Ben Harper & the Blind Boys of Alabama

Record review

ACL Fest Reviews

Ben Harper & the Blind Boys of Alabama

There Will Be a Light (Virgin) Transporting listeners back to the glory days of gospel in order to express that now is as good a time as any to see the proverbial light, Ben Harper & the Blind Boys of Alabama make for quite a missionary team. What started out as Harper joining the Blind Boys in the studio to record two songs for the Blind Boys' next album turned into an eight-day session, which ultimately resulted in the 11 tracks that comprise There Will Be a Light. Belting out nine originals penned by Harper in addition to the adaptation of two traditional numbers in the form of "Mother Pray" and "Satisfied Mind," the kindred spirits exuberantly conjure the warm sentiments of faithful devotion. Throughout the album, Harper's trademark slide guitar hints at secular rebuttal, his symbolic tributes to the likes of B.B. King, Otis Redding, Al Green, John Lee Hooker, Taj Mahal, and Robert Cray remain firmly dedicated to the Lord's calling. While for the most part the Blind Boys bolster Harper's newfound vision with backing vocals and moral support, both "Satisfied Mind" and the title track find the elder statesmen taking up lead positions in the choir. Whether scampering through a country neighborhood in order to make it to "Church on Time," or simply relaxing on the "Church House Steps," Harper and the Blind Boys succeed in crafting inspirational tunes that never get bogged down by the heavy hand of God that they're most certainly wielding. (Sunday, 8:30pm, SBC stage)

***

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Gary Clark Jr.
This Land (Record Review)

Kahron Spearman, March 22, 2019

Texas Platters
Rosie Flores
Simple Case of the Blues (Record Review)

Jay Trachtenberg, March 22, 2019

More by Robert Gabriel
KJ Hines
KJ Hines
Prince of the City

April 27, 2007

Play the Role
Play the Role
Bavu Blakes is not afraid

April 27, 2007

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle