Down in New Orleans

Down in New Orleans

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by Five Blind Boys of Alabama
     
 

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With a couple of centuries of experience between them and repeated appearances at the Jazz and Heritage Festival, it's surprising that Down in New Orleans marks the first time The Blind Boys have ever recorded in the Crescent City. Backed by a loose-limbed trio of locals (David Torkanowsky on piano, Roland Guerin on bass, and Shannon Powell on drums), the BoysSee more details below

Overview

With a couple of centuries of experience between them and repeated appearances at the Jazz and Heritage Festival, it's surprising that Down in New Orleans marks the first time The Blind Boys have ever recorded in the Crescent City. Backed by a loose-limbed trio of locals (David Torkanowsky on piano, Roland Guerin on bass, and Shannon Powell on drums), the Boys welcome guests including Allen Toussaint, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and The Hot 8 Brass Band.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
The Blind Boys of Alabama, who originally formed back in 1939, have had an amazing seven-decade career, one that has seen them release their own brand of gospel on every possible medium the history of recording has to offer, from 78s and LPs to eight-track tapes, cassettes, and CDs, and the consistency of their sound and approach through all of this makes them a venerable national treasure. What's even more telling is that their newest album, the Chris Goldsmith-produced Down in New Orleans, is one of the best the Blind Boys have ever done. Led by original member Jimmy Carter, whose raspy voice has aged into an expressive, earthy delight, the Blind Boys take a Crescent City route here, working with veteran New Orleans musicians like the legendary Allen Toussaint and a solid, push-and-pull rhythm section of David Torkanowski (piano), Roland Guerin (bass), and Shannon Powell (drums) with help from the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the Hot 8 Brass Band. The result has a joyous, lightly funky feel that reaches back into the long history of traditional Southern gospel even as it updates that tradition with some well-chosen and spiritually compatible secular material. The opener, a version of the old chestnut "Free at Last," swings in exactly the right way, emerging as a lightly funky reaffirmation of everything the Blind Boys have always stood for, and truthfully, everything here has that tone and feel, even though the group tackles a wide variety of songs, including Earl King's "Make a Better World," a pair of songs associated with the great Mahalia Jackson, "If I Could Help Somebody" (featuring Toussaint on piano) and "How I Got Over," country crooner Jim Reeves' "Across the Bridge," and Curtis Mayfield's "A Prayer." Given that New Orleans soulfulness that Crescent City musicians seem to deliver as easily as drawing breath, Down in New Orleans is a sheer delight, uplifting and funky and full of a rare kind of joy. One could say welcome back Blind Boys of Alabama, but these guys have been doing this all along, and that they can deliver one of their best albums 70-some years into their career is nothing short of amazing. Better to burn out than fade away? Don't tell these guys that. They're a testament to the fact that you don't need to do either of those things. You can instead just go out and make great music over and over again.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/29/2008
Label:
Time Life Records
UPC:
0610583224726
catalogNumber:
19548
Rank:
16353

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Blind Boys of Alabama   Primary Artist,Indexed Contributor
David Torkanowsky   Piano,Keyboards,Hammond Organ
John Gilbert   Tenor Saxophone,Guest Appearance
John Brunious   Trumpet,Guest Appearance
Keith Anderson   Trombone,Guest Appearance
Tyrus Chapman   Trombone,Guest Appearance
Jerome Jones   Trombone,Guest Appearance
Carl LeBlanc   Banjo,Guest Appearance
Shannon Powell   Drums
Allen Toussaint   Piano,Guest Appearance
Billy Bowers   Vocals,Group Member
Benjamin Jaffe   Tuba,Guest Appearance
Darryl Adams   Alto Saxophone,Guest Appearance
Ralph Boyd Johnson   Clarinet,Guest Appearance
Raymond "Taff" Williams   Trumpet,Guest Appearance
Caleb Butler   Vocals,Group Member
Harry Cook   Bass Drums,Guest Appearance
Joey Williams   Vocals,Group Member
Tracy Pierce   Vocals,Group Member
Sammy Cyrus   Snare Drums,Guest Appearance
Ronald Guerin   Electric Bass,Upright Bass
Hot 8 Brass Band   Guest Appearance
Alvarez "Big Al" Huntley   Trumpet,Guest Appearance
Eric "Ricky" McKinnie   Vocals,Group Member
Ben Moore   Vocals,Group Member
Bennie Pete   Tuba,Guest Appearance
Jimmy Carter   Vocals,Group Member

Technical Credits

Earl King   Composer
Marion Williams   Composer
Chris Clark   Artwork,Cover Art
Jimmy Hoyson   Engineer
Ben Sandmel   Liner Notes
Albert E. Brumley   Composer
Gavin Lurssen   Mastering
David Gorman   Cover Design
Chris Goldsmith   Arranger,Producer,Audio Production
Traditional   Composer
Mike Jason   Executive Producer
Paul "Scooby" Smith   Engineer
Wesley Fontenot   Engineer
Charles Driebe   Executive Producer

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