|Blind Boys Of Alabama / Take The High Road|
|Album:||Take The High Road||Collection:||Blues|
|Artist:||Blind Boys Of Alabama||Added:||05/2011|
|Label:||Saguaro Road Records|
|Add Date:||2011-05-21||Pull Date:||2011-07-23||Charts:||Blues|
|Week Ending:||10 Jul||19 Jun||5 Jun|
|1.||Sep 20, 2011:||That's Not Bluegrass |
Take The High Road
|3.||Jun 17, 2011:||The Songsmith Show |
I Saw The Light
|2.||Jul 08, 2011:||The Songsmith Show |
Take The High Road
|4.||Jun 01, 2011:||Morning Glory |
Can You Give Me A Drink?
BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA - TAKE THE HIGH ROAD|
Reviewed by Kevvy Kev
Jimmy Carter (NO, not that Jimmy Carter) realizes a long-standing dream and we are all blessed. No strangers to genre-bending collabos, the Blind Boys team up with the cream of the country music crop to produce a project that resists classification. From the first acappella intro to the final note, this album is a clear labor of love. As it turns out, the intersection of Blues, Gospel and Country is such a smooth, comfortable place, it completely sidesteps any knee-jerk attempt at classification. It’s just Good Stuff. Picking “Standout tracks” is an exercise in futility. In order:
1. Take The High Road - The Oak Ridge Boys come along and wail at you, with energy and abandon. Gritty acappella, rousing finale. Niiiiiiiiice.
2. Jesus, Hold My Hand – Crate Diggers and lovers of Soul, take note. The intro to this is EXACTLY the vibe that inspires Your Favorite Producers. The vocals go all the way from raspy to buttery smooth, sometimes (somehow) at the same time. Wow.
3. Have Thine Own Way, Lord – One of the old standards; familiar enough that even the non-Gospel aficionados know it. So the fact that it’s got a down south country crooner vibe to it Will spank your brain, but the legendary Jamey Johnson makes it work.
4. I Was a Burden (feat. Lee Ann Womack) – One of those “is it Blues or Country or Gospel Oh Who CARES!!!” tracks. The lyrics are what thread their way through the genres in this instance, the sounds are fairly straight ahead. And of course Lee Ann complements the boys smoothly.
5. Can You Give Me A Drink? (feat. Vince Gill) – A nice collabo that highlights everybody’s strengths in a “Wow who’da thunk it” way.
6. Family Bible (feat. Willie Nelson) – The boys team up with the living legend, who does most of the vocal heavy lifting on this track. This sis one of those Pull the rockin’ chair out to the porch, gather the folks around, and soak it up tunes. If the last few bars don’t touch you, you’re made of stone.
7. Jesus Built a Bridge to Heaven – The boys put the sounds, ideas and history of this song together and put their own indelible, multilayered stamp on it. Nice arrangement; easy to miss how expert these musicians are because they’re so subtle.
8. I Know a Place – It’s Sit Down and Listen to me Learn Ya time, as Gramma used to say. This is one of the more clearly straight-ahead gospel offerings on the album, but of course the Boys do their thing.
9. Why Don't You Live So God Can Use You – The rhythm/drums on this one stand out more than on most, which gives it a different energy. It’s a tribute to the Boys that it doesn’t feel out of place. Some of this is due to the effortless yet passionate vocals. To coin a phrase: it’s the Blues, but it ain’t sad. Hold your head.
10. Lead Me Home – Acappella/organ flavored intro eases you into another old standard that gets the genre bending treatment. Nice.
11. Stand by Me – The spare, minimalist energy of this track showcase the reasons the album is so compelling: the voices. The boys growl, plead and croon their way through it in equal measure.
12. I Saw The Light (feat. Hank Williams, Jr.) – Hank and the Boys, easing you into another old standard that gets the full treatment from all concerned. The instrumental bridge is a chance for all concerned to show off, and of course they do.
13. The Last Mile of the Way – Sometimes, there’s no better word than “soulful.” It applies exactly, here. The boys are amazing at making you Feel, and it’s on full display here.