Ben Harper And The Blind Boys Of Alabama - There Will Be A Light

Thursday 20th January 2005
Ben Harper And The Blind Boys Of Alabama - There Will Be A Light
Ben Harper And The Blind Boys Of Alabama - There Will Be A Light

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 12463-1601
LABEL: Virgin CDVUS254
RRP: £4.99

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

Following Ben Harper's guest appearance on the last Blind Boys album, 'Higher Ground', the well known singer/songwriter and the octogenarian gospel group decided they got on so well that they'd record a full album together. Ben Harper was so inspired by the Blind Boys that he secreted himself away to pen an album of gospel material. Not known for being a Christian, you couldn't be faulted for wondering whether Harper has found Jesus when you hear these songs. The pairing is superb and most of the material sprang from Harper's pen with a sprinkling of covers thrown in. This is the perfect blend of blues, soul and gospel and near enough every track is a highlight, whether it's the sparse spare arrangement and juxtaposition of "Where Could I Go"'s blues vocals and brittle guitar or the full on impact of the brilliant "Take My Hand" which opens the album. The popular gospel song "Satisfied Mind" is given a stupendous reworking whilst the swampy groove of "Church House Steps" is pure Blind Boys gospel at its best. Ben Harper has captured the gospel heart of the group with some great songs here. Sounding simultaneously traditional and fresh, the blend of instruments and voices make this a powerfully earthy album and as far as the mainstream is concerned, The Blind Boys Of Alabama are the fashionable end of today's gospel music! They're an institution that keeps on making amazing music.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Reader Comments

Posted by Steven Whitehead in Buckinghamshire @ 21:30 on Feb 26 2011

There is also a live version of the album on DVD. It was recorded at the famous Apollo Theatre in New York and has some really intersting bonus features (making of, etc.). Well worth tracking down.

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