For eight decades, the Blind Boys of Alabama have brought gospel music to your ears, and soon you’ll be able to see them live. Currently on tour, the five-time Grammy Award-winning group will perform music from their emotionally charged new album, ‘Almost Home,’ at Harbison Theatre on Friday, Nov. 17.
‘Almost Home’ is the 67th studio album from the quintet. With just two founding members remaining – long-time group leader, Clarence Fountain, 88 and current leader, Jimmy Carter, 88 – the album was recorded over four different sessions in four different cities to pay homage to them.
“These men were both raised as blind, African American males in the deep south during the Jim Crow years, and they were sent to a school where the expectation for them was to one day make brooms or mops for a living,” says Blind Boys manager Charles Driebe in a press release. “But they’ve transcended all that. The arc of their lives and of the band reflects the arc of a lot of changes in American society, and we wanted to find a way to capture their experiences in songs.”
This is the band’s first new album in three years, following 2014’s ‘Talkin’ Christmas’ (with Taj Mahal). It is described as a recount of the group’s “remarkable journey, primarily through original songs written for them by an outstanding collection of artists,” says the press release. “... and it sees them picking up right where they left off, blending the sacred and secular, the traditional and innovative, the past and present.”
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The group will join “Crescent City legends” Irma Thomas and The Preservation Hall Legacy Quintet for “The Heart and Soul Queen of New Orleans Tour.”