The Blind Boys Of Alabama are a gospel-music institution that’s been around, in various configurations, since 1939, and they’re also just as Alabama-based and visually impaired as the name implies. (They are all grown-ups, though.) And if you listen to their immense body of work and think, “Man, I would love to hear these guys on duet with Merrill Garbus,” then you are probably Justin Vernon. For his latest non-Bon Iver side project, Vernon is producing the new Blind Boys album, perhaps playing Rick Rubin to their Johnny Cash, and he’s enlisted help from a bunch of his indie rock buddies.
As Pitchfork reports, Vernon recorded the forthcoming I’ll Find A Way with the Blind Boys at his April Base studio in Wisconsin. Vernon and Megafaun’s Phil Cook picked the songs for the album, and the tracklist, which you’ll find below, runs from gospel traditionals to covers of Bob Dylan and Field Report songs. Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs guests on one song, as do Patty Griffin, Sam Amidon, My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden, and White Hinterland’s Casey Dienel. Vernon also sings.
01 “God Put A Rainbow In The Cloud”
02 “I’ll Find A Way (To Carry It All)” (Feat. Shara Worden)
03 “I Am Not Waiting Anymore” (Feat. Sam Amidon)
04 “I Shall Not Be Moved”
05 “Take Me To The Water
06 “I’ve Been Searching” (Feat. Merrill Garbus)
07 “There Will Never be Any Peace (Until God Is Seated At The Conference Table)” (Feat. Casey Dienel)
08 “Take Your Burden To The Lord And Leave It There”
09 “Every Grain Of Sand”
10 “My God Is Real”
11 “Jubilee” (Feat. Patty Griffin)
I’ll Find A Way is out 10/1 on Sony Masterworks.