The Blind Boys of Alabama put on a hell of a show last night in Finney Chapel. They are, in fact, blind, or at least the main vocalists are.
It was an inspiring performance featuring a mix of country, gospel, honkey-tonk and blues rock music, and by the middle of the show everyone was clapping hands and jumping around at their seats or in the aisles.
I don’t know what they were drinking growing up, but I’d like to get my hands on some. The energy was high and joyous, and lead singer Jimmy Carter carried us through the set with friendly, lyrical conversation and a few plugs for their latest album “Take the High Road,” which features an impressive list of Country artists.
From the beginning of the show, when they were led on stage by the enormous sex-bomb left-handed bassist (not blind), to the end when the Eunuch guitar player led them back off (not blind, probably not a Eunuch, incredible pipes and an interesting, technical playing style), the Blind Boys and their Badass Band made true music for everyone to enjoy.
Better mention the keys and the drums, too… younger guys but absolutely solid and incredibly versatile. The harmonies were sweet, rich, and full of emotion, and the songs they sang for us were beautiful. You could sense the spirituality that fuels this band’s art, now over sixty years in the making.
Carter insisted that when they come back to Oberlin, someone better have fresh homemade black-eyed peas and cornbread ready for him. I hope someone told them about Saunders!
If you didn’t check them out this time around, definitely get some of their music and find out when you can see them, because this is a dynamite group you don’t want to miss.