Blind Boys of Alabama have won the 2024 GRAMMY Award for Best Roots Gospel Album for Echoes Of The South, marking the sixth total win for the Gospel Music Hall Of Fame and Alabama Music Hall Of Fame inductees. A group credited with "soundtracking the Civil Rights Movement" (CNN), the Blind Boys received their first GRAMMY nomination in 1972 before taking home Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album in 2002 for Spirit Of The Century. In total they have been nominated for 16 GRAMMYs - with 14 of those nominations and all six wins coming during the group's 21st century renaissance (including three nominations this year, their most ever in a single year). Additionally they were honored with a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.
Echoes Of The South marks the first album that the Blind Boys of Alabama have ever fully made in their namesake state - a homecoming for the ages. The album’s title takes its name from a Birmingham radio show that the Blind Boys grew up idolizing - tuning into groups like the Golden Gate Quartet each afternoon - before they eventually became guests on the show themselves. The tracklist is similarly rooted in coming home, drawing from the music that’s most inspired them over their careers: long-lost gospel classics, traditional spirituals and timeless R&B/soul cuts made famous by artists like Stevie Wonder, Pops Staples and Curtis Mayfield. Even the album’s cover features braille for the first time; among the personal touches that establish Echoes Of The South as a "homecoming" in so many senses of the word. Echoes Of The South was co-produced by Matt Ross-Spang (Margo Price, John Prine), Ben Tanner (Alabama Shakes, Jason Isbell) and Charles Driebe.
Listen to Echoes Of The South here.
The GRAMMY win kicks off an exciting 2024 for The Blind Boys of Alabama, who have penned a memoir with historian Preston Lauterbach - Spirit Of The Century - coming March 19 via Hachette Books. The group also star in the upcoming PBS Special 'A Symphony Celebration: The Blind Boys of Alabama with Dr. Henry Panion, III' which features the group performing alongside a full symphony orchestra, and a 300-member choir from Alabama's Historically Black Colleges and Universities. They will also continue touring throughout the year, and return with a brand new single featuring multiple collaborators for Record Store Day 2024 - including their friend Bobby Rush, who won a GRAMMY this year as well for Best Traditional Blues Album.
A full list of currently-announced Blind Boys of Alabama tour dates can be found here, including four West Coast shows with Bobby Rush this week.