Saturday, February 8, 2020 - 8:00 pm
Featuring two of the most vivid voices in “modern-Delta” (Rolling Stone) blues – guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and MacArthur fellow Corey Harris, who has carved out his own niche in blues, and four-time Grammy-nominated fiddler, singer, accordionist, & songwriter Cedric Watson – team up for this special show. True Blues chronicles the extraordinary living culture of the blues in an evening of music and conversation. True Blues vividly brings to life this crucial wellspring of American music.
Corey Harris is a guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and bandleader who has carved out his own niche in blues. A powerful singer and accomplished guitarist, he has appeared at venues throughout the North America, Europe, Brazil, The Caribbean, West Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. He began his career as a New Orleans street singer, traveling throughout the southern U.S. In his early twenties he lived in Cameroon, West Africa for a year, which had a profound effect on his later work.
He has recorded many old songs of the blues tradition, while also creating an original vision of the blues by adding influences from reggae, soul, rock and West African music. His 1995 recording, Between Midnight and Day, is a tribute to the tradition of acoustic blues. Subsequent recordings, such as Greens From the Garden (1999), Mississippi to Mali (2003), and Daily Bread (2005) show Harris' maturation from interpreter to songwriter. Some of his imaginative compositions are marked by a deliberate eclecticism; other works stay true to the traditional blues formula of compelling vocals and down-home guitar. With one foot in tradition and the other in contemporary experimentation, Harris is a truly unique voice in contemporary music.
One of the brightest young talents to emerge in Cajun, Creole and Zydeco (Louisiana French) music over the last decade, Cedric Watson is a four-time Grammy-nominated fiddler, singer, accordionist & songwriter with seemingly unlimited potential.
Originally from San Felipe, TX (population 868), Cedric made his first appearance at the age of 19 at the Zydeco Jam at The Big Easy in Houston, TX. Just two years later, he moved to south Louisiana, quickly immersing himself in French music and language. Over the next several years, Cedric performed French music in 17 countries and on 7 full-length albums with various groups, including the Pine Leaf Boys, Corey Ledet, Les Amis Creole with Ed Poullard and J.B. Adams, and with his own group, Bijou Creole.
With an apparently bottomless repertoire of songs at his fingertips, Cedric plays everything from forgotten Creole melodies and obscure Dennis McGee reels to more modern Cajun and Zydeco songs, even occasionally throwing in a bluegrass fiddle tune or an old string band number. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he is also a prolific songwriter, writing almost all of his songs on his double row Hohner accordion. Cedric's songs channel his diverse ancestry (African, French, Native American and Spanish) to create his own brand of sounds.