The Blind Boys of Alabama in concert

  • on 21 Sep 2013
  • Guerry Auditorium
blind boys of alabama

The Performing Arts Series presents the Blind Boys of Alabama, living legends of gospel music whose collaborations have included Bonnie Raitt, Tom Waits, k.d. lang, Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, and Asleep at the Wheel. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, in Guerry Auditorium. Tickets are $25/adults, $20/seniors, $10/non-Sewanee students. (Admission free with University of the South ID.)

The Blind Boys of Alabama are recognized worldwide as living legends of gospel music. Celebrated by the Grammys and The National Endowment for the Arts with Lifetime Achievement Awards and inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, they have attained the highest levels of achievement in a career that spans over 70 years and shows no signs of diminishing. The Blind Boys’ loose definition of gospel music has allowed the singers to measure the spiritual dimensions of rock and pop songs, of blues music, of funk and folk and everything in between. Their live shows are roof-raising musical events that appeal to all cultures, as evidenced by an international itinerary that has taken them to virtually every continent.

The Blind Boys of Alabama first sang together at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in Talladega in the late 1930s. The group toiled for almost 40 years almost exclusively on the black gospel circuit, playing in churches, auditoriums, and even stadiums across the country. During the 1960s, they sang at benefits for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and provided a soundtrack to the Civil Rights movement. In the 1990s they performed at the White House. In recent years the Blind Boys have been awarded five Grammy Awards.

Younger musicians have appreciated their continued relevance and asked the Blind Boys to contribute and collaborate on new projects. The Blind Boys have appeared on recordings with Bonnie Raitt, Randy Travis, k.d. lang, Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, Charlie Musselwhite, Susan Tedeschi, Solomon Burke, Marty Stuart, Asleep at the Wheel and many others. The Blind Boys of Alabama have profoundly influenced an entire generation (or two) of gospel, soul, R&B and rock musicians and are still blazing trails after all these years.