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Blind Boys of Alabama @ Gazarte

Blind Boys of Alabama is a band created in 1939 and since then, has made its own brilliant path in the field of Gospel music.
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An extremely interesting phenomenon is the recent revival of old music in the U.S., even before the creation of pop and rock music. Already, for example, swing music has seen exceptional growth in popularity over the last 10-15 years, while it doesn't seem to be the only genre that enjoys such luck.

Apart from swing, interesting things are happening elsewhere: An example of the revival of an old form for a wider audience and one of the most successful examples of adapting an old music to new standards, is currently
Gospel's band, Blind Boys of Alabama. They launched a European tour on Friday and landed straight in Athens and Gazarte Friday 14/01. Almost all: One of the four singers lost the responding flight from Paris and landed in the airport just at the time of the start of the concert: Mission Impossible.

BlindBoysofAlabama Blind Boys of Alabama was created in 1939 and since then, with different, given time, composition, has made its own brilliant path in the field of Gospel music, and more. Landmark for at least the international career was in 2001 when Peter Gabriel released from his label the Real World, the CD Spirit of the Century, an award-winning album, through which they became known to the public and especially to those who have no particular known Gospel music, and were impressed by the way BBoA interpreted among others Tom Waits and Rolling Stones.

On the same wavelength was the concert at Gazarte . Renditions of
Rock songs, traditional American songs like Amazing Grace, the curious blues of Tom Waits, with music by Stevie Wonder. All rendered with great energy, enthusiasm and sensitivity from the band that besides the 3 voices, included electric guitar, keyboards, bass and drums. A program that flowed like a stream naturally while, however, characterized by professionalism and seriousness. There was nothing that had been left to chance or coincidence from that evening.

The White Jackets of, the great in value but also of age, the singers appeared nice on scene, the bassist with the top hat and 
gold teeth was special, a little bit funny and impressive. As for the music part, the musicians, singers or not, gave in turn a specific style to the songs, with a strong presence but not overbearing, and above all the admirable ability to balance between the old forms but presenting the modern, that would spike the curiosity, perhaps, even to twenty-year-olds who have never heard Gospel but are also excited by White Stripes.


Perfect audio in-almost-full Gazarte, with the instruments heard clear, loud but not deafening and the crowd, mostly
over 30, enthusiastic, in all and all a nice environment with beautiful lighting inside and outside the stage and the appropriate size for a concert of this kind. One of the highlights of the evening was the moment where the band's frontman Jimmy Carter came down from the stage and took his walk in gazarte (being blind, of course under the guidance of the guitarist) greeting and embracing many people, who seemed to respond sincerely. In the end, the band was applauded and took to the stage three more times, until finally some music played from the mix and we accepted that we had to leave at that point.

the band name suggests, the singers are (were always from the beginning of the band) blind. I did not mention it earlier, at least not extensively, because it would play absolutely no role: We are talking about musicians, regardless of anything else, that create, live and breathe for music and it shows up on stage. Nothing would change if they were not blind or if they were 10 points shorter. And the equation of music value with a certain sympathy from pity is, I believe, false and unnecessary. Even more so in this case where the music value is so obvious and given.

Text: Dimitris Vosnakis
Photos: Gazarte