Entertainment Weekly (12/19/03, p.74) - "...[The Blind Boys and their guests join] players like John Medeski [in] turning up the spiritual-blues simmer..." - RAting: A-
Dirty Linen (p.49) - "[T]his concert spans the seasons, much like the Blind Boys span the years and bridge the generations. There's a stunning version of 'Amazing Grace'..."
Mojo (Publisher) (1/04, p.104) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[H]ere the Blind Boys take on standards such as 'White Christmas' and 'O Come All Ye Faithful' and fashion them into stirring soul sermons."
Blind Boys Of Alabama: Clarence Fountain, Jimmy Carter, George Scott, Joey Williams, Ricky McKinnie, Bobby Butler (vocals).
Additional personnel includes: Solomon Burke, Mavis Staples, Les McCann, Tom Waits, Aaron Neville, Michael Franti, John Medeski, Duke Robillard.
GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN won the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album.
Audio Mixer: Jimmy Hoyson.
Liner Note Author: Davin Seay.
Recording information: Beacon Theatre, New York (12/2003); Capitol Studio "B", Los Angeles, California (12/2003); Omega Studios, Rockville, Maryland (12/2003); Paul Smith Music Studios, London (12/2003); Piety Street Recording, New Orleans, Louisiana (12/2003); The Plant, Sausalito, California (12/2003).
Photographers: Henry Diltz; John Jones .
On the surface, one might fear the taint of market-research exploitation on an album where this classic gospel group backs a variety of famous guests on well known Christmas songs, but that fear is aesthetically unfounded. The Blind Boys of Alabama, for all their soulful gravitas, function extremely well in a support role (though their "solo" track, "Last Month of the Year," is one of the most memorable moments here). Tom Waits comes off like a half-crazed preacher, throwing down the spiritual gauntlet on "Go Tell It on the Mountain." Chrissie Hynde demonstrates why she's one of the more underrated singers in rock, as she heats up "In the Bleak Midwinter." And, of course, the Aaron Neville and Mavis Staples cuts are no-brainers; how could they possibly not work? Some less expected guests include Spearhead frontman Michael Franti and the funkmaster himself, George Clinton, who brings the blues, if not the funk, to "Away in a Manger."