The Blind Boys of Alabama and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon make for seemingly odd bedfellows. Vernon is an indie-rock darling, while the Blind Boys of Alabama have performed gospel songs together for more than 70 years. But Vernon produced the six-member group’s latest album, “I’ll Find a Way.” The album was released Oct. 1.
“For ‘I’ll Find a Way,’ their ninth studio album of the twenty-first century, the Blind Boys of Alabama — which includes Jimmy Carter, Eric ‘Ricky’ McKinnie, Joey Williams, Tracy Pierce, Ben Moore, and newest addition Paul Beasley — decamped to the wintry wild of rural Wisconsin to record at Vernon’s April Base studio,” according to a press release announcing the album. “Known primarily for his work in the indie and folk realms, the Bon Iver frontman proved a perfect fit to work with the Blind Boys, exhibiting a deep knowledge and appreciation of gospel music.
“A unique collaboration between one of popular music’s longest-running acts and one of its fastest-rising stars, it is a powerful collection of gospel and spiritual songs new and old, featuring some of the Blind Boys’ most fervent vocals as well as contributions by a new generation of Blind Boys fans - Sam Amidon, Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, Casey Dienel of White Hinterland, Patty Griffin, and Justin Vernon himself,” the release continues.
The Blind Boys of Alabama perform at the South Shore next weekend. They’ve won five Grammy Awards.
Lake Tahoe Action