Review of THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA, at the Mann Music Center in Philadelphia, PA on Saturday 7/25/09



I arrived at the Mann Center at 7:15pm to wait for Bob Davis, who arrived at the ticket office about 20 minutes later. After a little issue with security, we were finally able to set up the SOUL-PATROL information table, across from the gate entrance. After 25 minutes of giving out SOUL-PATROL flyers and signing up people for the electronic newsletter, I left the table to review the first act, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, at 8:10pm. Ladysmith Black Mambazo is an African acapella singing group, delivering some very good harmonies and interjecting some comedy in their show (for example, while the group was singing, one of the guys lifted the shirt of one of his colleague to expose the guy's belly). While somewhat interesting, it wasn't enough to really hold my interest, so I cannot provide a detailed OR favorable review. The Ladysmith Black Mambazo show was over at 9:10pm.


At 9:30pm, the Blind Boys of Alabama started their set with a nice gospel favorite, "Down By The Riverside" featuring some lively piano riffing. The next gospel tune "God Said It" was followed by the Curtis Mayfield tune "People Get Ready"...guitarist Joey Williams provided nice falsetto lead vocals for this song. "Spirit in the Sky" was simply a very lively blues-gospel song with some wicked synthesizer riffing! Joey's blues guitar intro preceded the song made famous through the TV show THE WIRE, "Way Down in the Hole"...original Blind Boy Jimmy Carter held this high-pitched note for 20 seconds before the third verse!! "Uncloudy Day" was done in a New Orleans-style blues-jazz fashion with some good piano riffing! "There Will Be a Light" (originally performed with Ben Harper) featured Joey on lead vocals. "Free At Last" was followed a VERY SOULFUL rendition of the classic "Amazing Grace"...Jimmy held a high-pitched note. THIS IS THE BEST VERSION OF "AMAZING GRACE" THAT I EVER HEARD....IT EVEN BEATS THE HECK OUT OF THE VERSION PERFORMED BY BUCKS COUNTY, PA'S OWN THE GLORIOUS LAMPS!!! Every person in the place was on their feet, dancing and praising to the song "Look Where He Brought Me From"...Jimmy left the stage, escorted by one of his entourage members, and walked down the audience, inciting people to reach out and shake his hand!! The Blind Boys of Alabama set was over at 10:30pm.


The Blind Boys of Alabama group members: Jimmy Carter (lead vocals), Bishop Billy Bowers (lead vocals), Ben Moore (lead vocals), Eric McKinnie (drums/vocals), Joey Williams (guitar/vocals), Tracy Pierce (bass), ??? (keyboards)







If you had died the minute you started to read this invitation, would you have the assurance that you would go to heaven?

The Bible says there are 4 things a person must do to go to heaven:

1. REALIZE YOU ARE A SINNER. The Bible says "All have sinned, all fall short of God's glorious standard" (Romans 2:23 NLT)

2. RECOGNIZE JESUS CHRIST DIED ON THE CROSS FOR YOU. The Bible tells us that "God showed his great love for us 
by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners". (Romans 5:8 NLT)

3. REPENT OF YOUR SIN. The Bible says, "Now turn from your sins and turn to God, so you can be cleansed of your sins". (Acts 3:19 NLT)

4. RECEIVE JESUS CHRIST INTO YOUR LIFE. The Bible tells us, "Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved". (Romans 10:13 NLT)

Receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior is the next step in your spiritual journey. IF YOU HAVEN'T DONE THIS YET, WHY NOT TAKE A MOMENT 

Remember, TOMORROW is ***NOT*** guaranteed!!