The University of Texas at Austin

Martha Redbone Bone Hill: The Concert

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Martha Redbone
Bone Hill: The Concert

Presented in partnership with KLRU-TV

This performance is made possible by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Singer-songwriter Martha Redbone’s music flows equally from her own unique, award-winning blend of Native American elements and her deep roots in Appalachian folk, and Piedmont blues.

Presented as a dramatic musical work with a cast of eight actor/musicians, this epic journey covers 200 years of Redbone’s native family history in the Appalachian Mountains–traveling back in time and spanning four generations of women in a Cherokee family, exploring their lives and stories. Bone Hill is a story about the family’s commitment to the land, to the simplicity and sacredness of that connection, and the ruptures that threaten to extinguish it. The music is radically wide-ranging, from traditional Cherokee chants and lullabies to bluegrass and blues, country, gospel, jazz, Rock & Roll, Rhythm n Blues, and funk. 

A Conversation about American Root Music with Martha Redbone and John Wheat, Briscoe Center Music Archivist
Tue, Nov 12 | 6 pm
Briscoe Center for American History - Sid Richardson Hall, Unit 2, 2300 Red River St, Austin, TX 78712
LIMITED SPACE - Call 512.471.6376 for reservations.
Difficult Dialogues: Indigeneity, the Land, and Artistic Expression with Martha Redbone, Angelo Baca, and Anne Lewis
Wed, Nov 13 | 7 pm
Texas Union - Santa Rosa Room, 2308 Whitis Ave, Austin, TX 78712
Hosted by Pauline Strong, Director, Humanities Institute and Professor, Anthropology and Gender Studies, College of Liberal Arts
Free admission

Martha Redbone’s voice held both the taut determination of mountain music and the bite of American Indian singing.

The New York Times

Martha Redbone "Bone Hill" - Caught My Eye from SRO Artists, Inc. on YouTube.

Fun Facts:

  • Bone Hill is inspired by creator Martha Redbone’s own family and life.
  • The song, “You Caught My Eye,” is a waltz describing the day Redbone’s grandfather, a sharecropper from Mississippi, migrated to Kentucky to work in the coal mines and met her Cherokee grandmother.
  • Redbone and her long-term collaborator, pianist Aaron Whitby are called “the little engine that could” by their band.
  • Redbone’s album Skintalk, is recognized as an example of Contemporary Native American music in the Library Collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.
  • Commissioned by Joe’s Pub and the Public Theater NY Voices, Redbone is a recipient of the NEFA National Theater Project Creation and Touring Grant and National Performance Network Creation Fund and Lincoln Center.