Released in audio and video formats in 2009 and subsequently taken out of print, Blind Boys of Alabama’s Live in New Orleans has its second coming via a reissue for streaming. 

Praise Jesus. 

To music as a paperback is to a book, this re-release is most welcome as the LP captures the vocal group at a 21st-century peak on the vaunted Tipitina’s stage alongside friends Susan Tedeschi, Marva Wright (“How I Got Over”), Dr. John (“Make a Better World”), Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Henry Butler (“Down by the Riverside”).

The recording is a perfect balance between what’s happening on stage and how it’s received in the audience. So when a guitar solo slices into the Blind Boys’ “House of the Rising Sun” arrangement of “Amazing Grace” or Tedeschi shreds her vocal cords on “People Get Ready,” the rapturous concertgoers are part of the electrifying mix. 

Featuring gospel songs by secular artists (Tom Waits’ “Down in the Hole,” Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky”), pure New Orleanian strut (PHJB’s “Bourbon Street Parade”) and all-hands-on-deck worship (“I’ll Fly Away”), Live in New Orleans can make believers of agnostics and entertain atheists while sating the faithful. For while secularism pervades life in New Orleans, soft-sell Christianity is Live in New Orleans’ and the Blind Boys’ calling card.