Amazing Grace – Blind Boys of Alabama from Spirit of the Century

My dad is a big bluegrass, gospel, blues, and country fan.  I’ve dabbled in a little of each in my musical lifetime, but recently I’ve been systematically raiding his CD collection (dad hasn’t yet gotten to this whole mp3 fad) and downloading stuff.  Then I listen to it when I can.  A couple songs of the Blind Boys of Alabama had come up in my revolving Itunes shuffle, but then I heard this.

Whether you’re religious or not, you’ve probably heard Amazing Grace sometime in your life.  But you’ve probably never heard it like this before.  This is a bluesified Amazing Grace, which isn’t that out of the ordinary.  The interesting part is that it’s sung to the tune of another song I’ll be writing about someday, the Animals’ House of the Rising Sun.  Now that’s something.  And it works really well.  It makes sense that it does, House, at its core, is a great blues song.  Amazing Grace is a great hymn.  Thanks to the Blind Boys for thinking to put them together.  It’s like an old-fashioned mashup.

They change the key of the Animals’ original so that I swear the guitar sounds like the beginning of Metallica’s The Unforgiven.  The Boys, both lead and backing vocals, sound great.  Deep baritones give the song a gospel feel, while the lead guitar and drums definitely are on a blues tip.  I’m absolutely loving this song, one of the favorite songs I’ve heard this year, even if it’s almost 10 years old now.

Final note, if you’re a fan of the Wire, you’ve probably heard the Blind Boys and didn’t even know it.  Their cover of a Tom Waits song was the theme song of Season 1 of the show.  Damn, another reason for me to dust off the Season 1 DVD and begin my immersion in the Wire.

You can find the song here.

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2 Responses to “Amazing”

  1. LG Says:

    I love how you’ve only now found this song. 🙂 tsk tsk tsk

    The Ram’s teasing that I only listen to Peter Gabriel signed artists. The hater can hate all he wants. But if all I listened to were Blind Boys of Alabama … that wouldn’t be a bad life to live.

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