Hosted by the powerful blues singer-guitarist Corey Harris, True Blues chronicles the living culture of the blues in an evening of music and conversation. For the SMF edition of True Blues, Harris will be joined by southwest Louisiana fiddler/accordionist extraordinaire Cedric Watson and guitar wizard Alvin Youngblood Hart. A guitarist, songwriter and bandleader, Harris began his career as a New Orleans street singer, forming a unique interpretation of the blues for which he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2007. Grammy-winning multi-instrumentalist Watson is no stranger to SMF audiences, having graced the festival as recently as last year with Jourdan Thibodeaux et Les Rôdailleurs. Hart’s guitar prowess has been praised by everyone from Bob Dylan to Eric Clapton.
Tennessee native Amythyst Kiah is one of the brightest new stars on the acoustic/Americana scene. Equally adept on banjo and acoustic guitar, Kiah draws on an eclectic range of influences from old-time music and alternative rock to folk, country and blues. Her recent collaboration with Rhiannon Giddens, Leyla McCalla and Allison Russell on the album Songs of Our Native Daughters has put Kiah in the spotlight as a vocalist of rare power, with characteristics akin to Odetta and Nina Simone. An opportunity to catch Kiah in a solo setting is not to be missed.
“Amythyst Kiah is one of roots music’s most exciting emerging talents, blending a deep knowledge of old-time music with sensibilities spanning classic country to contemporary R&B.”