Freight Train Blues: Thomas Rhyant, Legendary Singing Stars


Carrboro Town Commons
301 W Main Street, Carrboro, NC

Date & Time

May 24, 2024 — May 24, 2024
6:30 pm — 8:30 pm EST

After decades of touring in gospel quartets, Thomas Rhyant launched a solo career. His prowess for vocals and nimble acoustic guitar work are clearly felt in his touring tribute to Sam Cooke, whom he claims as his greatest influence. Rhyant uses music to tell the stories of those who came before him, allowing people to not only understand but emotionally connect with history. Rhyant’s 2022 album, Love Lifted Me, brought Rhyant to the Newport Folk Festival.

The Brooklyn-based Legendary Singing Stars have carried the gospel tradition into the 21st century. In the decades since their founding, the Stars have gone by different names, changed their band mates, and cut several successful records. Founder Billie Hardie left to form his own gospel group in 1970, and rejoined the Stars in 2008 at the request of the group leader Tommy Ellison. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer and hoped that Hardie would carry on their group’s legacy. Following his passing, the group renamed itself “The Legendary Singing Stars,” memorializing Ellison and his musical impact. Today, Hardie shares lead vocal duties with 21-year-old Michael Boone, who has been performing with the group since age 15 and grew up frequenting the Singing Stars’ NC shows. Despite a 63-year age difference, the two vocalists have great chemistry on stage and share a similar vision and talent. 

Freight Train Blues 2024

The Town of Carrboro, N.C., proudly presents the Music Maker Foundation’s Freight Train Blues series of live concerts every Friday evening between May 3 and June 21, 2024 at the Carrboro Town Commons, 301 W. Main Street. The series is a collaboration among  Music Maker Foundation, the Town of Carrboro, WUNC 91.5 FM, and The Forests at Duke. Funding for this year’s series was also provided by the North Carolina Arts Council’s Spark the Arts initiative.

Bring your picnic, lawn chairs and blankets for a FREE evening of live music on the lawn. Public parking is available and free in downtown Carrboro.

Music Maker Foundation’s Freight Train Blues series honors Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten’s legacy in the world of roots music by emphasizing the cultural diversity, complexity, and vitality of her music and the music of many other artists local to her community and all over the country.