Album review: Blind Boys of Alabama, I'll Find a Way (Sony Masterworks)


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The Independent Culture

The prolific gospel group are in unusual alliance here with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, whose production adds mystery without sacrificing the ebullient tone. The horn arrangements are tastefully antique, while the funky “God Put a Rainbow in the Cloud” and swinging “I Shall Not Be Moved” profit respectively from Vernon's slide guitar and dobro playing. Some of the guest vocalists are questionable – Shara Worden and Sam Amidon seem detached – but Vernon's delivery of Dylan's “Every Grain of Sand” has charm. Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs fares best on “I've Been Searching”, but the outstanding performance is the BBs' Paul Beasley's airy falsetto on “Take Me to the Water”.

Download: Take Me to the Water; I've Been Searching; God Put a Rainbow in the Cloud; Every Grain of Sand