171 Cedar Arts Center
171 Cedar Street
CorningNY  14830
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Valley Folk presents Sparky and Rhonda Rucker
Drake House Studio Theater
Nov 16  7:30 PM
When: Saturday, November 16, 7:30 pm Concert
Where: Valley Folk meets on the Corner of Cedar and First Streets at the Drake House, 171 Cedar Arts Center, Corning, NY
Admission: $15 cash or checks at-the-door only; children 14 and under free with adult; 1/2 price disabled people and full time students with ID

Pre-concert jam session begins at 6:15 until 7:25 pm. Bring unplugged instruments and voices, songs and tunes. Play down the hall while the rest of the volunteers set up the theater until concert time.

James "Sparky" and Rhonda Rucker perform throughout the U.S. as well as overseas, singing songs and telling stories from the American folk tradition. Sparky Rucker has been performing over forty years and is internationally recognized as a leading folklorist, musician, historian, storyteller, and author. He accompanies himself with finger-style picking and bottleneck blues guitar, banjo, and spoons. Rhonda Rucker 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.  

 

Sparky and Rhonda are sure to deliver an uplifting presentation 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 Brer Rabbit tale or their witty commentaries on current events. Their music includes a variety of old-time blues, slave songs, Appalachian music, spirituals, ballads, work songs, Civil War music, railroad songs, and a few of their own original songs.  

 

Over forty years of performing, Sparky and Rhonda have sung 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.  

 

The Ruckers have been featured tellers at the International Storytelling Center and Festival. Sparky is a natural storyteller, having grown up hearing his father, uncles, and other family members endlessly telling tales. Sparky and Rhonda each tell solo stories, but they also tell stories together (in tandem), always adding life and humor to the characters and tricksters in their Brer Rabbit tales, Jack tales, High John the Conqueror stories, preacher tales, and family stories.  

 

In addition to their numerous recordings, Rhonda's new book, an historical novel for young readers, Swing Low, Sweet Harriet, based on the young Harriet Tubman, was just published by Motes Books and will be available at the concert.

 

More information and samples of live performance http://www.sparkyandrhonda.com/links.html 

 

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