The Blind Boys of Alabama, known in various formations since the late 1930s for their harmony-rich gospel music, are courting a new audience: indie-rock millennials.
On Thursday the group announced details of its upcoming collaboration with Justin Vernon of the hipster-beloved Bon Iver, who broke out in 2008 with "For Emma, Forever Ago," a set of cloistered folk songs he said he'd written and recorded while camped out by himself in a cabin in the Wisconsin woods. Last year Bon Iver won the Grammy Award for best new artist.
Now Vernon has produced the Blind Boys' "I'll Find a Way," for which the group "decamped to the wintry wild of rural Wisconsin," according to a statement, to record at Vernon's April Base studio. (It's a different spot than the cabin, but evidently just as rustic.)
Due out Oct. 1 on
"I'll Find a Way" isn't the first time the gospel group has recruited a younger producer. It worked with Jamey Johnson, the tough-talking country singer, for 2011's "Take the High Road" and shared co-billing with
And the Blind Boys album is just one of Vernon's current side projects. At the
Listen to "Byegone," from that group's upcoming "Repave," below.