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Martha Redbone's Bone Hill: The Concert

Lied Center of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

The story of a family from the hills of Appalachia told through music

Bone Hill: The Concert is an interdisciplinary musical theatre work created by Martha Redbone and Aaron Whitby that brings to light an important piece of American history that’s never been told. Inspired by the lives of Redbone’s family in the hills of coal-mining Appalachia, their story is shared through songs spanning a swath of American music—from traditional Cherokee chants and lullabies to bluegrass, blues, country, gospel, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and R&B. As a multiracial Cherokee/Shawnee and African American family, this is the story of their connection to the land, the simplicity and sacredness of that connection and the ruptures that threaten to extinguish it. Redbone, an award-winning and charismatic musician, is one of today’s most vital voices in American roots music. This engagement is part of KU’s ongoing Indigenous Cultures Festival.

Martha Redbone's Bone Hill: The Concert

Lied Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln, NE

One of today’s most vital voices in American Roots music, renowned blues and soul singer Martha Redbone explores her Appalachian family’s history in an epic that spans generations and music genres. The music is radically wide-ranging: from traditional Cherokee chants and lullabies to bluegrass, blues, gospel, jazz, R&B and funk.

This presentation is made possible in part with generous support by Season Lieder Priscilla Grew, Patron Friend Sponsor Carl Kopischke, the Sheila Delaney Griffith Lied Endowment Fund and the Lied Center’s MOSAIC Circle: Priscilla Grew, Colleen Jones, Rhonda Seacrest and Art & Chris Zygielbaum.

Martha Redbone's Bone Hill: The Concert

Tower Theatre, Bend, OR

Live At The Tower

Tickets: Reserved Seating $27 - $47

Martha Redbone is one of today’s most vital voices in American Roots music. A multi award-winning musician, the charismatic songstress is celebrated for her tasty gumbo of roots music embodying the folk and mountain blues sounds of her childhood in the Appalachian hills of Kentucky mixed with the eclectic grit of her teenage years in pre-gentrified Brooklyn. With the power of her gospel singing African-American father’s voice and the determined spirit of her Cherokee/Shawnee/Choctaw mother, Redbone broadens all boundaries of Americana. Her latest CD, The Garden of Love- Songs of William Blake, produced by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band founder/Grammy Winner John McEuen is an unexpected twist – “a brilliant collision of cultures” (New Yorker) features Martha's magnificent voice, Blake's immortal words and a masterful cornucopia of roots music (folk, country, Piedmont blues, gospel, bluegrass, soul and traditional Southeastern Native American).

During "Bone Hill" the charismatic, gutsy songstress weaves an epic story of four generations of Cherokee women and their connection to home in Harlan County, Kentucky. This original dramatic musical work explores Redbone’s childhood, her maternal ancestors’ lives and legacy, and the ruptures that threaten to erase them. The concert reflects the racial dynamics between Native, African and White Americans – their Appalachian culture and music – with humor, pathos and exuberance.

“Bone Hill isn't tripped up by uncomfortable truths and unresolved conflicts: It grooves through them. And it asks, with a coy wink and stern stare: 'What is native to American music?'” —Wall Street Journal