Music

Marc Cohn and Blind Boys of Alabama Have "Work to Do" (album stream) (premiere)

Photo: Reggie Thomas / Courtesy of All Eyes Media

Marc Cohn's appreciation of gospel has never been a secret, but his pairing with Blind Boys of Alabama offers a chance to more deeply examine that connection in his songs and songs from an older tradition.

Work to Do is the new collaborative release between the Blind Boys of Alabama and singer-songwriter Marc Cohn. Released via BMG, the album arrives 9 August.

Produced by John Leventhal, the album consists of three new studio tracks, including two new Cohn originals, as well as seven live performances, culled from a taping of the PBS series The Kate. Those two new originals, the titular piece and "Talk Back Mic", remind us of Cohn's strengths as a writer, his ability to capture the fragility and hope of humanity in the space of a few verses and choruses. Coupled with the power of the Blind Boys, these songs soar with an uncommon warmth.

Longtime fans will doubtless be bowled over by new renditions of Cohn favorites such as "Listening to Levon" and "Walking in Memphis" that, when coupled with "Amazing Grace" and "Ghost Train" further demonstrate what we've known all along. Cohn's always been a deeply spiritual writer and cements that through this one-of-a-kind collaboration. It's also proof positive that Blind Boys of Alabama are quintessential collaborators, never overstating their presence and yet always adding something deeply essential.

Cohn says, "Working with Blind Boys of Alabama over the past few years has been one of the true joys of my professional life. Even though I'm a Jewish kid from Cleveland, gospel music has always moved me deeply. To write for and perform with these legendary gentlemen has been a thrill beyond words. That's the gospel truth."

Photo: Nicholas Sonsini / Courtesy of All Eyes Media

Music


Books


Film


Television


Recent
Books

Memoir 'Rust' Wrestles with the Myth of the American Dream

Eliese Colette Goldbach's memoir, Rust: A Memoir of Steel and Grit, is the story of one descending into the depths of The American Dream and emerging with flecks of graphite dust on her cheeks, a master's degree in her hands, and a few new friends.

Books

'Indian Sun: The Life and Music of Ravi Shankar' (excerpt)

Ravi Shankar was bemused by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds and other bands using the sitar in rock music. Enjoy this excerpt of Indian Sun, by Oliver Craske (who worked with Shankar on his 1997 autobiography), courtesy of Hachette Books.

Oliver Craske
Music

The Strokes Phone It In (Again) on 'The New Abnormal'

The Strokes' The New Abnormal is an unabashedly uninspired promotional item for their upcoming world tour.

Music

"I'm an Audience Member, Playing This Music for Us": An Interview With Keller Williams

Veteran musician Keller Williams discusses his special relationship with the Keels, their third album together, Speed, and what he learned from following the Grateful Dead.

Books

Shintaro Kago's 'Dementia 21' Showcases Surrealist Manga

As much as I admire Shintaro Kago's oddness as a writer, his artistic pen is even sharper (but not without problems) as evident in Dementia 21.

Music

Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad Proclaim 'Jazz Is Dead!' Long Live Jazz!

Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad bring their live collaborative efforts with jazz veterans to recorded life with Jazz Is Dead 001, a taste of more music to come.

Film

"I'll See You Later": Repetition and Time in Almodóvar's 'All About My Mother'

There are mythical moments in Almodóvar's All About My Mother. We are meant to register repetition in the story as something wonderfully strange, a connection across the chasm of impossibility.

Music

Electropop's CMON Feel the Noise on 'Confusing Mix of Nations'

Pop duo CMON mix and match contemporary and retro influences to craft the dark dance-pop on Confusing Mix of Nations.

Music

'Harmony' Is About As Bill Frisell As a Bill Frisell Recording Can Be

Bill Frisell's debut on Blue Note Records is a gentle recording featuring a few oddball gems, particularly when he digs into the standard repertoire with Petra Haden's voice out front.

Music

The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums Ever: Part 4, James Chance to the Pop Group

This week we are celebrating the best post-punk albums of all-time and today we have part four with Talking Heads, the Fall, Devo and more.

Music

Raye Zaragoza's "Fight Like a Girl" Shatters the Idea of What Women Can and Can't Do (premiere)

Singer-songwriter and activist Raye Zaragoza's new single, "Fight Like a Girl", is an empowering anthem for intersectional feminism, encouraging resilience amongst all women.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.