Jimmy Carter – Blind Faith
9 songs time – 37:26
This is the first solo release from Jimmy Carter, the last original member of the gospel group The Blind Boys Of Alabama. Jimmy, blind from birth, has been singing for 80 years now. I saw The Blind Boys open a theater show for Billy Boy Arnold and Buddy Guy quite a few years back. At one point in the show Jimmy left the stage to walk up and down the aisles by himself with a cane or stick. Before the show someone must have walked off the steps with him. I reached out my hand and he shook it. Give me chills remembering it. Jimmy keeps his CD rooted in gospel music while keeping the musical backing diverse and interesting. Producer-arranger Ron Pullman penned seven of the songs while Jimmy’s band leader Joey Williams wrote the remaining two. Needless to say they are all in a religious vein. The backing music goes from upbeat to solemn while being appropriate to every song.
“After The Storm” has Gypsy-like violin and guitar for an upbeat vibe behind Jimmy’s expressive gravelly voice. This song contains a spoken word segment as do a few others. The title track “Blind Faith” has a gospel feel bolstered by a backing choir. Violin and Dobro contribute to the lofty quality of “Crossing The Threshold” along with a female answer vocal. A jazzy musicality is achieved on “Find Your Way Home” via electric guitar and violin stylings. “I Am With You Still” Jimmy dedicates to the memory of his friend and co-founder of The Blind Boys Of Alabama, Clarence Fountain.
A lively snare drum intro kicks off the snappy vibe of “I Love To Pray”. Country music shows up in “Lord Take Me” and features an excerpt from “Swing Low Sweet Chariot”. In the closing song “Why Me” In a spoken section Jimmy reflects on why he was the only child in his family to be born blind. He concludes that is why he was called on to work for God. Charlie Musselwhite who has had a long-time association with The Blind Boys Of Alabama plays harmonica in conjunction with acoustic bluesy guitar.
Jimmy Carter delivers his uplifting spiritual message accompanied by diverse musical genres to great effect. In these trying times we now face; his religious devotion is a much-needed anecdote.