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,” the release continues.
The Blind Boys of Alabama perform at the South Shore next weekend. They’ve won five Grammy Awards.