We were thrown for a minute when we saw the Blind Boys of Alabama were coming Saturday - to Lecanto High School. - Um, really? The five-time Grammy winners are coming to a Hernando school and being promoted by the Hernando Church of the Living God? Couldn't they sell out someplace like Ruth Eckerd Hall? Their Down in New Orleans album won a Grammy for best traditional gospel album this year, for heaven's sake. - Here are five things we discovered about the group while we were scratching our heads:
1 The gospel group was formed at an Alabama school for the blind in 1939. Originally called the Happyland Singers, the lineup has changed over the years, and most but not all of the members have been blind.
2 Singer Jimmy Carter was at the school when the group formed, but it's unclear whether he was a founding member. (He would have been a young boy in 1939.) Other members listed on the band's Web site, blindboys.com, are Bishop Billy Bowers, Ben Moore, Eric "Ricky" McKinnie, Joey Williams and Tracy Pierce. Founding member Clarence Fountain apparently has left the group.
3 You may have heard them and not known it. For example, the theme song for the first season of the HBO series The Wire was the Blind Boys' rendition of Tom Waits' Way Down in the Hole. And ...
4 Their cover of Ben Harper's I Shall Not Walk Alone was featured in the first season of ABC's Lost.
5 They have collaborated or toured with the likes of Tom Petty, John Fogerty, Peter Gabriel, Bonnie Raitt, Lou Reed - and the list goes on.
When/where: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Curtis Peterson Auditorium at Lecanto High School, 3810 W Education Path, Lecanto. Tickets $25-$50. (352) 746-2334.