Higher Ground

The Blind Boys of Alabama | Real World Reviewed By Jon Young

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


On last year’s marvelous Spirit of the Century, these hardy gospel vets reached out to mainstream listeners with a bold set that included covers of Tom Waits and the Stones. Higher Ground also mixes secular and sacred, yet feels more old-fashioned. While original Blind Boys Clarence Fountain, Jimmy Carter, and George Scott are all in their 70s, they sing with the fervor of youngsters on devotional tracks like “Precious Lord” and “Freedom Road.”

Turning to R&B, their stately version of the Impressions’ “People Get Ready” radiates heavenly grace, and the rendition of Stevie Wonder’s title song is a raucous delight. Spurred by the crying steel guitar of Robert Randolph, the Blind Boys even feel the funk on “I May Not Can See.” Not just for the converted, Higher Ground can soothe souls of all persuasions.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate