Jane and I went to the historic Embassy Theater in downtown Fort Wayne last night and saw The Blind Boys of Alabama. It was a very nice show. Son Isaac surprised us with tickets for Christmas.
I was first turned on to the Blind Boys when we purchased our new sound board at church. The guy who installed it brought in a CD to test everything out with. It was the Blind Boy's 'Spirit of the Century' CD. It had the BEST version of 'Amazing Grace' I had ever heard (and still have). I was immediately a fan. So I bought a couple more of their CD's, and play them from time to time before church services. So we were pretty excited to see them live.
We really like shows at the Embassy. It is old, and the seats are really small (and the urinals really close together), but it is so cool seeing concerts there. I was a little disappointed in the crowd. At the start of the 8 pm show there were still a number of empty seats in the lower balcony area. However, I was very happy to see that the Embassy ushers told people they could move down and fill in the lower seats. We were originally in the front row of the upper balcony, and moved down into the lower balcony section. They were great seats right in the center of the stage.
As for the show... it wasn't overly long (90 minutes), but they didn't take any breaks. A guy led the three 'blind guys' out onto the stage - each holding the shoulder of the man in front of them. He positioned them in their seats each with a microphone. They also had a guitarist, bass player, drummer and keyboardist/organist (they weren't blind). Jimmy Carter - one of the original members - did the talking. He started out by saying something to the effect: "The Blind Boys don't like a conservative audience... because we play Gospel music. It's about the GOOD News! We sing about Jesus. That's what we do." It was great. And sing about Jesus they did. As well as rockin' and a rollin'.
The announcer said they had been together for 60 years. He must have been talking about these three blind guys in particular. Because upon further reading, Jimmy Carter was one of the originals when they started in 1939. I believe he was 9 years old at the time. That is one looooong time to be singing together, and touring together. They've learned to do it well. I was totally impressed by this 80-something year-old and his ability to sing, dance, and how long he could hold a note.
Anyway, I could go on... But I'm really glad we got tickets. A very good show.