1. Stevie Wonder, “Higher Ground”
“I’m so glad I know more than I knew then. I’m gonna keep on tryin’ until I reach my highest ground…”
2. Ray Charles and BB King, “Sinners Prayer”
A classic collaboration on a heartfelt confessional.
3. Joss Stone, “People Get Ready”
There are many outstanding versions of this song, originally recorded by The Impressions. In this one, Stone makes it clear that she’s the most soulful white girl on the planet.
4. Ben Harper and the Blind Boys of Alabama, “I Shall Not Walk Alone”
When the Blind Boys of Alabama joined Ben Harper at the Apollo Theater, they took his modern spiritual classic to a whole new level.
5. Donny Hathaway, “We Need You Right Now Lord”
Close your eyes, quiet your mind, and connect with the Divine.
6. Smokie Norful, “I Understand”
Norful arguably comes closest among his generation of gospel singers to Hathaway’s raw vocal power. He’s also a gifted songwriter, as evidenced here.
7. Stevie Wonder, “As”
Let’s close out on a high note with this upbeat inspirational gem.
Photo: Ben Harper and the Blind Boys of Alabama