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Roots Music Revue: Songs and Stories of the Ohio River and the Underground Railroad

  • The John Rankin House 6152 Rankin Road Ripley, OH, 45167 (map)

Roots of American Music will present Roots Music Revue: Songs and Stories of the Ohio River and the Underground Railroad on Sunday, March 31, 2019 at 2:00 pm at the John Rankin House Visitor Center in Ripley, OH.  Using music and storytelling, Roots Music Revue will tell the story of the Underground Railroad and the role that the John Rankin House and the Ohio River played in helping African-Americans flee slavery.  The John Rankin House is one of Ohio’s best-documented and most active Underground Railroad “stations”. Admission to the event is free and open to the public.


The event will feature stories interwoven with musical performances.  Featured musical performers will be Amythyst Kiah, a Southern Gothic, alt-country blues singer/songwriter; and The Pedigos, a duo comprised of father and son Ben and Harry Pedigo, whose musical style spans folk, bluegrass, country, and rhythm and blues.  Narration and storytelling will be provided by Betty Campbell from the John Rankin House; Dewey Scott from the John P. Parker House in Ripley; and Carl Westmoreland from the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati.


As part of the event, a recording of Amythyst Kiah will be recorded earlier in the day at the Visitor Center using direct-to-lacquer technology, an older form of recording music and how most sound recordings were made prior to the 1950s.  The Earnest Tube, a direct-to-lacquer recording service that allows artists to create a playable record on the spot, will provide recording services. The recording session will be broadcast live on Facebook for the public to watch. Following this event, a podcast inspired by the songs and stories shared at the performance will be made available for the public to listen to.


Roots Music Revue: Songs and Stories of the Ohio River and the Underground Railroad is part of Roots of American’s Music program called The Ohio Heritage Music Project, whose mission is to re-imagine music production in order to document, preserve and build awareness of regional music.  Roots Music Revue is funded, in part, by the Ohio Arts Council, and is being presented in partnership with the John Rankin House and the Ohio History Center.