Blind Boys Of Alabama: Clarence Fountain, Jimmy Carter, George Scott, Bobby Butler, Ricky McKinnie, Joey Williams (vocals); Tracy Pierce (bass instrument). Additional personnel: The Gift Of Gab (rap vocals); David Hildago (guitar); Charlie Musselwhite (harmonica); Billy Preston (piano, organ). Recording information: Capitol Studios, Hollywood, California; Pacifica Studios, Los Angeles, California. Fans of the stellar, down-home harmonizing of the Blind Boys of Alabama won’t be disappointed by 2005’s ATOM BOMB. The opening track, entitled ½(Jesus Hits Like the) Atom Bomb,½ features the group’s airtight vocalizing accompanied only by the spare, insistent bass pulse and brushes on a snare. Despite its topical lyrics, the song cuts straight back to the gospel hymns and field hollers of the rural south in the 1920s and ’30s. Yet the Blind Boys are no museum artifacts, as ½Demons,½ the album’s second track, proves. Here guest star the Gift of Gab unfurls his verbally agile rap flow over a chugging groove, while the Boys’ back-up vocals ebb and flow. The Blind Boys show a special talent for bringing their church-like flair to material from the rock era, including a simmering rendition of Norman Greenbaum’s ½Spirit in the Sky½ and an organ-drenched take on Eric Clapton’s ½Presence of the Lord.½ Yet the Blind Boys never lose track of their true roots. Their versions of old-school gospel tunes (½Talk About Suffering½ and ½Old Blind Barnabas½) sound suitable for the ANTHOLOGY OF AMERICAN FOLK MUSIC, if not for the slinky blues instrumentation and high-end production. Outstanding musicianship from keyboardist Billy Preston, harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite, and guitarist David Hidalgo (of Los Lobos) adds a special sheen to ATOM BOMB, another winning disc from these gospel legends.