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The Cave of the Mounds facility will host musicians Sparky and Rhonda Rucker on Friday, April 5, 2019. The performers bring with them a repertoire of songs culled from careers promoting civil and environmental rights through song and story. The Cave of the Mounds venue is located at 2975 Cave of the Mounds Rd, Blue Mounds. Tickets are $12 and are available at the door. The event begins at 7:30 PM. This event is sponsored by SouthWest Wisconsin Area Progressives, Farley Center for Peace Justice and Sustainability and the Madison Folk Music Society.

 

Zuckers performing - Photo by Pam Zappardino 0

 

SPARKY AND RHONDA RUCKER perform throughout the U.S. as well as overseas, singing songs and telling stories from the American folk tradition. They are internationally recognized as leading musicians, authors, and storytellers. They accompany themselves with fingerstyle picking and bottleneck blues guitar, blues harmonica, old-time banjo, piano, spoons, and bones. 

Sparky and Rhonda are sure to deliver an uplifting presentation of toe-tapping music spiced with humor, history, and tall tales. They take their audience on an educational and emotional journey that ranges from poignant stories of slavery and war to an amusing rendition of a Brer Rabbit tale or their witty commentaries on current events. Their music includes a variety of old-time blues, Appalachian music, slave songs, Civil War music, spirituals, work songs, ballads, civil rights music, and their own original compositions. 

You will hear soulful blues licks, heart-rending gospel, knee-slapping good rhythms, and bottleneck guitar slide. Over fifty years of performing, Sparky and Rhonda have performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival as well as NPR's On Point, Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, and Morning Edition. Their recording, Treasures & Tears, was nominated for a W.C. Handy Award, and their music is also included on the Grammy-nominated anthology, Singing Through the Hard Times. 

Earlier in the day, thanks to a generous grant from the Foundation will insure that the two musicians will include the eighth grade classes in Mt. Horeb Middle School. The performance will be a presentation of Swing Low, Sweet Harriet, is based on Harriet Tubman’s work as a spy and scout during the Civil War when she helped lead African American soldiers on the Combahee River raid in South Carolina. In this program, Rhonda and Sparky blend storytelling and music to help students learn about the Gullah Culture, Harriet Tubman, and the Civil War. The study guide that accompanies this program gives vocabulary words, background history, writing exercises, discussion topics, and recommended books to help expand learning opportunities. The presentation is based on Rhonda Rucker’s historical award winning novel for young readers.