Stories » Blind Boys Of Alabama set to release - Almost Home / NPR: All Songs Considered

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Blind Boys Of Alabama set to release - Almost Home / NPR: All Songs Considered

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When you're a group that's performed together for more than seven decades, it might be a daunting task to keep crafting music that feels fresh. No doubt that hill is even harder to climb when you're working within a tradition like gospel, with its well-loved, and well-worn, harmonic and lyrical conventions. Yet the singers who make up Blind Boys of Alabama have always risen to the challenge with utter grace - and the group's forthcoming album, Almost Home, places a capstone on that history.

Almost Home, out Aug. 18, finds Blind Boys of Alabama performing songs written for the group by the likes of Valerie June, Megafaun's Phil Cook, John Leventhal and Marc Cohn. The record's hyper-collaborative spirit is fitting, since part of what's kept the Blind Boys' sound vital is their openness to inspiration from every corner of Americana's big tent. In the latter chapters of the group's career it has worked with Justin Vernon, Mavis Staples, Willie Nelson, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and many more, stretching its repertoire while remaining centered in a commitment to faith and close harmony.

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