Hollers, Harps, and Hambone

Hollers, Harps, and Hambone: Traditional African American Music 1800-1900

An enthusiastic audience packed the Activity Center on Saturday, February 25 for an educational concert of  19th c. African American music presented by musicians and teachers from  the Lynchburg Music Center.

As Tina Kepel –Young, Director of Education at the Center took the audience through the musical history of the period, musicians Jim Robertson and Corbin Hayslett illustrated her remarks with examples of field hollers, spirituals, blues, and hambone and explained the origin and construction of the instruments they played. These ranged from rustic mbiras (thumb pianos), gourd banjos, and bones to elegant fiddles and guitars as well as instruments contrived from common household  items like washboards, wash tubs, and jugs as well as the human voice and body.

Robertson plays the bones; Hayslett strums banjoMike Hayslett demonstrates wash tub bass

Corbin Hayslett demonstrates gourd banjo


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