There Will Be a Light

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
There Will Be a Light delivers in every way on its promise; it's a passionate meeting of kindred spirits. Ben Harper has made the liberationist side of gospel a cornerstone of his music for over a decade, and the Blind Boys have done their thing for nearly six times that. Old souls, indeed. With the versatile Innocent Criminals backing up a quartet of Harper and septuagenarians Clarence Fountain, Jimmy Carter, and George Scott, There Will Be a Light shines equally on tradition and innovation. The opener, "Take My Hand," shimmies along to a gospel gait, but is rocked out with wah-wah guitar and keyboard flourishes. Harper's lap-steel picking on "11th Commandment" segues...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
There Will Be a Light delivers in every way on its promise; it's a passionate meeting of kindred spirits. Ben Harper has made the liberationist side of gospel a cornerstone of his music for over a decade, and the Blind Boys have done their thing for nearly six times that. Old souls, indeed. With the versatile Innocent Criminals backing up a quartet of Harper and septuagenarians Clarence Fountain, Jimmy Carter, and George Scott, There Will Be a Light shines equally on tradition and innovation. The opener, "Take My Hand," shimmies along to a gospel gait, but is rocked out with wah-wah guitar and keyboard flourishes. Harper's lap-steel picking on "11th Commandment" segues into Bob Dylan's "Well, Well, Well," reinforcing the gospel-blues atmosphere of this collaboration. Rather than praise or hymns, Harper and the Blind Boys concentrate on moral songs whose wisdom is universal, such as "Satisfied Mind," which extols spiritual ease instead of worldly luxury. "Picture of Jesus," the most explicit reference to the identity of the man upstairs, is a Harper original recorded on his 2003 album Diamonds on the Inside. There is a sweet inevitability to this recording; Harper was a demon guitarist from day one, but he's never sounded better or more in control of his voice. On the a cappella "Mother Pray," his road-tested falsetto seems to mature into its full expressiveness. It seems like Ben Harper could sing anything now, and that enticing path is but one which this Light illuminates.
All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Ben Harper's history with the Blind Boys of Alabama has been an evolving one that has moved from being a guest on their Higher Ground offering and touring with them in Europe, to the Blind Boys joining Ben and the Innocent Criminals on-stage at the front and back of their show. This album began as a series of rehearsals for collaboration on a Blind Boys of Alabama record. Recorded in two sessions, the vibe in the room was loose and creative enough that the two acts ended up with an album of material for a joint release. This is "collaboration" in the truest sense of the word. It's not just Ben playing gospel, or the Blind Boys of Alabama singing on a Ben Harper record. These ten tunes -- with seven Harper originals written specifically for the sessions, the rest traditional gospel tunes and covers -- showcase Harper and the Innocent Criminals alongside the Blind Boys of Alabama. The album kicks off with Harper's "Take My Hand," a funky gospel tune that showcases a Fender Rhodes and Harper's wah-wah pedal underscored by the call and response of the Blind Boys repeating the title after each sung line of the verse, before Clarence Fountain takes it out. "Wicked Man" is a Southern soul tune that has a Muscle Shoals groove and a beautiful vocal weave on the refrain. "Church House Steps" is pure gospel groove with a Hammond B3 and a smoking duet between the Blind Boys' layered harmonies and Harper on the verses with full-on blues feel in his singing and playing. There's a killer cover of the Bob Dylan/Danny O'Keefe tune, "Well, Well, Well," with Delta blues bottleneck shimmering through the intertwined vocal lines. The deep, nocturnal sparseness of "Satisfied Mind" is a complete re-reading of the nugget with a swampy backbeat. And this album works beautifully. Nothing sounds forced, all of it loose and comfortable and the vocal performances on both sides are simply stellar. Highly recommended.
Billboard
The album crackles with inspiration and oozes with mutual respect.

The album crackles with inspiration and oozes with mutual respect.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/21/2004
  • Label: Virgin Records Us
  • UPC: 724357120623
  • Catalog Number: 71206
  • Sales rank: 76,366

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Take My Hand - Five Blind Boys of Alabama (3:54)
  2. 2 Wicked Man - Five Blind Boys of Alabama (3:33)
  3. 3 Where Could I Go - Five Blind Boys of Alabama (4:09)
  4. 4 Church House Steps - Five Blind Boys of Alabama (4:46)
  5. 5 11th Commandment - Five Blind Boys of Alabama (1:34)
  6. 6 Well, Well, Well - Five Blind Boys of Alabama (3:15)
  7. 7 Picture of Jesus - Five Blind Boys of Alabama (3:45)
  8. 8 Satisfied Mind - Five Blind Boys of Alabama (3:15)
  9. 9 Mother Pray - Five Blind Boys of Alabama (3:00)
  10. 10 There Will Be a Light - Five Blind Boys of Alabama (3:22)
  11. 11 Church on Time - Five Blind Boys of Alabama (4:17)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ben Harper Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals
Blind Boys of Alabama Primary Artist
Clarence Fountain Vocals, Group Member
Bobby Butler Vocals, Group Member
Leon Mobley Track Performer
Michael Ward Track Performer
Jason Yates Track Performer
Juan Nelson Track Performer
Rock Deadrick Track Performer
Oliver Charles Track Performer
Ricke McKinnie Vocals, Group Member
Tracie Pierce Group Member
Joey Williams Vocals, Group Member
Tracy Pierce Vocals
Jimmy Carter Vocals
George Scott Vocals
Technical Credits
Bob Dylan Composer
Ben Harper Composer, Audio Production
Jimmy Hoyson Engineer
Danny O'Keefe Composer
Jason Yates Composer, Artwork
Joe Hayes Composer
Jack Rhodes Composer
Chris Goldsmith Executive Producer
Traditional Composer
Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals Arranger, Producer
Mike Glines Engineer
Marc Ford Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Can Now Die and Go to Heaen!!!!!!

    I have been dealing with a health challenge and my co-worker suggested this album. This album went by virtually unrecognized, and is by far the most superior album of 2004. The Academy finally got something right by recognizing this album for a Grammy Award. People have been sleeping on Ben Harper. He is an amazing artist, and teaming up with The Blind Boys of Alabama was pure genius. I am over my health challenge, and I credit this album for its healing words.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    If it were up to me, this would win the Grammy for Album of the Year!!!

    There are some CDs that simply grab you by the heart and won't let go. This is one of them. I'd always known of the inimitable Blind Boys of Alabama. They are the premier gospel singers who have been around for a very long time. My grandparents and parents adore them. There comes a time when you will finally sample your parents' music. I thought I'd try the Blind Boys of Alabama. As for Ben Harper? I had no idea who he was. I'm simply being honest. A friend told me he appeared in the documentary, Standing in the Shadows of Motown. But I'd never bought a Ben Harper CD. That has been remedied. I've purchased several now because I'm definitely a fan after hearing his voice soar on Where Could I Go?, Take my Hand, Wicked Man, Picture of Jesus, and every other track on this CD. I listen to a lot of music and this CD simply moved me. It raises your spirits and before you know it, you're out of your seat and dancing with pure joy. This isn't strictly gospel music, even though it touches your heart like good gospel music should. This is rock, soul, AND gospel all woven into one glorious sound. It's heavenly music that will stand the test of time. When the Grammys roll around next year, I expect this CD to not only get a nod, but to win. That's my testimony. ;o)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews