The Legendary Soul Stirrers

Saturday, Sept. 15, Zilker park

ACL Music Fest Live Shots
Photo by Gary Miller

The Legendary Soul Stirrers

Not just any group can put the word "legendary" in its name and mean it. Formed in Trinity, Texas, 1926, the Soul Stirrers have, over time, featured both Sam Cooke and Lou Rawls. Now lead by vocalist Willie Rogers, the Chicago-based quintet had no trouble persuading the assembled to jump for joy with their fabled harmonies and a pounding rhythm. They broke out the Sam Cooke early on a sparkling rendition of civil rights era anthem "A Change Is Gonna Come," then followed it with a hyped-up "When the Saints Go Marching In" that resulted in Rogers jumping into the crowd and leading the dancers in exultation. After a bluesy dedication to Clifford Antone, the group closed by demonstrating their vocal blend to maximum effect with an a cappella "One More River to Cross," hushing the rowdy audience with the song's uncommon reverence and stark beauty.

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