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#1 HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERon 15 November 2005
I had not heard any music by this group prior to borrowing a copy of this album - however, this is an excellent Christmas album. As you would expect from a gospel group, they focus almost exclusively on the religious aspect of the festival, the sole exception being White Christmas. There is a different guest singer on each track except the opening and closing tracks, which are without guests.
With any album featuring a variety of guests, one's favorites depend to some extent on one's opion of the various guests. For example, my favorite guest is Shelby Lynne, who does a fine duet of The Christmas song - however, it's not quite my absolute favorite track. That distinction goes to Chrissie Hynde singing In the bleak midwinter, almost as a solo track with the group providing backup harmony. It is one of my favorite carols and I get the impression that it is more popular in Britain than in America, where it turns up occasionally on Christmas albums (this one included) but is by no means common. Other favorites include I pray on Christmas (a cover of a Harry Connick Jr song featuring Solomon Burke), Born in Bethlehem (with Mavis Staples), Little drummer boy (with Michael Franti) and Joy to the world (with Aaron Neville).
This is an album with plenty of variety - they put plenty of energy into Last month of the year (no guests) and Go tell it on the mountain (with Tom Waits), which provide plenty of contrast with the slower songs.
If you are looking for a bluesy gospel Christmas album, this is certainly a good one to choose.
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on 16 December 2003
Don't expect the scmaltzy, pop, Christmas tunes here - this is deep, soulful and meaningful gospel blues applied to some great seasonal classics. You will not believe what the BBOA have done to Away in A Manger - a fantastic rendition of this carol -you will never want to hear it any other way!! The boys are assisted by Solomon Burke, Chrissy Hynde and Tom Waits, to name but three. Aaron Neville does a great a cappella rendering of Joy to the World...overall, a soulful Christmas Cracker! Very highly recommended.
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on 22 December 2016
Great artists can take a song you've known all you're life and make it into something outside you're imagination. The Blind Boys have done that here. My two absolute personal favourites from this album are the blues version of Away in a Manger with George Clinton and Robert Randolph (unlike anything you can imagine, but just so good...) and White Christmas with Les McCann (who was recovering from a stroke at the time of recording) with its fantastic scat and piano introduction. With other artists like Christie Hynde, Mavis Staples, Aaron Neville and Shelby Lynne, the album just doesn't stop surprising and delighting all the way through. Buy it - you won't regret it...
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on 4 January 2014
As for the comparative DVD. Thjis is good if you do not have a DVD player. Songs are more arranged and suited for the CD format. Not as wild as the live performance, but less spicy.
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on 16 May 2009
I love this album. I really do. These people on it, they sing. Beautifully. It's beautiful.
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on 28 January 2017
Guest artists spoil it!
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on 18 January 2017
It's Great.
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