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The Blind Boys of Alabama play World Cafe Live / Elmore Magazine review

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"We hope we can sing something that'll lift you up and make you feel good," Jimmy Carter rasps to greet us. At 85, the group's remaining active founder shows a zest impressive for any age. He happily returns a "We love you!" from the floor and promises a heartfelt performance. Sure enough, the band sheds any rustiness during Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready," and for 80 minutes they fill the room with those gorgeous gospel harmonies that have defined the Blind Boys for seven decades.

The group creates a sound as rich as its history. Carter sits flanked by longtime mates Ben Moore and Ricky McKinnie (both also blind, though thankfully that's not a strictrequirement) and joined by newer faces Paul Beasley and Joey Williams. Behind the colorfully-suited frontline, a frenetic rhythm section keeps bouncing and stomping with flair. The singers remain vibrant, standing, shouting, clapping and/or shaking booty whenever the mood hits. This is one group unafraid to dance like nobody's looking.

READ THE FULL Elmore Magazine REVIEW