Higher Ground

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
The surprising success of the Blind Boys of Alabama's 2001 Spirit of the Century introduced gospel's legendary voices -- Clarence Fountain, Jimmy Carter, and George Scott -- to a new audience, thanks to their bluesy takes on classic hymns and the odd Rolling Stones song. For their comeback, the Boys, all in their 70s, make further inroads. Where Spirit was a monumental fusion of swamp blues and church tradition, Higher Ground crackles with youthful energy and verve. Joined by the ecstatic lap-steel gospel messengers Robert Randolph and the Family Band plus special guest Ben Harper, the gentlemen ply their singular pipes over a thoughtful selection of pop hits by Curtis...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
The surprising success of the Blind Boys of Alabama's 2001 Spirit of the Century introduced gospel's legendary voices -- Clarence Fountain, Jimmy Carter, and George Scott -- to a new audience, thanks to their bluesy takes on classic hymns and the odd Rolling Stones song. For their comeback, the Boys, all in their 70s, make further inroads. Where Spirit was a monumental fusion of swamp blues and church tradition, Higher Ground crackles with youthful energy and verve. Joined by the ecstatic lap-steel gospel messengers Robert Randolph and the Family Band plus special guest Ben Harper, the gentlemen ply their singular pipes over a thoughtful selection of pop hits by Curtis Mayfield, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Prince, and others. The magical results always cut through the familiar and straight to the spiritual core of the Blind Boys' message, especially when their powerful voices are challenged by the Family Band's roof-raising sonics. This meeting of church old and new is especially vibrant on the title track, by Stevie Wonder, and the astounding reworking of Funkadelic's "You and Your Folks" with a rap known as the 23rd Psalm. This is southern gospel music as it lives and breathes today. It's hard to tell what's more inspiring about Higher Ground: the continuity of heartfelt, soulful music making across the generations; the sheer musicality of these grand, weathered voices; or the steadfast message behind it all. With grace and glory, the Blind Boys show that you can't stop the blessings.
All Music Guide - John Bush
Higher Ground, the Five Blind Boys of Alabama's second album for Real World, is even more of a crossover effort than 1997's Spirit of the Century. It sports a classics-heavy track listing, including great choices of inspirational material from R&B legends Stevie Wonder "Higher Ground", Curtis Mayfield "People Get Ready", Aretha Franklin "Spirit in the Dark", Prince "The Cross", Jimmy Cliff "Many Rivers to Cross", and George Clinton "You and Your Folks". Another inspired choice is the backing band, sacred-steel guitarist Robert Randolph and the Family Band, who provides a rock-solid rhythm, yet also lends the feeling necessary to frame the vocals. Leads Clarence Fountain and George Scott, who've been performing together for over 50 years, direct the ensemble with gospel fire; Fountain's original, "Stand by Me," is a rollicking jubilee number done with all the energy of his mid-'50s performances. Elsewhere, Randolph contributes some great licks to "I May Not Can Se," another group original, and Ben Harper stops by to deliver a piercing high tenor on "People Get Ready."
Rolling Stone - Mark Kemp
[Higher Ground] is even better than [Spirit of the Century]. The group tackles everyone from Prince to the great Curtis Mayfield -- their remake of his classic "People Get Ready" is actually an improvement on the original. Another stunning set of songs from Alabama’s finest, and more proof of gospel’s influence on R&B and rock & roll.
Vibe - Tony Green
Higher Ground succeeds by nudging, rather than dragging, classic gospel harmonies into the modern-pop era.

[Higher Ground] is even better than [Spirit of the Century]. The group tackles everyone from Prince to the great Curtis Mayfield -- their remake of his classic "People Get Ready" is actually an improvement on the original. Another stunning set of songs from Alabama’s finest, and more proof of gospel’s influence on R&B and rock & roll.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/26/2008
  • Label: Real World
  • UPC: 884108010624
  • Catalog Number: 107
  • Sales rank: 130,552

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 People Get Ready - Five Blind Boys of Alabama (3:22)
  2. 2 Spirit in the Dark - Five Blind Boys of Alabama (3:15)
  3. 3 Wade in the Water - Five Blind Boys of Alabama (3:34)
  4. 4 Stand by Me - Five Blind Boys of Alabama (3:01)
  5. 5 The Cross - Five Blind Boys of Alabama (2:47)
  6. 6 Many Rivers to Cross - Five Blind Boys of Alabama (3:56)
  7. 7 Higher Ground - Five Blind Boys of Alabama (6:14)
  8. 8 Freedom Road - Five Blind Boys of Alabama (3:37)
  9. 9 I May Not Can See - Five Blind Boys of Alabama (3:37)
  10. 10 You and Your Folks/23rd Psalm - Five Blind Boys of Alabama (5:42)
  11. 11 I Shall Not Walk Alone - Five Blind Boys of Alabama (5:26)
  12. 12 Precious Lord - Five Blind Boys of Alabama (3:52)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Blind Boys of Alabama Primary Artist
Bobby Butler Musician
Ben Harper Guitar, Vocals, wah wah guitar
Leon Mobley Percussion
Daniel Morgan Electric Bass
John Ginty Piano, Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer
Marcus Randolph Percussion, Drums
Technical Credits
John Chelew Producer
Jimmy Hoyson Engineer
Stephen Marcussen Mastering
Tristan Manco Graphic Design
Chris Goldsmith Executive Producer
Bruce Monical Engineer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 6, 2013

    Nice mix of gospel and songs by other artists. This is a fine c

    Nice mix of gospel and songs by other artists. This is a fine cd, by the Blind Boys Of Alabama, with stand out tracks, including a pretty sweet remake of Stevie Wonder's Higher Ground; where the disc gets its title. The harmonies are great and the backing artists; including Ben Harper, are solid. The guys handle the tracks well and demonstrate that they can sing more than gospel. The two tracks that really stand out for me and have a lot of feeling are: Wade In The Water and Freedom Road. This along with Spirit Of The Century, with their version of Amazing Grace; which is the version I'd like have played when I die, is sweet; set to the "House Of The Rising Sun", for the music, it's a curious mix of sacred and "secular". Even if you're not a "gospel" person and I'm generally not, per se, this cd and the other mention will truly make you feel "saved". Amen.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews