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The Band of Heathens have announced an ambitious new project, a re-envisioning of Ray Charles’ 1972 album A Message From The People, in its entirety. The band chose to re-record the often forgotten album because of its moving commentary on social justice, abuse-of-power, and its vision for a stronger, more-unified America.
Aptly titled A Message From The People Revisited, the record offers new takes on the original album’s ten tracks including “Seems Like I Gotta Do Wrong,” “Heaven Help Us All,” “Hey Mister,” and “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” presented in The Band of Heathens’ own voice while staying true to the weight and tone of the originals – as well as Charles’ own indelible interpretations. Also included is a gospel-infused version of “America The Beautiful,” which the group has shared today.
The track is currently streaming on Rolling Stone Country, who writes “On ‘America the Beautiful’ – still the album’s crown jewel, as well as its final track – the Band of Heathens mix the stomp of a roots-rock band with Stax-sized soul. There’s upright piano, swirling organ and a full choir, all centered around an elastic vocal performance that would’ve made Charles proud.” A Message From The People Revisited will be released in September, 2018.