Up the Downstair

Being a weeklie podcaste from Madison, Wisconsin featuring several remarkable curiosities therein occurring being a compendium of live music from divers artistes

Show #159: The Blind Boys of Alabama in Madison

May 8th, 2008

When The Blind Boys of Alabama got their start in 1939 at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind, the 78RPM record was all the rage. Despite only one original member remaining on a full-time basis, the group continues nearly 70 years later with fresh blood. Earlier this year they released Down in New Orleans which fused the group’s traditional gospel with the jazz & blues of the titular city.

bboa03 Show #159: The Blind Boys of Alabama in Madison
(Photo from CBS.)

I wrote a bit about The Blind Boys previously when I posted another show so I won’t go into their history here. This time around I’m podcasting one of their performances from 2003 from here in Madison. The group’s first Madison stop in 2003 was on 17 January and I was in the front row for that one. They returned on 11 November again at the Oscar Meyer Theatre with The Royal Travelers, a gospel group from Rockford, Illinois, opening. This time they were supporting their new album, Go Tell It on the Mountain. In 2003 George Scott was still alive and Clarence Fountain’s health allowed him to tour more frequently than he does today. I wasn’t able to attend this show but, if it was anything like their January performance, it was fantastic. Even my lilywhite ass couldn’t sit still. Unfortunately their current tour itinerary doesn’t include a stop in Wisconsin. However, you can catch them in suburban Chicago next month.

Today’s show is a great audience recording so enjoy. If you can sit still during “Look Where He Brought Me”, you’re a better man than I.


(Ain’t Gonna) Study War No More
Go Tell It On The Mountain
Nobody’s Fault But Mine
I Shall Not Walk Alone
Lord Remember Me
Amazing Grace
Look Where He Brought Me From
Soldier (In the Army Of the Lord)
Looking Back

Download show

The Blind Boys of Alabama

This is a clip from 2001 and was recorded for UK television. The Blind Boys do “Run On For a Long Time”.

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  5. Show #110: B.B. King at the Madison Blues Festival

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