For years, Ben Moore was known as Bobby Purify, half of the soul duo James and Bobby Purify, known for their classic hit I'm Your Puppet.
Today, at 72, the Pensacola native is the lead singer of the Blind Boys of Alabama, a Grammy-winning gospel soul collective. On Saturday, when the Blind Boys of Alabama play the Tampa Bay Blues Festival in Vinoy Park, Moore will be on the far right as you face the stage, seated in a row of four folding chairs. He'll thump his right fist, the one holding the microphone, on his thigh, keeping time and singing baritone and tenor harmonies, then stand to take frequent solos.
"We are a mighty group," Moore said. "I done won a Grammy, and I've sung for the first black president."
The Tampa Blues Fest runs Friday through Sunday in Vinoy Park, with the Blind Boys of Alabama taking the stage at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, just before Michael McDonald. Buddy Guy, Irma Thomas, James Hunter and more are also on the weekend's bill. Click here for details.
For more of John Capouya's interview with Moore, click here.