This collection – recorded as a collaboration between Ben Harper, Claremont’s favorite neo-boho folkie, and that venerable ensemble of grizzled Southern gospel vets, the Blind Boys of Alabama – puts you smack dab in the middle of the swooning crowd at the most happening tent revival you’ve ever heard. Harper’s vocals, high and light, mesh swimmingly with the guttural stylings of the assembled Blind Boys, creating a vocal amalgam that has you rising to the heavens on one verse, and dragged back to Earth in the next.

This project picks up where the collaborations between these two camps (on the BBA’s last two albums) left off, galvanizing the listener with songs where one can feel the sweltering heat of the church house in August and taste that refreshing lemonade enjoyed porch-side in the late afternoon. With swelling choruses and lyrics that lay claim to the heavenly path, these songs make age-old gospel rhythms contemporary in a way that’s both accessible and buoyant.

On "Take My Hand" and "Church on Time," you can almost feel the quaking of in-studio, knee-slap, time-keeping as the boys team up to bring you a couple rollicking inspirational hymns.

With the soulful energy that pours out of this country-fried collection of songs new and older-than-your-parents’-parents, you can’t help but keep the faith. And with Ben and the Blind Boys leading the congregation, that’s just what you’ll do.

Grade: B