“I like having a good time but if you can take something home that encourages you to look further, then I’m really happy.” This is how Martha Redbone describes what she wants audiences to take away from her concerts. “In a nutshell, we take you all the way to church and back home again. That’s kind of the journey that we do in concert.”
A child of both urban and rural America, Martha draws upon her African-American father’s voice, and the spirit of her Cherokee/Shawnee/Choctaw mother for inspiration. In doing so she alters the definition of Americana.
2012’s The Garden of Love – Songs of William Blake garnered the Martha Redbone Roots Project widespread acclaim. In marrying the verse of the celebrated 18th and 19th Century British poet with her own musical voice, Martha created a transatlantic conversation that traversed generations. Throughout the album she reveal how the struggles and triumphs of long ago continue to resonate in unintended ways.
Music critic Robert Christgau praised Martha’s synthesis of verse and music, saying “she’s created a new body of folk song by a lyricist who compares favorably to, well, Bob Dylan,” calling it “a major find.” The New Yorker, meanwhile, called The Garden of Love “a brilliant collision of cultures.”
Martha maintains a busy touring schedule. Among her latest works is Bone Hill – The Concert, an interdisciplinary musical theater work that brings to light an important and overlooked piece of American history through the lens of her ancestors.
Swallow Hill Music is proud to present the Martha Redbone Roots Project in Tuft Theatre on Sunday, September 23 at 7 p.m. Tickets for this show go on sale Tuesday, August 7 at 10 a.m.