The Band Of Heathens revisit Ray Charles' "America The Beautiful" and hit two NL festivals09-07-2018
In celebration of this year's 4th of July The Band Of Heathens released a version of America The Beautiful which will be part of a full length release in September. It's their own version of an entire Ray Charles album called A Message From The People - Revisited.
When Ray Charles released the LP in 1972, America was still reeling from the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. The Civil Rights movement had made unprecedented progress during the Sixties ending legal segregation for good and kickstarting a new era of tolerance. Not everyone seemed to get the message though and for many Americans – particularly those in black communities – the country was still divided.
Nearly half a century later, The Band of Heathens revisits (and reimagines) Charles' original recording, funneling those songs through the Heathens' own prism of Texas twang, barrelhouse blues and border-town boogie. It's a timely release, too, arriving during a tense, contentious time in which the band's own state has been turned into a battleground, with most of the fighting centered around the crisis at the Mexican-American border. To that end, the guys are encouraging social justice initiatives by donating the album's profits to a charity.