Southern Voices: Black, White and Blues

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By Becca Owsley



 By BECCA OWSLEY bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com ELIZABETHTOWN — “Southern Voices: Black, White and Blues,” featuring poet Glenis Redmond and blues singer Scott Ainslie will be performed Saturday at the Plum Alley Theater in Elizabethown. Originally scheduled to appear in January, the duo will present their concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Their publicity materials tout, “In solo and collaborative voices they mix blues and gospel songs with poetry and spoken word; slide and ragtime guitar with personal and public histories." Redmond, a performance poet, has written books and produced recordings of her poetry. She also teaches poetry and offers workshops with The Kennedy Center Partnership in Education.  “The arts has a healing force," Redmond said. "It is more than entertainment.” Ainslie is a blues singer and historian who explores African and American roots and history in his music. He is a performer, writer and teacher winning numerous awards for his work on stage an in the classroom. He uses teaching conferences to communicate America’s music history. With a mixture of blues music and personal poetry, the team weaves stories of their personal and historical South. “We will take you through the landscape of the South,” Redmond said. Ainslie presents his version of the South through themes and heroes of the blues world. He was influenced by blues legends Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters and began his interest in the blues after hearing Virginia blues man John Jackson in 1967. Redmond’s poetry is autobiographical as she views the landscape of the South “through personal heroes and sheroes.” Redmond’s heroes are personal figures in her life like her mother, to whom she wrote “Mama’s Magic,” and her 107-year-old grandmother. Her literary hero is Zora Neale Hurston, writer of “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” Saturday's performance also will be a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Redmond describes the concert as a “tribute piece of the human struggle…a work of hope about how people can heal and get along.” Tickets for the event are $10. Contact (270) 234-8258 for more information. Becca Owsley can be reached at 505-1741.