Sparky Rucker in Concert
The Cornell Folk Song Club is proud to open its fall 2001 season with Sparky Rucker in a performance you should not miss! Based in Tennessee and much in demand for tours, he only makes a few trips a year to the Northeast. Phil Shapiro, the host of Bound for Glory gives this endorsement, "Tell anyone who doesn't know Sparky that I'll praise him to the treetops! It's a real coup to get him!"
James "Sparky" Rucker is a superb African American folk musician, storyteller, historian, and former schoolteacher. He has performed for 35 years at every major folk festival and in concerts, coffeehouses, and schools (K-12), and is highly regarded throughout this country and in Europe. His fourteen recordings have been issued on premier folk labels (Gentle Wind, Green Linnet, June Appal, Flying Fish, Rounder). He also has a number of storytelling videos -- including National Geographic productions -- and has won the Hurston-Hughes Award. His range of material is broad, including traditional songs of slavery and the Civil War (carefully researched and brought to vivid life), Appalachian ballads, gospel, cowboy and train songs, freedom songs of the civil rights movement, driving blues, and his own compositions.
Sparky Rucker is dynamic and spell-binding in performance, with a rich, expressive voice and distinctive, rhythmic guitar style. His mastery of the slide blues guitar (learned from some of the old-time greats) is unrivaled. In concert, Sparky gets his audience to participate with gusto. One of his messages, especially to children, is that we can all make our own music, and that making music together brings people together. Sparky is "for real." Interweaving songs and stories, he shows us our history: where we've come from and where we can go. He is powerful yet gentle, playful yet serious about promoting respect through shared song. Mark your calendars and join us in welcoming a unique, memorable performer.
Tickets are available at Ithaca Guitar Works, Then and Now (I-Town) Records, Bound for Glory, and at the door. You may also order tickets online.
For information, contact Ken McKinney at 256.4861, Ginny Gartlein at 272.3471, or check out the Cornell Folk Song Club.
(Margaret B. Shepard)