Bon Iver's Justin Vernon Producing Blind Boys of Alabama - Rolling Stone
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Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon Producing Blind Boys of Alabama Album

Gospel singers keep 70-plus year career rolling with ‘I’ll Find a Way,’ out October 1st

Blind Boys of AlabamaBlind Boys of Alabama

Blind Boys of Alabama

Shannon Brinkman

Seventy-plus years into their career, the Blind Boys of Alabama show no sign of slowing down anytime soon: On October 1st, the gospel group will release a new record, I’ll Find A Way, produced by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon.

Out on Sony Masterworks, the album also features a smattering of guests including Vernon himself, Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards, Sam Amidon, Patty Griffin, Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond and Casey Dienel of White Hinterland.

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Though they formed in the late Thirties at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in Talladega, the Blind Boys have found huge success particularly over the past decade, scooping up five Grammys and even performing at the White House.

For I’ll Find a Way, the group decamped to Vernon’s April Base studio in rural Wisconsin, recording a smattering of songs both old and new, including a cover of Bob Dylan‘s “Every Grain of Sand,” which features a duet between Vernon and the band’s Jimmy Carter. And while founding Blind Boy and longtime leader Clarence Fountain was unable to make it to Wisconsin due to his deteriorating health, he was able to record bass vocals in Alabama that were mixed in later.

“It’s not just singing,” Carter said in a statement. “We’re bringing the message to the people, and that message is the good news of God. We sing from the heart, and what comes from the heart reaches the heart. If you have any feeling in you, you will feel the Blind Boys.”


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