The Blind Boys of Alabama are an American institution, icons of gospel music past, present and future. Their Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award speaks volumes, but so does their list of cross-genre collaborators, from Stevie Wonder, Lou Reed, Prince and Bela Fleck to Mali’s Amadou and Mariam in a fantastic concert we covered in May, 2022.
Today, they debut an new song, “The Message,” which they describe as a “call-to-action against divisiveness, fear-mongering and unjust death.” It’s also a powerful collaboration with Black Violin, the unique, classically trained hip-hop duo out of Fort Lauterdale. The group’s Wilner Baptiste says, "We were blessed to be able to tour with the Blind Boys of Alabama last summer and they are truly an inspiration not only to Black Violin but to the world. Our mantra is that we ‘inspire, uplift, and entertain’ and the Blind Boys of Alabama do the same."
The new tune kicks with brassy bluster and impassioned uplift. It’s message could not be more on point in 2022, and the messengers deliver with undeniable moral force. The track also serves as a tribute to the late bandmember Benjamin Moore Jr, who passed away at age 80 earlier this year. "He was an integral part of our group, not just as a talented singer but as a kind and dependable friend," recalled fellow Blind Boy Ricky McKinnie.