Martha Redbone Roots Project
(Brooklyn, NY/Black Mountain, KY)
For some musicians, eschewing their own backgrounds and exploring new frontiers is part of their artistry. But for Martha Redbone, embracing, celebrating and exploring the complexity of her own roots is what fuels her creativity. Hailing from the American South and being of Cherokee, Choctaw and African-American descent, Redbone draws on the richness of her own background and upbringing to create a unique representation of the voices, history, and spirit of her corner of America.
If that glorious collection of musical influences isn’t complex enough, for her most recent album Redbone threw the words of English poet William Blake into the mix. On paper, The Garden of Love—Songs of William Blake, with its lyrics written by a man born in the 18th and African-American music just shouldn’t work. But work it does. Blake’s lyrics and Redbone’s signature musical style makes for a seamless Southern Gothic feel that she takes on naturally. No matter where the words come from Redbone sticks to her roots, creating a sound that is sensual, spiritual and utterly mesmerizing. Century, sung and performed by a woman known for her work in Native-