Sep 14: House Concert with Sparky & Rhonda Rucker

It's about time for another house concert at our place!  This time we welcome Sparky & Rhonda Rucker as they swing around the Midwest singing songs and telling stories from the American folk tradition.  Sparky is internationally recognized as a leading folklorist, musician, historian, storyteller, and author.  He accompanies himself with fingerstyle picking and bottleneck blues guitar, banjo, and spoons.  Rhonda is a musician, children's author, storyteller, and songwriter.  Her blues-style harmonica, piano, old-time banjo, and bones add musical versatility to their performances.  The Ruckers also weave American history, traditional storytelling, and humor into their concerts, and they have been featured tellers at the International Storytelling Center and Festival.

Sparky and Rhonda are sure to deliver an uplifting evening of toe-tapping music spiced with humor, history, and tall tales. They take their audience on an educational and emotional journey that ranges from poignant stories of slavery and war to an amusing rendition of a Br'er Rabbit tale or their witty commentaries on current events. Their music includes a variety of old-time blues, Appalachian music, slave songs, spirituals, ballads, work songs, Civil War music, railroad songs, and a few of their own original compositions.

Over forty years of performing, Sparky and Rhonda have performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival as well as NPR's On Point, Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, and Morning Edition.  Their recording Treasures & Tears was nominated for a W.C. Handy Award, and their music is also included on the Grammy-nominated anthology Singing Through the Hard Times.

Doors open at 4 p.m., and the concert will start at 4:30 at our home in Squirrel Hill;  potluck dinner afterwards (please bring snacks, entrees, side dishes, desserts, and/or beverages to share).  Be sure to RSVP by email with "concert" in the Subject: line (or by phone at 412-251-5814) -- then I'll send you directions and other information.  Suggested donation $15 (goes to the performers).  Photos courtesy of the Kingsley Plantation in Jacksonville, Florida (top, with stones) and Jack Goodwin (with plates).


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