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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Blind Boys sing out for New Orleans

Gospel group pays tribute to Katrina workers

The Blind Boys of Alabama, the well-known gospel group formed in 1939 at the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame last year. Original member Jimmy Carter still leads this ensemble that has won four Grammy awards.

Album Blind Boys of AlabamaThis year the group traveled to New Orleans for the first time to work with some of the city’s most distinguished R&B and jazz musicians, including Allen Toussaint, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Hot 8 Brass Band and the trio of David Torkanowsky, Roland Guerin and Shannon Powell.

The result is Down in New Orleans (Time Life), a tribute to the people working to restore the city devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2006.

The new CD incorporates influences from New Orleans-style jazz into the singers’ distinctive gospel sound. It’s lively, upbeat and inspiring. “This particular flavor is new for us,” Carter said in the CD liner.


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