THURSDAY & FRIDAY
“Martha Redbone’s voice held both the taut determination of mountain music and the bite of American Indian singing.” – The New York Times
“An organic, gorgeous feast for ears and minds.” – Huffington Post
“A brilliant collision of cultures.” – The New Yorker
“Redbone combines folk, Appalachian, soul and Native tradition in a group of settings of poetry by William Blake — a startling idea, perhaps, but one that brims with potency and freshness.” – NPR
Martha Redbone’s music flows equally from her own unique, award-winning blend of Native American elements with funk and her deep roots in Appalachian folk and Piedmont blues favored by the matriarchy that raised her on a rich sojourn from Clinch Mountain, Virginia to Harlan County, Kentucky and beyond to Brooklyn’s Dodge City-esque mean streets.
Redbone, since the establishment of her career in London and New York City, has humbly and steadfastly earned a solid reputation as a sought-after collaborator – whether in the guise of Warner Chappell-minted songwriter, behind the console guide or earnest guest voice — amongst her peers. Mentored by Ohio Players/P-Funk mentor Walter “Junie” Morrison, she and UK- bred partner Aaron Whitby consistently provide essential direction and soulful support to knit track and artist into an indelible whole. Redbone’s latest music resonates with the influence of southeastern raisin’, echoing an earlier time/space through elements of folk, country gospel, stomp chants, and the high lonesome of a front porch Sunday pickin’.
It may come as a surprise that Redbone’s most recent recording, The Garden Of Love – The Songs of William Blake, was recorded in the fabled center of country music, Nashville. Yet, proudly retracing the path of her uniquely American mixed heritage back to its earliest source, she is merely taking the inevitable next step of a maverick artist who has never been chained by borders.
The album, produced by Grammy-winning Nitty Gritty Dirt Band founder John McEuen, drafts in a stellar supporting cast that allowed Martha to focus on vocals and deep communion with the spirits of her ancestors, composer David Amram, Seminole elder Lonnie Harrington, and studio veterans Byron House on upright bass and Mark Casstevens on guitar.
Her latest work is developing musical theater piece, Bone Hill, commissioned by Joe’s Pub and the Public Theater and NY Voices. Presented as a dramatic musical work with a cast of 8 actors/musicians, BONE HILL is inspired by her own family lineage in the Appalachian Mountains. An epic story of one woman’s return to her homeland on Black Mountain and the coalmines of Harlan County, KY where her family have dwelled for centuries.
Alongside her career as a recording artist and songwriter Martha Redbone has maintained a steady involvement with causes she believes in utilizing her celebrity in Indian Country for fundraising and leadership.
Ms. Redbone holds an annual Traditional Music Workshop within the United Houma Nation’s Cultural Enrichment Summer Camp program teaching grade school age children the music from her Choctaw and Cherokee heritage as well as incorporating the tribe’s own Houma-French language.