The Blind Boys Of Alabama – Go Tell It On The Mountain

Tom Waits, Chrissie Hynde et al join gospel veterans on Christmas album

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In Britain, Christmas records are strictly for the Val Doonican/Cliff Richard end of the market. Yet in America, where they call them “seasonal” albums, even the most credible artists seem moved to sing of those sleigh bells a-ring-a-ding-dinging. Hence gospel veterans the Blind Boys have recruited an impressive cast that includes Richard Thompson and Chrissie Hynde (“In The Bleak Midwinter”), Michael Franti (“The Little Drummer Boy”), George Clinton (“Away In A Manger”) and Shelby Lynne (“The Christmas Song”). Unfortunately, though, a turkey is still a turkey, and the fact that Tom Waits has contributed to the trimmings only makes it more embarrassing. Bah, humbug.


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The Waterboys on Room To Roam’s legacy: “We were a lot wilder and more exciting than the record conveyed”

Riding high on the momentum of Fisherman’s Blues, in 1989 The Waterboys reconvened at their new spiritual home in Ireland to make the follow-up. Mike Scott’s plan to broaden the sound didn’t quite go to plan, but as a new box-set reveals, Room To Roam was far from a misfire