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Blind Boys of Alabama "Free At Last"

My friend Stephen Bruton passed in 2009 from cancer. He commented that he wished that help would come for others before they needed it. So many illnesses are best treated at the onset. But it is even better if the markers for them are detected in advance when changes to one’s lifestyle would prevent the illnesses from developing at all. The Stephen Bruton Wellness Initiative will seek to provide screening programs to do just that.

This Wednesday evening found me in a most idyllic spot for an incredible evening to celebrate Stephen’s life and spirit, at Star Hill Ranch in Dripping Springs. This place is like the set of a movie, with building rescued from the wrecking ball, ripe for weddings, movie set usage, and parties like this one. Austin’s music community was in attendance as a film clip was presented about the forthcoming movie, and the concept of the Wellness Initiative was discussed. That was followed by an intimate performance by Kris Kristofferson, long time Bruton collaborator and friend. There were tears, let me just say that. There was the healing that the music provided, too, both while listening to Kris, and while driving back home. 

Music is really good for that, and there are times I just want to dive into it, and let the rest of the world go by. In light of the two deaths this week, and more tears for Dick Clark and Levon Helm, we dedicate this tune to them, and to you if you are hurting.

For the full effect of that musical healing, we encourage you to go see the Blind Boys Of Alabama, as their summer touring schedule starts next month. They came to our Music Fog Fall Marathon at Marathon Recorders in October during Americana Fest and graced us with this song, which can also be found on their 2008 album Down In New Orleans, “Free At Last.”

- Jessie Scott

Free At Last - Free At Last - EP

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