July 6th: Sugaree Strings Society with A.P. Rodgers

Date(s): SATURDAY, JUL 6th, 2024

Type of Show: Americana

Showtime(s): 7:30 pm

Tickets: $20

Sugaree String Society is returning to The ArtsCenter! They are a collaborative effort that eschews the myth of the melting pot by presenting the musical fabric of Appalachia (and more broadly, America) as a patchwork quilt of many different backgrounds, ethnicities, lived experiences, and artistic traditions beautifully transformed by proximity, adaptation, necessity, and working class defiance – each piece distinct as it comes together to form something much greater and more complex than the sum of its parts.

Jodi Jones was raised under the roof of the house her great-great grandfather built in a small former textile mill town in the foothills of Western Pennsylvania. She possesses an intimate familiarity of the region’s past and present, and is guided by hopes for its future. Her songwriting acts as a mirror for contemporary life in the historically underrepresented Alleghany coal country and its surrounding regions whose old-time traditions serve as her paint brush.

In the titular track from her freshman solo record, Rust Belt Refugee, Jones builds on Woody Guthrie’s historic song Dust Bowl Refugee to tell the story of a worker from the decaying industrial centers of Northern Appalachia who chooses to leave their home rather than continue to endure the conditions of the region’s post-industrial decline – a reflection of her own life story.

In Reynoldstown, she narrates a story of love, infidelity, and murder in rural America, and asks questions heavy with the weight of lived hardship – “What have you done to the old home place?/I hardly know it now./I think dear God has turned his back/on poor little Reynoldstown.”

Brendan Macie doesn’t believe in reinventing the wheel – or the banjo. A once progressive melodic player turned Scruggs style traditionalist, he studied Bluegrass Banjo formally at ETSU for three years before throwing himself into the life of a musician on the road.

Macie embodies the practical sense of refinement that swept through mountain music with the advent of radio – taste, timing, and tone – shaping it into what we now know as bluegrass music today. “I tried to study it theoretically for a long time,” says Macie, “but then I realized that none of that really mattered compared to the hospitality that it offered and embodied.”

Their first, full length studio record is in the works, set to be released sometime in late 2024.

A.P. Rodgers is a folk singer-songwriter from Lancaster SC. Known for his repertoire of 100 year old mountain ballads and banjo showmanship his live performances take you on a journey through the American South, for a foot tapping good time.