Music: Higher Ground

The Blind Boys of Alabama

A troika of seventysomething gospel war-horses works '60s, '70s and '80s R. and B. into its repertoire. Sounds like a scheme contrived to attract boomers who want to tell their friends they like old Southern musicians but who don't actually want to listen to an album of old Southern songs. But the Blind Boys freshen up classics like the Impressions' People Get Ready, masterfully riffing off of familiar melodies. They don't nail every song--their take on Prince's The Cross is stiff--but their honey-and-gravel voices are never predictable. They're always hunting for--and finding--the perfect note or harmony that lifts an old tune...

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