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Stepping Up & Stepping Out

  • Reviewed by Andrew Greer Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2009 1 Sep
Stepping Up & Stepping Out
Style: Bluesy Americana/Gospel; compare to Blind Boys of Alabama, Levon Helm, and B.B. King Top tracks: "Down to the River," "Me and Jesus," "Do What the Lord Say Do"

In a nutshell: When your record is shelved alongside hot summer releases by soul blockbusters Whitney Houston and Smokey Robinson, you know you're a legend. So it is for 80-year-old gospel music veteran Clarence Fountain, one of the former Blind Boys of Alabama who is now flying semi-solo with his aptly titled late-life debut, Stepping Up & Stepping Out. Co-fronting the effort with former Blind Boys guitarist Sam Butler, Fountain leaves behind the Boys' recent professional differences but hardly resigns the artistic influence. If he wasn't historic, I'd say this charming collection of old school blues is a Blind Boys knockoff. But considering his seventy-year ownership in the popular outfit, Fountain's new CD is completely original.

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