Blind Boys of Alabama are an award-winning gospel group from Alabama that first sang together in 1944, and are still going strong, taking the stage at Havana New Hope on May 8 at 8 p.m. (Doors: 6 p.m.).
The core group consists of eight musicians, including four blind singers, original founding member Jimmy Carter, Ben Moore, Eric “Ricky” McKinnie, and Paul Beasley, the guitarist and musical director, Joey Williams, and a keyboard player, a bass player, and a drummer.
Since their formation, Blind Boys of Alabama have made it their goal to “spiritually uplift audiences.” The gospel group has been a source of inspiration for those with disabilities. In the words of one of Ricky McKinnie, “Our disability doesn’t have to be a handicap. It’s not about what you can’t do. It’s about what you do. And what we do is sing good gospel music.”
Blind Boys of Alabama are recognized worldwide as living legends of gospel music. Celebrated by The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) with Lifetime Achievement Awards, inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and winners of five Grammy® Awards, they are known for crossing multiple musical boundaries with their remarkable interpretations of everything from traditional gospel favorites to contemporary spiritual material by songwriters such as Ben Harper, Eric Clapton, Prince and Tom Waits.
They have appeared on recordings with Bonnie Raitt, Tom Waits, k.d. lang, Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, Willie Nelson, Susan Tedeschi, Solomon Burke, Aaron Neville, Ben Harper and most recently Justin Vernon, Patty Griffin, Merrill Garbus and Sam Amidon on their latest recording, I’ll Find A Way. The Blind Boys of Alabama have made appearances on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Late Night with David Letterman, The Grammy® Awards, 60 Minutes, The Colbert Report and their own holiday special on PBS.
Tickets are $50; reserved seating only. Purchase tickets online or call (215) 862-1933.