Clarence Fountain & The Blind Boys of Alabama with Sam Butler, Jr.

Who turned on grandma’s old radio? That could possibly be what you ask yourself when you pop in the latest from Clarence Fountain & The Blind Boys of Alabama.

Working with Sam Butler, Jr., who gets co-billing, this project puts forward a wonderfully old school seasoned sound.

CDThings kick off with “Thank You For Caring For Me”, and from the first riff, as lead singer Fountain begins to speak, you know this is going to be something. Fountain takes you on a spoken word journey/testimony of simply how good God has been to him, reflecting on the establishment of The Blind Boys, his childhood and the death of his mother and more. Through it all, he thanks the Lord for caring for him.

This same fervor that echoes in the jubilant “Look Where You Brought Me From” and “What Is It You Don’t Like About Jesus.”

The upbeat “Stop By Here Lord” packs plenty of punch to an old favorite. Led by Roscoe Robinson, the song recalls the old country church when foot patting and hand clapping were the only ‘instruments’ available.

If “Stop By Here Lord” doesn’t grab you, then the urban-infused “Traveling Shoes” might suit your fancy. Fountain speaks in a too cool, mellow tone, resembling today’s hip-hop artists. Don’t let the tone fool you, it’s all Blind Boy style.

“Only Believe” will leave you totally inspired, its lyrics informing that anything is possible if we only trust and believe in God. After being invigorated with positive thoughts, “Heard The Angels Moan” will have you tapping the nearest inanimate object as your drum of choice, with its simple recouting of the beautiful cries of God’s precious creation, the angels.

The brief “God Ain’t Gonna Let You Have My Soul” is quite impressive. Musically, its urban-traditional mix is a unique and earnest declaration of a soul that won’t give in to the enemy.

The Blind Boys “In My Heart” also is a true standout, featuring leads by both Fountain and Butler. If you have ever been to a good down home church in the south, you’ve probably heard this familiar tune, which tells how we need to be like Jesus, placing Him first in our hearts.

In true Blind Boys fashion this 14-track project offers soulful pleasures and passionate comforts to quartet and traditional music lovers everywhere.

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Production: Various
album release date: July, 2006
Alliant Music Group

— reviewed by John Burton

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