Monday, November 01, 2010

Living Legends of Gospel To Perform at The Clayton Center Nov. 6

Seventy years into an phenomenal career and still led by one of their original members, The Blind Boys of Alabama thrill audiences with their remarkable, soulful interpretations of everything from traditional gospel favorites to contemporary rock music.

The Blind Boys of Alabama – including frontman Jimmy Carter, one of the three founding fathers of the group – appear at The Clayton Center on Saturday, Nov. 6, at 8 p.m.

“It is a privilege to present The Blind Boys of Alabama,” Heidi Stump, executive director of The Clayton Center, said. “They have had an enormous influence on several generations of audiences, and their shows cover everything from gospel to soul and R&B and even rock-and-roll.”

The Blind Boys first came together as youngsters at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in 1939. The group appeared for nearly 40 years almost exclusively on the black gospel circuit and their recordings, dating back to 1948 with their hit “I Can See Everybody’s Mother But Mine,” are widely recognized as being influential for many gospel, R&B and rock-and-roll artists.

Unlike some of their old-time gospel music brethren, the Blind Boys eagerly embrace popular music, bringing their deep, soulful gospel sound to mainstream audiences. They have formed friendships with an impressive array of musicians who span a wealth of genres. Lou Reed, John Hammond, Toots Hibbert, Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles, Ben Harper, Randy Travis, and Bonnie Raitt are among those featured on the Blind Boys’ most recent CD Duets (Saguaro Road Records).

The Blind Boys have amassed a notable array of honors in the last decade alone. They were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2007 and are the recipients of two Grammy nominations, five Grammy Awards, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Piedmont bluesman John Dee Holeman appears with the Blind Boys.

Tickets for the Nov. 6 show are $27.50, and may be purchased through The Clayton Center Box Office, located at 111 E. Second Street in downtown Clayton, from 10 a.m. until noon and from 1 until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, by phone at 919-553-1737, or online at

The third show in The Clayton Center’s Palladian Series is Songs and the Season, Friday, Dec. 3, performance by Kathy Mattea. Tickets are $29.

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