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December 20-23 • 7:30 pm
In 1939, five students at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Deaf and Blind in Talladega, Alabama, came together to raise their voices in song. Originally known as the Happy Land Jubilee Signers, they were later rechristened the Five Blind Boys of Alabama, and some iteration of the group (now simply “The Blind Boys of Alabama”) has been singing ever since. Along with lineup changes, there have been repertoire changes as well. The Blind Boys specialized in gospel, but their Grammy-winning 2001 album Spirit of the Century, featured them performing some secular songs, and they were also working with artists from Prince to Bonnie Raitt to Lou Reed. And their version of Tom Waits’ “Way Down in the Hole,” the theme song for first season of The Wire, introduced the group to a whole new audience.
In their three-night stand at Jazz Alley, you can expect a typical blend of traditional numbers and newer material, likely including songs from their 2014 collection Talking’ Christmas!, a collaboration with Taj Mahal. Get ready for an evening of music that will revitalize your soul.
📸: Courtesy The Blind Boys of Alabama