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Posts from the ‘Live Music’ Category

Jake Xerxes Fussell Album Release, Fri, Jan 30 at 5:30 pm

PoB-17-coverJoin us at the Center to celebrate the release of Jake Xerxes Fussell’s debut solo album from local record label Paradise of BachelorsJake will perform some selections from his self-titled album, produced by and featuring William Tyler. Acclaimed Durham guitarist Daniel Bachman will also play a special solo set for the occasion. Now a Durham resident, Fussell grew up in Columbus, GA.

As Jake explains it, “the Southern half of the Georgia-Alabama border follows the Chattahoochee River, which cleaves Columbus from its decidedly less reputable neighbor, Phenix City, Alabama. Georgia’s second city is the hometown of ‘Mother of the Blues’ Ma Rainey and novelist Carson McCullers, but it was local hillbilly duo Darby and Tarlton’s 1927 hit ‘Columbus Stockade Blues’ that first immortalized Columbus in popular culture. Back in their day, if you ended up in lockup in Columbus, chances are you did your dirtiest deeds across the river.”

Fussell1

Jake is the son of Fred C. Fussell, a folklorist, curator, and photographer who hails from Phenix City. Fred’s fieldwork took him (sometimes with Jake) across the Southeast documenting traditional vernacular culture, which included recording blues and old-time musicians with fellow folklorists George Mitchell and Art Rosenbaum, as well as collaborating with American Indian artists, which eventually led to Jake’s graduate research on Choctaw fiddlers.

 

As a teenager,Bachman Jake played and studied under elder musicians in the Chattahoochee Valley, including Piedmont blues legend Precious Bryant (“Georgia Buck”) and Alabama bluesman George Daniel (“Rabbit on a Log”). He later accompanied Etta Baker in North Carolina, studied with Will Scarlett and Steve Mann in Berkeley, earned a degree in Southern Studies from Oxford (Mississippi), recorded and toured with Rev. John Wilkins, and, last year, met up with acclaimed artist William Tyler to begin recording his first solo album. The album drops on January 27th, and we can’t wait to hear it. You can listen to a single of “Raggy Levy” here.

This lecture is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Delta Blues Celebration, Sat, Jan 31 at 7:30 pm

Delta_Blues_talk

Sacred Spaces Art Reception, Thurs, Feb 5 at 5:30 pm

ASpencerLynchburg2013_53Please join us at the Center as we unveil our Spring 2015 art exhibit, “Sacred Spaces: A Look Inside the Home of Harlem Renaissance Poet Anne Spencer.”

These photographs by John M. Hall reveal the beautiful and unique home and garden of Anne Spencer in Lynchburg, Virginia. The house, which is registered as a Virginia Historic Landmark, served as a salon and southern outpost of the Harlem Renaissance, as the Spencers hosted literary luminaries such as Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, James Weldon Johnson, and many others. Spencer also served as the first librarian at the all-black Dunbar High School from 1923-1945. During this period, she helped establish the Lynchburg chapter of the NAACP, led a campaign to hire black teachers, and served on committees to improve the legal, social, and economic aspects of African Americans’ lives.

OK_ASpencer.gdn2014_9

Anne Spencer’s biographer, Professor Emeritus J. Lee Greene, noted that while moving through her home, Spencer would often “recall a person, an incident, a memory, an object that… made the room seem sacred to her.” This exhibit celebrates the rich legacy of Anne Spencer, including her poetry, her activism, her family, and her home. In addition to a performance by local musicians from the Durham Symphony Orchestra, the reception will include remarks by Professor Greene, photographer John M. Hall, and Spencer’s granddaughter, Shaun Spencer-Hester, who currently serves as curator for the Anne Spencer House & Garden Museum. North Carolina poet Jeffery Beam will read a small selection from Spencer’s work.

This event, which is co-sponsored by the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History, is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Sacred Spaces Art Reception, Thursday, February 5 at 5:30 pm

ASpencerLynchburg2013_53Please join us at the Center as we unveil our Spring 2015 art exhibit, Sacred Spaces: A Look Inside the Home of Harlem Renaissance Poet Anne Spencer.

These photographs by John M. Hall reveal the beautiful and unique home and garden of Anne Spencer in Lynchburg, Virginia. The house, which is registered as a Virginia Historic Landmark, served as a salon and southern outpost of the Harlem Renaissance, as the Spencers hosted literary luminaries such as Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, James Weldon Johnson, and many others. Spencer also served as the first librarian at the all-black Dunbar High School from 1923-1945. During this period, she helped establish the Lynchburg chapter of the NAACP, led a campaign to hire black teachers, and served on committees to improve the legal, social, and economic aspects of African Americans’ lives.

OK_ASpencer.gdn2014_9

Anne Spencer’s biographer, Professor Emeritus J. Lee Greene, noted that while moving through her home, Spencer would often “recall a person, an incident, a memory, an object that… made the room seem sacred to her.” This exhibit celebrates the rich legacy of Anne Spencer, including her poetry, her activism, her family, and her home. In addition to a performance by local musicians from the Durham Symphony Orchestra, the reception will include remarks by Professor Greene, photographer John M. Hall, and Spencer’s granddaughter, Shaun Spencer-Hester, who currently serves as curator for the Anne Spencer House & Garden Museum. North Carolina poet Jeffery Beam will read a small selection from Spencer’s work.

This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Southern Cultures Double Issue Release Party, Thursday, December 4 at 5:30 pm

whale cover

Please join us at the Center as we celebrate the release of two new issues of Southern Cultures! The Winter 2014 issue examines southern politics, dashboard poets, the caning of Charles Sumner, and the “harmless, humorous hick” persona of Gomer Pyle (as well as the actor who came to inhabit that persona). You’ll find photographs by Michael W. Panhorst, poetry by Joseph Bathanti, and important pointers for how to catch and smoke the tastiest eels.

sc best of food draft

 

We’re simultaneously launching our first-ever Best of Food issue, which collects some of our favorite writing on southern food and foodways. Inside you’ll find essays on Native food in the Native South, eating with “molasses-colored glasses,” an early twentieth century “Girls’ Tomato Club,” and more. Order your copy today, or go all out and order the whole tote bag!

April McGreger of Farmer’s Daughter Brand pickles & preserves (featured in the “Best Of” issue) will cater the event. Phil Blank, who painted the cover (left), will provide tunes with his rocking klezmer band, Gmish. And the one and only Bernie Herman, whose writing is featured in both issues, will discuss how he came to eat Hog Island sheep barbacoa. What better way to get in the holiday spirit?