Blind Boys Of Alabama - Down In New Orleans

Published Thursday 24th January 2008
Blind Boys Of Alabama - Down In New Orleans
Blind Boys Of Alabama - Down In New Orleans

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 43596-12800
LABEL: Proper
RELEASE DATE: 2008-01-29

Reviewed by Paul Poulton

60 years after the Blind Boys first rocked the world with their blues phrased hit "I Can See Everybody's Mother But Mine" - and it still sounds cool - they've headed down to New Orleans to record their latest album. The Boys have had to recalibrate their syncopation slightly to conform to the groove of the Crescent City, but they have chosen well worn songs to do it with, so the transition comes pretty easy to them. Top trio David Torkanowsky (piano), Roland Guerin (bass) and Shannon Powell (drums) lay down a feel-good channel for the group to slot neatly into, albeit with some surprising turns. "Free At Last" has an exquisite instrumental break, the band take the song down a tone and move to blues scale, it's cool stuff. Although the songs are old they are not old-hat, the young and talented Hot 8 Brass Band help keep things fresh. There are some Jelly Roll Morton moments but generally the songs veer away from trad jazz and concentrate on the energy that founder member Jimmy Cater still has, the only original member of the Blind Boys on this recording.

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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