HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. - The Martha Redbone Roots Project brings its unique mix of traditional American music and the romantic poetry of William Blake to the Common Ground Coffeehouse in Hastings on May 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Redbone, a transplanted Kentuckian of Native American and African-American descent who lives in Brooklyn, will feature songs from her current album "The Garden of Love - Songs of William Blake", a marriage of English poetry and down-home folk, blues and soul music.
"My Kentucky roots in American music really fit so perfectly with Blake's beautiful poetry," Redbone said. "We began with one poem -- one song -- and it evolved into an album. Interpreting Blake's words in our live performances has been a wonderful experience."
The album was co-written with Redbone's songwriting partner, Aaron Whitby, and produced by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band founder and multiple Grammy Award winner John McEuen. Whitby (piano, melodica and autoharp), and Teddy Kumpel (banjo, guitar and vocals) join Redbone in the trio.
Redbone has sung alongside Bonnie Raitt, Pete Seeger, Rita Collidge and George Clinton and worked with musician Randy Brecker and Nona Hendryx.
An advocate for the issue of hunger and poverty in Appalachia, where her musical origins were born, Redbone embraces her role as a community organizer. She works with WhyHunger.org and its Artists Against Hunger & Poverty program.
Redbone, who recently lost her mother and is raising a 4-year-old son, said she has found a way of connecting the generations with her music.
"I'm pleased that I was able to honor my grandparents, uncles, aunts and their musical traditions in my music so my son will know them," she said. "I enjoy all aspects of the music -- creating, recording and especially performing and sharing with the live audiences."
The Common Ground Coffeehouse is held at the First Unitarian Society of Westchester at 25 Old Jackson Avenue in Hastings-on-Hudson.
Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. They can be purchased at the concert website.