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Patrycja

Lead Belly at 125: A Tribute to an American Songster

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Lead Belly at 125: A Tribute to an American Songster

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 8:00 PM, Kennedy Center Concert Hall

Lead Belly is one of the mainstays of American folk music. A master storyteller through song, he (Huddie William Ledbetter) blended the sound of traditional folk with blues, work songs, and spirituals to create a body of music that ranks with the catalogues of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, America's other folk music stalwarts.

This special one-night-only concert in collaboration with the Grammy Museum, Lead Belly at 125: A Tribute to an American Songster, celebrates the man and the music featuring many of today's top artists performing Lead Belly classics. The musical evening features Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, and Buddy Miller with Viktor Krauss as headliners, with special appearances by Alvin Youngblood Hart, Billy Hector, Valerie June, Shannon McNally, Josh White Jr., Lucinda Williams, and Dan Zanes, among others.

Patron notice: This performance may be recorded for later broadcast.

Performance Timing: Part One - 60 min.; Intermission - 15 min.; Part Two - 60 min.

Tickets on sale now

Concert Hall

  • 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • $25.00 - $89.00

Tickets went on sale Monday, January 26, 2015 to Kennedy Center Members
Not a Member? Join today
to receive priority purchasing and other benefits!
Tickets went on sale Wednesday, February 04, 2015 to the public.
Call Kennedy Center Information or check online regularly for last minute availability.

http://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/event/XPAEL

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Robert Plant and Alison Krauss to headline ‘Lead Belly at 125′ tribute at Kennedy Center

By Peggy McGlone March 4 at 11:22 AM Follow https://twitter.com/PeggyMcGlone

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will top a star-studded lineup for “Lead Belly at 125: A Tribute to an American Songster” on April 25 at the Kennedy Center.

On Wednesday, the Kennedy Center and the Grammy Museum announced the performers who will celebrate the music and legacy of Huddie William Ledbetter, better known as Lead Belly. Tickets are $20 to $89 and are on sale through the arts center’s box office.

The tribute also will feature headliners Buddy Miller with Viktor Krauss, as well as Lucinda Williams, Dan Zanes, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Billy Hector, Valerie June, Shannon McNally and Josh White Jr.

A force behind the American folk songbook, Lead Belly was praised as both a master storyteller and powerful musician who blended various genres, from gospel to blues, to create his own sound.

“We proudly join the Museum, the guest artists, and Lead Belly fans in recognizing and celebrating his lifelong legacy,” Garth Ross, the Kennedy Center’s vice president for community engagement, said in a statement.

The Smithsonian Folkways Collection just released a documentary and box set celebrating the musician’s life and influence.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2015/03/04/robert-plant-and-alison-krauss-to-headline-lead-belly-at-125-tribute-at-kennedy-center/

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Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection

Lead Belly SFW40201

Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection, the first career-spanning box set dedicated to the American music icon, is a 5 CD, 140-page, large-format book featuring 5 hours of music with 16 unreleased tracks. The limited-edition poster and t-shirt package has sold out.

Lead Belly is “the hard name of a harder man,” said Woody Guthrie of his friend and fellow American music icon who was born Huddie Ledbetter (c. 1888–1949). From the swamplands of Louisiana, the prisons of Texas, and the streets of New York City, Lead Belly and his music became cornerstones of American folk music and touchstones of African American cultural legacy.

With his 12-string Stella guitar, he sang out a cornucopia of songs that included his classics “The Midnight Special,” “Irene,” “The Bourgeois Blues,” and many more, which in turn have been covered by musical notables such as the Beach Boys, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Van Morrison, Nirvana, Odetta, Little Richard, Pete Seeger, Frank Sinatra and Tom Waits. Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection brings us the story of the man as well as the musician. 5 Discs, 108 tracks (16 unreleased), 5 hours of music, historic photos, extensive notes, and 140-page book.

Limited-Edition Poster and T-Shirt
Designed by Fritz Klaetke (Visual Dialogue), GRAMMY-winning art director for Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection, this unframed, 16” x 20” poster is individually numbered out of 300 and printed on high-quality paper with matte finish. The unisex t-shirt is printed on 100% cotton. Click here for a size chart.

This project was produced in coordination with the Lead Belly Estate, The John Reynolds Collection/Lead Belly Society, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Limited-Edition Poster and T-Shirt

lead-belly-tshirt-poster.jpg

Visit http://www.folkways.si.edu/leadbelly for more info, including a 'related content' section, an image gallery, sneak previews, a track listing, and the purchase of box set, download, and T-Shirt.

Edited by Patrycja

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Patrycja, Deborah posted about that concert in the thread about the album release - http://forums.ledzeppelin.com/index.php?/topic/22258-lead-belly-the-smithsonian-folkways-collection-2015/

I got 2 tickets. Can't wait. You should come down and go with me!!

Shoot no wonder I didn't see it. Thanks, ebk. The mods will do what they will, then. It's great Lead Belly's getting the tribute concert. If I can get the time off work, I'd love to go!

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Tickets to the Lead Belly tribute concert are listed on RP's site as $20. Not sure where they get that figure from, but there are still many good seats available in the $25 - $89 range:

http://www.kennedy-center.org/Seating/SYOS/54498

Also, on RP's site they mention a Lead Belly exhibition at the Grammy Museum which is on through May, 2015.

LEAD BELLY: A MUSICAL LEGACY

Lead-Belly-logo-smaller-and-hi-res.jpg

On November 16, 2014, The GRAMMY Museum opened Lead Belly: A Musical Legacy to mark the 125th anniversary of the birth of iconic Delta-Blues singer Huddie William Ledbetter, better known as "Lead Belly." Located on the Museum's third floor, this exhibit offers visitors an in-depth look at his life and contributions he made to American Folk music and Blues. The exhibit showcases a collection of documents and lyrics, along with his notorious Stella 12-string guitar provided by the Ledbetter family.

Lead-Belly_Rebecca-Sapp-8.JPG

Check it out if you're in the LA area: http://www.grammymuseum.org/on-display/special-exhibits/lead-belly-a-musical-legacy

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People forget how important musicians like Lead Belly, Pete Seeger, and Woody Guthrie were to the American labor movement. These men were the voices of the repressed workers being taken advantage and abused by corporate interests. These men were heroes, nothing less, carrying on a tradition of standing up for equality and the rights of man (and women) even when faced with the very real prospect of losing their own life. If we had more people around like these brave, amazing people, America would be a much better place indeed.

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While we're on the topic of tributes for Lead Belly, there's also Lead Belly Fest on June 15, 2015 at the Royal Albert Hall.

More info here about the line-up and tickets: http://leadbellyfest.com/

p.s. A couple of charities are being supported -- The Lead Belly Estate and The Shooting Star Chase Children's Hospice Care - such deeply compassionate and important care.

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From the good people at Charitybuzz "Do good. Live well" and The GRAMMY Museum, here's your chance to bid for a meet and greet, see a great show and contribute to a good cause - The GRAMMY Museum - win win win!

You can place your bids until Wednesday, April 15, 2015 3:00:00 PM EDT

GOOD LUCK!

2 Tickets to Meet Robert Plant & Alison Krauss & Attend Lead Belly at 125: A Tribute

to an American Songster on April 25 at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

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This special one-night-only concert celebrates American folk legend Lead Belly featuring headliners Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, and Buddy Miller with Viktor Krauss, as well as Lucinda Williams, Josh White Jr., Valerie June and more.

Your night will include: two prime seats to the concert, a limited-edition, commemorative concert poster and a meet & greet, including a photo opportunity with Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.

Donated by: The GRAMMY Museum
Additional lot details
  • Valid for 2 people.
  • This is a private meet and greet.
  • Approximate duration: 3.5 hours.
  • The winner may take a photo.
  • A limited-edition, commemorative concert poster will be provided as part of the package and the winner may have it signed.
  • Event date: April 25, 2015 at 8:00 PM.
  • Cannot be resold or re-auctioned.
  • Travel and accommodations are not included.
  • We expect all winning bidders and their guests to conduct themselves appropriately when attending an experience won at Charitybuzz. Polite manners and respect for the generous donor and adherence to any rules or parameters are a must.
Shipping details

The minimum processing and handling charge for this item is $9.95.

The minimum shipping, handling and applicable insurance charge for non-tangible items is $9.95. Detailed redemption information will be emailed to the winning bidder. The minimum shipping charge for hard copies of tickets and certificates is $14.95. The minimum shipping charge for merchandise is $19.95 (shipments outside the U.S. are subject to additional shipping and customs fees). Tickets, certificates and merchandise are typically shipped with signature required, unless otherwise specified, via professional carrier. In some cases, tickets will be left at the venue's "Will Call" window under the winner's name. Merchandise is insured for the winning amount.

For more information, email shipping@charitybuzz.com

https://www.charitybuzz.com/catalog_items/782300

Edited by Patrycja

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am curious are Plant and alison performing together or are the SSS there too...either way wish i could afford the trip Been listing to definitive Leadbelly double cd lately...

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^ It seems the implication is that Robert and Alison are performing together, but there's no mention of the SSS on this bill, ksgemini.

Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, Lucinda Williams on loving Lead Belly

By Geoff Edgers April 17, 2015

Robert Plant was a kid when he first heard Lead Belly —Lonnie Donegan’s hit cover of “Rock Island Line,” which came out in 1955. As Plant got older, he heard the bluesman’s music in the clubs popping up in London. He even covered an early Lead Belly song in one of his pre-Led Zeppelin bands.

“It’s pretty infectious, joyous music, but it echoes something else pretty sad,” Plant says. “But for us, as kids, it was just, ‘That’s great.’ So much better than some Lawrence Welk impersonator or some third-rate Vic Damone who was conquering the airwaves.”

Alison Krauss was 12 when she first heard “In the Pines,” a dark blues song recorded by Lead Belly as “Black Girl.” This was a decade before Nirvana played the song on MTV’s “Unplugged,” bringing it to a new audience. Krauss heard the tune on Boone Creek’s “One Way Track,” a 1978 album by a band led by Ricky Skaggs.

[From field to fame: A timeline of the life of Huddie ‘Lead Belly’ Ledbetter]

“That takes me back to another time, that I think I might have a glimpse into another person’s life,” Krauss says. “Lead Belly, he sure is like a movie when you hear him sing.”

And Lucinda Williams, the twang queen, admits that she was more into rock in the ’60s. But it was hard not to be intrigued by the curious opening of “Rock Island Line.”

“I got pigs, I got sheep, I got cows, I got horses,” she sings into the phone, recalling Lead Belly’s a cappella chant before his driving 12-string guitar kicks in. “There was a certain humor in it, and it really caught my attention.”

Merlin_12768557.jpg?uuid=0_Ev1OKzEeS1EJYA performance at a Lead Belly tribute concert by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss led to their Grammy-winning collaboration, “Raising Sand.” (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

It’s fitting that the three singers, who spoke to The Washington Post earlier this month, will be performing at the Kennedy Center on Saturday in a tribute to the bluesman, “Lead Belly at 125: A Tribute to an American Songster.” Other performers will include Buddy Miller, Valerie June, Josh White Jr., Alvin Youngblood Hart and Viktor Krauss.

The show, a collaboration with the Grammy Museum, is part of a slew of activities centered on the bluesman, who died 66 years ago, including a Smithsonian Folkways five-disc box setreleased in February and a Smithsonian Channel documentary. All for a figure who rose from obscurity and a difficult life — Lead Belly served a considerable amount of time in prison — to eventually play Carnegie Hall and tour England. Lead Belly also occupies his own place in blues culture. He’s no Robert Johnson, the mysterious figure at the crossroads who couldn’t get out of the 1930s. But Lead Belly’s death, in 1949 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, came too early for him to benefit from the 1960s folk revival.

[From Woody to Lead Belly, the master of Smithsonian Folkways]

Huddie William Ledbetter earned just $11.58 in royalties for the first two records he made for Folkways founder Moses Asch, yet those albums are still influential. And one of his recordings, “Black Betty,” covered by the otherwise unknown ’70s band Ram Jam, would become one of the most popular sports-arena rock anthems this side of Gary Glitter.

“I heard all these songs — ‘The House of the Rising Sun,’ ‘Midnight Special’ — and I didn’t realize they went back to Lead Belly,” Williams says.

For Plant, the study of Lead Belly — learning about hiscomplicated relationship with archivist John Lomax, for example — would come as he grew older. As a kid, growing up in England, there was a choice: Listen to mainstream white pop or “dig the music that was really moving me.”

In 1970, Plant and Led Zeppelin would record “Gallows Pole,” a variation of Folkways artist Fred Gerlach’s take on Lead Belly’s version. And in 2004 in Cleveland, Plant would find himself in rehearsal with Alison Krauss for a Lead Belly tribute concert.

The two musicians say that experience led to their recording the album “Raising Sand,” which won a Grammy in 2009.

“We talked about Lead Belly, and we talked about the Stanley brothers, and I felt we had a love for the history,” Krauss recalls. “[Plant] is very much a student of the music, and so am I.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/robert-plant-alison-krauss-lucinda-williams-on-loving-lead-belly/2015/04/16/17fcebba-e2ae-11e4-81ea-0649268f729e_story.html

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post-7547-0-81087400-1429547129_thumb.jp

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Someone buy me a plane ticket!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

wish i could have gone.... been listening to Definitive Lead Belly last few weeks..a great import double cd

thanks for posting this!!!!!

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Someone buy me a plane ticket!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

wish i could have gone.... been listening to Definitive Lead Belly last few weeks..a great import double cd

thanks for posting this!!!!!

You're welcome :) Apparently it's being recorded, ksgemini, so at least we'll get to see televised version.

It's tonight and I can't wait!!!

Have an amazing time, ebk :) Wish I could go, but this one wasn't in the cards. You know, funny thing, I've been posting about it, but somehow thought this was in New York and wondered how you'd get from the game last night to NYC to watch it. Car? Train? Flight? :oops: My mind's been all over the place though lately, and I've been thinking a lot about New York and Stratford (England) so maybe that affected my perceptions. Washington. Right. Post some pics if you can. I hope it's an unforgettable night in the best way. Enjoy!

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Some photos from last night's tribute concert to Lead Belly :D

Programme

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Buddy Miller, Robert, Alison and her brother Victor

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(via Stephanie Green)

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(Larry French/WireImage)

CDhgFmrWgAAwqYX.jpg

(Larry French/WireImage)

All photos above via @ledzepnews

Check out some more great photos of all the other performers: http://www.gettyimages.ca/galleries/events/549887337?asset=471178628

(I tried posting these but to no avail. Is it possible to embed photos here?)

Edited by Patrycja

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It was a fantastic show! I can't wait for the broadcast...whenever and wherever it will be so I can see it again.

Working at the moment to be able to share my not nearly as good photos from the show...

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^^Hi ebk! Thanks for the photos. Wished I could have been there with you and I hope you had a fabulous time my friend:-)

boogiewoogie, here is an article from RS with who played what:-)

Robert Plant, Alison Krauss Honor Folk Great Lead Belly

All-star concert at Kennedy Center pays tribute to folk and blues icon
By Nancy Dunham April 27, 2015

720x405-TWood_LeadBelly_09.jpg
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss headlined the Kennedy Center's all-star Lead Belly tribute. Teresa Wood

"The thing that impresses me about Lead Belly's songs is that. . .you can interpret them in different ways," Lucinda Williams said on Saturday night, speaking from the stage of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
Robert Plant, Alison Krauss and Buddy Miller were among the dozen artists who did just that, as some of the biggest names in roots music teamed up to perform songs made famous by a musician whose folk standards have influenced everyone from the Beatles to Johnny Cash to Carolina Chocolate Drops.

Most of the near-capacity crowd attending the "Lead Belly at 125: A Tribute to an American Songster" program appeared more chronologically aligned with 67-year-old Plant than 32-year-old former Chocolate Drop Dom Flemons, who served as the evening's host. Still, that didn't stop the audience from swapping the formal wear usually worn by Kennedy Center guests for jeans, t-shirts and even sneakers, or shouting out their approval when Plant and Krauss — accompanied by Miller and Viktor Krauss — performed some of the evening's final numbers, including a spine-tingling rendition "Out on the Western Plains."

Plant and Krauss may have been the show's de facto headliners, but their duets weren't the only highlight of the night. Valerie June, who cut her teeth as a member of Luther Dickinson's quintet the Wandering, performed a spellbinding, a cappella version of "Ain't Goin' Down to the Well No More," then returned to the stage later that night to join Shannon McNally, her former bandmate from the Wandering, for a spirited version of "How Long, How Long." Meanwhile, Alvin Youngblood Hart, who called himself a member of "The Cult of Lead Belly," electrified the crowd with passionate sonic tributes of "Silver City Bound" and "Alberta."

Perhaps the most thoughtful performances of the evening came from Josh White Jr. and Dan Zanes, the latter accompanied by musical partner Ashley Phillips. White, whose father performed with Lead Belly, brought the crowd to its feet for its first and heartiest standing ovation with "House of the Rising Sun." "Don't get me crying up here," he said, rubbing his eyes. Taking the stage minutes before White, Zanes and Phillips delivered charming interpretations of family-friendly songs such as "Boll Weevil."

Yet it was Williams whose set felt like a true mini-musical biography of Lead Belly’s music and life. Her performances of "Into the Pines," "Rock Island Lines," "Jim Crow's Blues" and "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" — which was famously covered by Nirvana — touched on the racism and poverty faced by Lead Belly, an outspoken critic of discrimination whose death on December 6, 1949, arrived less than a year before his songs gained commercial success.

All performers returned to the stage to end the evening with spirited sing-alongs of "Goodnight, Irene" and "Midnight Special." As the final notes rang, Lead Belly's black and white portrait stared out at the crowd from the Jumbotron resting above the stage, a reminder that even in roots music, it helps to remember your roots.


http://www.rollingstone.com/music/live-reviews/robert-plant-alison-krauss-lucinda-williams-honor-folk-great-lead-belly-20150427

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ebk, those are great photos! Pro shots are fine to look at, but getting a fan's perspective is most genuine. I really liked your complete shot of the programme, too, thanks!

Thanks for the RS review and video, Deb! :thumbsup:

Here's another one from The Washington Post:

Musical stars show Lead Belly’s country roots in rousing tribute

4_222015_lead-belly8201_c0-10-500-301_s5

Huddie William “Lead Belly” Ledbetter, with his 12-string guitar, inspired Bob Dylan and Kurt Cobain

By Nancy Dunham - Special to The Washington Times - - Monday, April 27, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

George Harrison famously said, “No Lead Belly, no Beatles.”

Musicians Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, Lucinda Williams, Buddy Miller, Valerie June and others came together Saturday night to prove that without Lead Belly, there would be no country music.

The audience enthusiastically responded to the performances of blues-rock classics. When Josh White Jr. — the only performer of the evening who personally knew Lead Belly, who performed with his father — sang “House of the Rising Sun,” an almost palatable nostalgia radiated through the audience. As Mr. White and the Billy Hector Band, which accompanied him, played the last notes, the near-capacity crowd was on its feet for the evening’s first and heartiest standing ovation.

The majority of songs performed were a gorgeous mix of country blues, including “Out on the Western Plains” by Miss Krauss and Mr. Plant and “Silver City Bound” by Alvin Youngblood Hart.

As host of the “Lead Belly at 125: A Tribute to an American Songster” event, former Carolina Chocolate Drops member Dom Flemons extolled the virtues of Lead Belly, whose music was made popular thanks to major supporters including Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie.

Lead Belly’s classics include “Goodnight Irene,” “Dancing With Tears in My Eyes” and “Midnight Special.” Anyone who questions whether his music is truly related to folk and country need only listen to some of his most powerful songs that lament segregation and racism.

Louisiana native Lucinda Williams, long lauded as America’s premier contemporary songwriter, performed “Bourgeois Blues.”

The true genius is that Lead Belly’s mix of storytelling and musical prowess, including on the 12-string guitar, can change shape easily into blues, country, rock, pop, folk and skiffle, which is a mix of jazz, blues, folk and roots especially popular in England.

“This was one man with a guitar,” Mr. Flemons said as a portrait of Lead Belly stared down from the back of the stage. “And here we are 125 years later, celebrating him.”

The tribute was made possible through a collaboration between the Kennedy Center and the Grammy Museum.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/apr/27/lead-belly-tribute-brings-stars-crowd-country-musi/

Edited by Patrycja

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