Blind Boys to open seasonPublished 10:00am Thursday, September 5, 2013
The Princess Theatre for the Performing Arts opens its 30th birthday season for 2013 with the Blind Boys of Alabama Thur., Sept. 19, at 7:30 p.m. The program is sponsored by the Decatur Physicians and made possible by grants from the Alabama Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Much in the world has changed since the original version of the Blind Boys of Alabama first raised their voices together. That was in 1939, when the members were just kids at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in Talladega. Today, more than 70 years later, founding member Jimmy Carter can look back on a career far beyond when he and his colleagues could imagine at that time. The group has won a long list of awards, including Lifetime Achievement honors from the Grammys and the National Endowment of the Arts, entertained around the world, been profiled in 60 Minutes, sung for two presidents at the White House and been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame
The Blind Boys include Jimmy Carter, Eric “Ricky” McKinnie, Joey Williams, Tracy Pierce, Ben Moore, and the newest addition, Paul Beasley. They released recently their ninth studio album of the 21st century, “I’ll Find a Way.”
“All my life, I’ve loved country music,” confesses Carter. “I was raised up around it. Back in the 1940s, I remember listening to Hank Williams and so many others. Their voices were great. The writers wert great. And every song had a meaning. I still have loads of country music in my home and I play it all the time.”
Though the group has recorded and performed with a few country artists, ,they never crossed the line and committed to opening a project inspired by the country genre until now, with the release of “Take the High Road”. This landmark recording draws from modern and traditional country to enrich the group’s gospel-rooted sound.
Carter put it this way: “These two traditions are very similar. There’s a lot of common ground in all kinds of music, and it keeps getting closer and closer together. That’s why we want to involve everybody in our music. We want to sing good music, no matter what kind it is. Most of all, we want to touch people’s lives. We want to leave them a message that they can feed upon throughout their lives.
Reserved tickets are $40-$30 with special discounts for seniors, students and teachers. Tickets are available online at www.princesstheatre.org.