We’ve been lucky to get to know musician, storyteller and writer Samuel James this year as one of our Commissioned Maine Artists. This has included winding conversations about music, culture, home and justice, along with impromptu performances over Zoom.
And now, through this series, we hope some of you are getting to know this marvelous Maine musician better as well.
For his new work, Mr. James is focused on the second volume of his Already Home Recording series. He will share two of these new songs during his “First Look” event on April 27 at 4pm.
Throughout this recording, he performs traditional folk songs through his own lens, one that is informed by the musical lineages of his Black and white family. Each song receives two performances, as a solo piece and as a band where each instrument is played by Mr. James. These recordings, including spirituals, train songs, and folk hero songs break open Mr. James’ deep knowledge of music and music history, inviting listeners to consider what is told and what is silenced.
What makes Mr. James so unique is his ability to interweave music and story and to fill in the why and how of the sound we hear. His conversation around this work challenges listeners to better understand the full scope and impact of these songs, and to interrogate what we think we know. Come to listen, learn and ask questions.
Be sure to check out our recent POV Podcast episode to learn more about our Commissioned Maine Artists and for another way to hear directly from Samuel James himself.