The seemingly constantly touring Blind Boys Of Alabama have a set a fall trek with a number of high-profile dates, including a Sept. 19 performance at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, Calif., and an Oct. 3 appearance at the Bowery Ballroom in New York. As usual, the fall outing sees the seasoned gospel act hitting a number of outdoor festivals.
As previously reported, the group will make a Sept. 28 appearance at this year’s Austin City Limits festival. Other artists scheduled to appear throughout the weekend include Wilco, Emmylou Harris, Jimmy Vaughan, and Kelly Willis.
The group will remain stateside until early October, when they begin a month-long European jaunt. The group is already lining up dates into 2003, including a number of college campus appearances, and updates will be posted on the band’s official Web site. For many of the dates, the group will be touring with noted pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph (Medeski Martin & Wood, the Word), or the Spirit of the Century Band, which features John Hammond, David Lindley, Charlie Musselwhite, Danny Thompson, and Michael Jerome.
Earlier this week, the Blind Boys released “Higher Ground” via Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records. The set sees the band covering a number of well-know artists, including Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield, and Jimmy Cliff, a formula that brought the band its first mainstream success with last year’s “Spirit of the Century.” The latter peaked at No. 9 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums tally.
Additionally, the Blind Boys, who formed in 1939 at Alabama’s Talladega Institute for the Blind, will be the subject of a Sept. 25 profile on “60 Minutes II,” and will appear Oct. 28 on the “Late Show with David Letterman.” The group can also be heard on the recent critically acclaimed release from soul great Solomon Burke, “Don’t Give Up On Me” (Fat Possum/Anti-).
Here are the Blind Boys’ North American tour dates:
Aug. 28: Saratoga, Calif. (Mountain Winery)
Aug. 31: Santa Rosa, Calif. (Kendall Jackson Wine Center)
Sept. 1: Genoa, Nev. (Sierra Starlight Amphitheater)
Sept. 2: Sausalito, Calif. (Sausalito Arts Festival)
Sept. 12: Boulder, Colo. (Fox Theater)
Sept. 14, 15: Telluride, Colo. (Telluride Blues and Brews Festival)
Sept. 17: San Juan Capistrano, Calif. (Coach House)
Sept. 19: West Hollywood, Calif. (House of Blues)
Sept. 20: Bishop, Calif. (Millpond Music Festival)
Sept. 22: West Sacramento, Calif. (Riverwalk Park)
Sept. 24: Chicago (Chicago Symphony Center)
Sept. 26: Memphis (Memphis Botanic Gardens)
Sept. 28: Austin, Texas (Austin City Limits Music Festival)
Sept. 29: Orange, N.J. (Walk On Home charity Walk-a-Thon)
Oct. 3: New York (Bowery Ballroom)
Oct. 4: Glenside, Penn. (Keswick Theater)