sexta-feira, 19 de julho de 2013

Blind Boys of Alabama: The stories behind Peter Gabriel's Real World Records Nº 3

In 1989, Peter Gabriel used his big Genesis bucks to fund Real World Records. The label that, arguably, gave rise to the popularity of world music is celebrating its stellar history with a series of reissues called Real World Gold. CBC Music seized the opportunity to interview some of the label’s biggest names. There have been some surprises along the way, which sparked this six-part series. Part one featured Sheila Chandra, followed by Joseph Arthur. Now to part three, with Jimmy Carter from the Blind Boys of Alabama.

The Blind Boys of Alabama had already been together for almost six decades when Peter Gabriel’s Real World Recordscame calling back in 2002, signing the then septuagenarians to their label. The gospel group made the most of their brief tenure, releasing three records in three years, including two that became the highest selling of their lengthy career.
Those two albums, Higher Ground and Go Tell it on the Mountain, are featured in Real World Gold — though founding member Jimmy Carter didn’t actually know about the reissues until we told him in the middle of this interview.
CBC Music spoke with the 82-year-old from his hotel room, on tour with the Blind Boys, about working with Gabriel, spreading the gospel and being a role model.

The Blind Boys of Alabama were already so well established when you signed with Real World. What made it the right move for the group?

You must remember, we have been around a long time, but it wasn’t all success. Signing to Real World was prestigious. We were still making records, but Real World was a prestigious company, so why not?
How did it change the band or your experiences?
It didn’t change the band. We did more collaborating with people, but it didn’t change the band or the music. We are a gospel group, we sing gospel songs and we do not deviate from that.
Did it open the door to more collaboration for you?
Yeah, we collaborated with a whole bunch of people. We even did a song with Peter Gabriel. He’s a big part of Real World, we collaborated with him. In fact, we did a tour with him on account of that.

What’s it like working with him?

Peter Gabriel is a nice gentleman. He saw that you were comfortable, that everything was right just like you wanted it to be. He’d do some extra stuff for the Blind Boys also. We have a couple of diabetics in the group and he’d give us sugar-free cakes we could eat. It was nice [laughs].
The label brought so much attention to different types of music — I’m glad they’re doing this reissuing through Real World Gold.
We’re on our own label now, so I don’t know what’s going on because we’re not there.

Oh, two of your albums are getting reissued.

Oh, really? [Laughs] I didn’t know that. Real World’s doing that? So they’re going to reissue Higher Ground and Go Tell it on the Mountain?
I sure didn’t know that. I’m glad you told me [laughs].
Me, too! What’s the most important gospel song for you?
The first one that pops up is “Amazing Grace.” That was our first Grammy-winning song. I like 'em all, but when you ask me to name a favourite, that’s the first one that pops up.
Is there one that’s fallen off people’s radars that you’d like to see get a revival?
You know, we have a message. We sing gospel. We tell the people about Jesus. That is our message everywhere we go, to every audience. We plant the seed. If they accept it, and most of them do, then it’s good. That’s our mission. That’s all we’re here for. We appreciate the accolades we get, but we’re not out for that. We just want to tell people about Jesus and we love gospel music. We’re just like a family, we’ve been together so long, everyone loves one another. We have a good thing going right now.
I was watching video of you performing at the Apollo and doing “Satisfied Mind.” How important is the energy of a room to you when you’re performing?
When you hear the crowd respond, when you hear how they’re getting into, it motivates you. When you get out into the crowd and start mingling with people and hear that great response, it just motivates. That’s what we love.
Are there certain collaborators who stand out for you?
We did that great album with Ben Harper [There Will be a Light]. That stands out. And we did a Christmas album with some people. 
Do you have any upcoming collaborations you’re excited about?
We don’t have anything on the radar right now, but we’re exploring some possibilities. [Laughs] They’re secret for now.
This project has literally been almost your entire life. Did you ever anticipate that?
No. When the group started out, we did it because we just wanted to get out and we loved doing what we were doing. We didn’t even consider the money at that time. It takes money to live, we understand that, but we were just out there singing because that’s what we loved to do.
You’ve become role models for so many people. But some people still think if you have a physical limitation, somehow you don’t count. Which is ridiculous.
It is ridiculous. We hope that we can be role models to people. People ask me, "What does it take? What do you do?" I say, it takes three things when you’re at a project: dedication, persistence and patience. If you got that, it don’t matter about your handicap. We don’t call ourselves handicap people. This is not a handicap. It’s a little inconvenience, that’s all it is [laughs]. 
Source: by Andrea Warner -  CBC music

Nenhum comentário:

Postar um comentário