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Thursday, December 14

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Transmission
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Review Wed Jun 27 2007

Stompin' at the CSO

Between them, they have more than a century of musicmaking. While their exposure on stations such as WXRT certainly has exposed them to an audience that wouldn't ordinarily look for them outside a Baptist choir stand, much less in one, the roots of The Blind Boys of Alabama and Chicago's own Mavis Staples (whose latest album was reviewed earlier) are in the gospel tradition, and they settled into it last night and got comfy in it.
With an enthusiastic audience on hand, the Blind Boys swung their way through their Grammy-winning efforts, highlighted by a rollicking, extended effort which entailed vocalist Jimmy Carter shrugging off his guide and going up and down the aisles on the main floor. "If you want to clap, stand up, tap your foot, go right ahead," we were extolled, and the crowd responded by doing all of the above.
Mavis, by contrast, took the crowd to church in another way. By simply talking with the audience, she masterfully slowed the vibe down and delivered with a few secular songs mixed in with the church exhortations. "I'll Take You There" sounded at home with "Jesus Is On The Main Line," and so forth. Her voice, from its bottom up, was clear and controlled as she controlled the mood of the room, never getting ahead of the vibe of the audience, who, while poised to take it back to church, was just as happy to sing along to pretty much everything she sang.
All in all, an awesome concert by people who've been doing this kind of thing for a while, evoke emotion from the audience, and have the skill in singing to have the room up on their feet after the final note. A masterful concert by two giants of gospel.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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