NC Roots Music Series!
inNewson July 1, 2020
Watch the NC Roots Music Series:
Music Maker Relief Foundation has partnered with the Arts and Science Council’s Culture Blocks program and the Charlotte Mecklenburg County Library to present the NC Roots Music Series featuring live stream performances by North Carolina musicians: Lakota John, The Hamiltones, Dedicated Men of Zion, Martha Spencer, and Big Ron Hunter. The shows will be aired live every third Thursday of August, September, October, November, and December at 6pm via Facebook Live and YouTube Live.
Founded in 1994, Music Maker works to promote American roots music by partnering directly with the musicians that make it. This series represents the diverse musical genres of North Carolina.
August 20th – Lakota John
Lakota John is an old soul with a love for the blues. He is a talented musician from Southeastern North Carolina, who grew up listening to his dad’s music library. At 6 years old he picked up harmonica, and at age 7 guitar. LJ learned to play guitar left-handed, in standard tuning, and was intrigued by the sound of the slide guitar. At age 10, he bought himself a glass slide, placed it on his pinky finger, and he has been sliding over the frets ever since.
September 17th – The Hamiltones
Vito, Tony Lelo, and 2E are a trio of North Carolina natives known as The Hamiltones. The group started as background vocalist for Grammy winning soul singer Anthony Hamilton. When their behind the scenes clips of quartet-styled cover songs were uploaded to the internet, it caught fire! Since then, The Hamiltones have been featured on The Breakfast Club, Steve Harvey Morning Show, sold out The Apollo, and have been featured on four Grammy nominated albums; including Anthony Hamilton, PJ Morton, Johnathan McReynolds, and Tori Kelly.
October 15th – Dedicated Men of Zion
Harmony is serious business where the Dedicated Men of Zion come from. For their eldest member Anthony “Amp” Daniels, it was so serious that every day his mother would call her children inside, turn off the television, and make them sing in harmony, talk in harmony, do everything in harmony. Singing well together was a virtue that she and her sisters had learned from their own father, and Anthony gave it to his children in return. Older folks in the Black communities of rural North Carolina relied on that singing for everything in a time when both respect and money were especially scarce. “That’s where that seriousness is from,” Amp remembers. “They demand respect. They’re serious about what they do and they don’t play with God.”
November 19th – Martha Spencer
Martha Spencer is a singer-songwriter, mountain musician and dancer from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She grew up in the musical Spencer family and learned to play several instruments (guitar, fiddle, banjo, bass, dulcimer, mandolin) and flatfoot/clog at a young age. She performs and has recorded with various groups and has been involved with several roots music projects. She has played shows, festivals and led workshops across the US, Australia, UK, and Europe. Martha just released a solo album and has been included in articles in Rolling Stone Country, Cowboys & Indians Magazine, Americana Highways, PopMatters and more.
December 17th – Big Ron Hunter
Ron is called the world’s happiest Bluesman. He owns a voice that gives people chills. It’s the kind of voice that carries warmth and tenderness, a voice that is unmistakably his own and embodies everything that’s raw, pure and beautiful about the blues. Ron Hunter was born in Winston-Salem, NC. His father, who was a sharecropper, taught Ron how to sing and play the guitar at a young age. Mentored by the legendary Guitar Gabriel and versed in R&B, Rock & the Blues of BB King, Ron plays both electric and acoustic guitars in dramatically different styles. From Gabe’s advice, Hunter developed his unique sound all while raising a family and working a day job. As a maintenance man, you could find Ron locked up in his closet-sized office, plucking away at his guitar and pouring out the blues.
The NC Roots Music Series is sponsored by Culture Blocks—a community partnership between ASC, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, and Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation to bring arts and cultural experiences closer to where residents live. Culture Blocks is funded by Mecklenburg County.