Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Five Blind Boys of Alabama

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Last summer, Clarence Fountain and his gospel group roused audiences out of their seats in the Goodman Theatre's The Gospel at Colonus, in which ancient Greek myth was reset as an African American church pageant. Fountain's gritty lead vocals, propelled by the vibrant harmonies of the rest of the group, proclaimed a decidedly earthy brand of religious feeling in that musical's wedding of Christian and pagan sensibilities. Now the Five Blind Boys--the original group was brought together by Fountain in the 1940s at Alabama's Talladega Institute for the Deaf and Blind--are returning to Chicago in a different musical format; they'll be singing traditional and contemporary gospel songs to a nightclub audience more accustomed to the blues. The Five Blind Boys' rocking, high-energy sound and showy style (on a bill with the blues band Dave Specter & the Bluebirds) should exhilarate club listeners as much as it did theater audiences. Saturday, Buddy Guy's Legends, 754 S. Wabash, 427-0333 or 427-1190.

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