Featuring Collaborations With Ben Harper, Randy Travis, Bonnie Raitt and More,
Including Previously Unreleased Recordings with Lou Reed, John Hammond, and Toots Hibbert
Due October 27th
On Saguaro Road Records
Fairfax, VA — As the Blind Boys of Alabama head into their seventh decade of belting out impeccable harmonies it’s only fitting for them to release Duets, a special anthology featuring 14 unique collaborations. The CD, due out October 27th on Saguaro Road Records, includes classics from other artists’ Grammy-winning CDs plus four brand new tracks.
Unlike some of their old-time gospel music brethren, the Blind Boys eagerly embrace the secular music world, bringing gospel music to mainstream audiences. As a result the group has formed fast friendships with an impressive array of musicians – venerable colleagues and youthful protégés alike – who span a wealth of genres. Many artists have asked the Blind Boys to guest on their projects and their new release documents these rich, eclectic and cohesive interactions. Duets ranges from rock to reggae, country to contemporary Christian, and blues to ballads, all unified by the Blind Boys’ deep, soulful harmonizing.
Three previously unreleased songs, including recordings with Lou Reed, John Hammond and Toots Hibbert, are featured as well as a new song with Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles which will be simultaneously released on his forthcoming CD. Also included are a number of tracks that have long been out of print. Of the ten previously-released tracks on Duets, seven have appeared on Grammy-nominated or Grammy-winning albums.
The first single off of Duets, “Perfect Peace,” is now available on itunes and features Jamaican reggae legend Toots Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals. Said Toots, “I grew up musically in the church and it was great working with the Blind Boys and capturing the spiritual vibe I love.” The album also includes performances with Ben Harper, Randy Travis, Bonnie Raitt, Solomon Burke, Susan Tedeschi, Jars of Clay, Charlie Musselwhite, Dan Zanes, and a live track from the Blind Boys’ Live In New Orleans DVD with Marva Wright. The diverse group of artists that make up Duets reflects the expansive appeal of the group as well as the sweeping reverence for their talent.
The Blind Boys of Alabama are recognized worldwide as living legends of gospel music. Celebrated by both the Grammys and The National Endowment for the Arts with Lifetime Achievement Awards, inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and winners of five Grammy® Awards, they have attained the highest levels of recognition in a career that spans over 60 years and shows no signs of diminishing. Longevity and major awards aside, The Blind Boys have earned praise for their remarkable interpretations of everything from traditional gospel favorites to contemporary spiritual material by acclaimed songwriters such as Curtis Mayfield, Prince and Tom Waits. Their performances have been experienced by millions on “The Tonight Show,” “Late Night with David Letterman,” the Grammy® Awards telecast, “60 Minutes,” and on their own holiday PBS Special. The Blind Boys’ live shows are roof- raising musical events that appeal to audiences of all cultures, as evidenced by an international itinerary that has taken them to almost every continent. In 2007, they released the Grammy winning album, Down in New Orleans, their first for Saguaro Road Records, which was followed in 2008 by a companion DVD, Live in New Orleans.