BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Accomplished American roots musician Hugh Campbell will give a free performance to the community at Indiana University Bloomington.
The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20, in Rawles Hall, Room 100. At noon that day, Campbell will participate in a live interview in the Hoagy Carmichael Room in Morrison Hall 006. The evening concert and public dialogue are free and open to the public.
Campbell is a musical storyteller whose work “Shape of a Tear” was nominated for “Song of the Year” by the International Bluegrass Music Association. He has also released three acclaimed recordings.
His trip to Bloomington encompasses over four years of work by IU scholars and the publication of archival collections from IU’s Archives of Traditional Music. It presents an opportunity for students in classes offered by IU’s Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology to directly engage with an important voice in Euro-American vernacular music, and it provides an outreach opportunity for the South Central Indiana community.
Campbell will also visit three IU classes offered by the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology to engage students in discussions.
“Hugh Campbell is a perfect example of an artist whose identity is rooted in the traditions of the American South but who incorporates individual experiences into his songs,” said Pravina Shukla, a professor in the department whose course on “Folklore in the United States” explores how identity is creatively expressed in everyday American life. ”The result is deeply moving music that only Hugh Campbell can create.”
The events are sponsored by the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, the Department of Anthropology and the Archives of Traditional Music at Indiana University.
Campbell is featured on “Ola Belle Reed and Southern Mountain Music on the Mason-Dixon Line,” a CD/book publication co-authored by two IU scholars – Henry Glassie, emeritus college professor of folklore, and Douglas D. Peach, Ph.D. graduate student in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology – as well as by Clifford R. Murphy at the National Endowment for the Arts.
“While Hugh Campbell represents a rich opportunity for fans, students and scholars of country and old-time music, he is also just a great musician and storyteller,” Peach said. “No matter your familiarity with the musical history of the United States, Hugh Campbell’s songs of love, loss and longing are sure to stir your soul.”
Through recordings, interviews and historical research, the CD/book project explores a migration of Southern Appalachian musicians to Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware in the first half of the 20th century, as well the next generation of musicians – like Campbell – who are continuing these musical traditions today.
Central to this story is Ola Belle Reed, a key figure in the history of old-time and country music and winner of the National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Campbell is Reed’s nephew.
“Hugh Campbell honors the tradition of Ola Belle Reed and brings it fresh life for our times,” Glassie said.
Many of the project’s recordings were taken from collections at Indiana University’s Archives of Traditional Music.
“The Archives of Traditional Music is proud to hold two collections of Ola Belle Reed material and to host a public dialogue with Hugh Campbell about his music and family legacy,” said Alan Burdette, director of the Archives of Traditional Music. “Archives are about helping sustain the connections between cultural history and the cultural present. We are especially excited to have Hugh Campbell here, as he is someone who exemplifies this connection.”
About the Indiana University Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology
The Indiana University Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology is a leading center for the worldwide study of vernacular arts, and of the historical, cultural and social contexts in which these arts are embedded. The home to two closely aligned disciplines with a deep shared history at IU, the department has a distinguished history and a bright future in the areas of research, teaching, public outreach and community service.
About the Archives of Traditional Music at Indiana University
The Archives of Traditional Music is an audiovisual archive that documents music and culture from all over the world. With over 100,000 recordings that include more than 2,700 field collections, it is one of the largest university-based ethnographic sound archives in the United States. Its holdings cover a wide range of cultural and geographical areas, vocal and instrumental music, linguistic materials, folktales, interviews and oral history, as well as videotapes, photographs and manuscripts. The archives, in Morrison Hall on the campus of Indiana University, is open from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.