THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA MAKE ON-SCREEN APPEARANCE IN UNIVERSAL PICTURES FILM “HOP” - IN THEATERS APRIL 1
April 1 Also Marks the Day Blind Boys Will Begin To Deliver
Daily Inspirational Tweet - “BB Wisdom” - Via Twitter
New Album, Take The High Road, Due May 3
(March 29, 2011) --- Legendary gospel group The Blind Boys of Alabama will make an on-screen appearance in the new Universal Pictures film “Hop,” in theaters April 1. “Hop,” starring James Marsden and Russell Brand, is a new comedy from the makers of ‘Despicable Me’ that blends state-of-the-art CG animation with live action. The film tells the story of E.B., the teenage son of the Easter Bunny.
The Blind Boys’ cameo appearance revolves around E.B. stumbling upon the band in the studio while they are recording the song ‘Higher Ground” for the video game “Extreme Blues Master.” E.B. sneaks into the session and plays drums with the iconic gospel group. Says director Tim Hill, “The Blind Boys are rooted in gospel and blues, which is very basic to American music. For the story, it helped that they couldn’t see that E.B. was a rabbit and he was “filling in” while their drummer was on a break.” Jokes Ricky McKinnie, the band’s drummer on being “replaced” by a rabbit: “If you can get a kick out of seeing a blind guy like me play drums, then I know you can enjoy seeing a rabbit play drums.”
The band will also launch a series of inspirational tweet of the day messages, “BB Wisdom,” via their Twitter account beginning April 1st. Drawing from their vast history of gospel music and lyrics as well as their faith and life experience, members of the group will post personal and spiritual messages that have inspired them throughout their careers and lives at http://twitter.com/blindboys. The band will also use Twitter to keep in touch with fans about tour dates, promotional appearances and their new album, Take The High Road, which will be released on May 3rd(Saguaro Road Records).
Take The High Road marks the first time The Blind Boys have recorded a country gospel album in their remarkable 70+ year career. Original member Jimmy Carter had long been a fan of the genre, but the timing never quite felt right until they met critically acclaimed country music star Jamey Johnson. Johnson stepped in to co-produce the album, which includes guest performances by Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Jr., Lee Ann Womack, The Oak Ridge Boys and Jamey himself.
The Blind Boys of Alabama continue to tour the world, performing over 150 concerts each year. Honored by both the Grammys and The National Endowment for the Arts with Lifetime Achievement Awards, inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and winners of five Grammy® Awards, The Blind Boys have attained the highest levels of recognition in a career that spans over 70 years and shows no signs of diminishing. Longevity and major awards aside, The Blind Boys have earned praise for their remarkable interpretations of everything from traditional gospel favorites to contemporary spiritual material, and now country, by acclaimed songwriters such as Curtis Mayfield, Prince and Tom Waits. Their performances have been experienced by millions on “The Tonight Show,” “Late Night with David Letterman,” the Grammy® Awards telecast, “60 Minutes II,” and on their own holiday PBS Special. The Blind Boys' live shows are roof- raising musical events that appeal to audiences of all cultures, as evidenced by an international itinerary that has taken them to almost every continent. In 2007, they released the Grammy winning album, Down in New Orleans, their first for Saguaro Road Records, which was followed in 2008 by a companion DVD, Live in New Orleans. In 2009, they released Duets, a collection of songs recorded with artists including Bonnie Raitt, Ben Harper and Randy Travis.