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Blind Boys of Alabama 

When: Sun., Nov. 15, 7 p.m. 2015
Price: $43.50
On their cover of Tom Waits’ “Way Down in the Hole,” the Blind Boys of Alabama layer gospel vocals over a gritty guitar riff, putting their distinctive stamp on a tune about keeping the devil “way down in the hole.” The song, the theme to the HBO series, The Wire, still finds its way into the band’s live sets. We think of the group, which first formed in 1944, as a true American institution. Acts such as Keb Mo, Carly Simon, Warren Haynes and Vince Gill have collaborated with the band over the years. In 2013, the band collaborated with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, who produced I'll find a Way. "Our manager was behind that," says band leader Jimmy Carter. "He came to use one day and asked us if we wanted to do an album with Justin Vernon. I said, 'Fine. Who is he?' After we met and got to talking and listened to his material, which was good, we did the recording at his house. He had a studio in his house in Wisconsin and we recorded in the bitter cold in November. You can imagine how cold it was, but he had a warm house and a warm house so everything went well." On its most recent album, last year’s Talkin’ Christmas, it offered up original Christmas tunes that benefited from a collaboration with Taj Mahal. (Niesel)

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