The Blind Boys of Alabama bring their soulful harmonies for a holiday show Dec. 2 at The Shubert
Published 11:34 pm, Saturday, November 25, 2017
NEW HAVEN — There really are very few — if any — American cultural institutions quite like the Blind Boys of Alabama.
No longer “boys” in multiple senses of the word, the Blind Boys — one of the nation’s leading gospel ensembles for longer than most of us have been alive — have a history that spans eight decades, even if the faces have changed over the years.
The Blind Boys, who will perform in a Christmas show Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Shubert Theatre with The Preservation Hall Legacy Quintet, rose to fame from the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind. That’s where the original members — two of whom, Clarence Fountain and Jimmy Carter, are still alive — met as children.
In the seven decades that have passed since they began singing together, with all the changes that have come to American society, they have transcended barriers of race and genre to become one of the most celebrated and honored groups in modern music.
Along the way, the Blind Boys of Alabama have earned five Grammy Awards, plus a sixth for Lifetime Achievement.
Tickets for the Blind Boys of Alabama are $26-$50. They are available online at shubert.com, by phone at 203-562-5666 or 800-745-3000, or in person at the Shubert box office (247 College St.) from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and prior to all performances.
Some other worthwhile shows coming up this week:
Saturday: The Drifters — another American cultural institution that has been around almost as long as the Blind Boys. The current group will sing all the classics, including “Under The Boardwalk,” “Up On The Roof” — and, yes, “White Christmas” — plus a host of other holiday songs. Showtimes are 3 and 8 p.m. at The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (300 Main St., Old Saybrook). Tickets are $65 at thekate.org or by calling 877-503-1286.
Saturday: Northeast Blues Harmonica Showcase featuring “Sugar Ray” Norcia, Cheryl Arena, Wally “Sweet Daddy” Greaney and Dave “Kosher Kid” Robbins, all backed by The Ricky “King” Russell Band. Black-eyed Sally’s BBQ & Blues (350 Asylum St., Hartford). Showtime is 9 p.m. Admission is $15. For reservations or information, call 860-278-7427.