets" back to back, and then over again. Hopefully, some day very, very soon our Blind Godly treasures will do a few arran gements with, and God will Bless us with A WHOLE ALBUM DONE WITH ROB LlILE, one of GOD's New treasures coming up on the Warner Scene. That would be Such a Blessing for the world.
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Format: Audio CD
---------------------------------------------------------
Blind Boys Of Alabama
"Take The High Road"
(Saguaro Road, 2011)
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A really nice record from one of the longest-lived African-American gospel groups, joined here by a slew of country/Americana luminaries, including Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Jr., Lee Ann Womack and album co-producer Jamey Johnson, who all add their talents while respecting the integrity of the Blind Boys' classic sound. The Oak Ridge Boys are on the album's opener, chiming in with the deep, robust harmonies that are their trademark, creating a surprising synergy with their black counterparts in a related but divergent gospel tradition. The songs that the Blind Boys "solo" on are similarly rich and energetic -- the production is a little slick, but not too much, and there's a soulfulness and organic feel that keeps the music true to its roots. If you like traditional gospel music -- white or black -- this disc is highly recommended. (DJ Joe Sixpack, Slipcue Guide To Country Music)
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