Black and Tan Hall Presents the “Revolutionary Blues” of Rev. Sekou

by Gus Marshall

On Sunday, Hillman City’s privately-funded, welcome to all, unofficial community center, the Hillman City Collaboratory will host an evening of politically charged acoustic and electric blues.

Activist, author, documentary filmmaker, theologian and blues-musician, Rev. Sekou preaches the revelations of revolution, condemning the evils of corrupt greed and racial prejudice, in a clerical dust-ridden, electric delta-blues style.

In describing his southern upbringing and its influence on his sound Rev. Sekou says, “I was raised in the rural Arkansas Delta. One of my grandfathers was a Pentecostal preacher as am I, and the other was a bluesman who played piano for Albert King, BB King, and Louis Jordan. My music exists in the liminal space between late Saturday night at the Juke Joint and early Sunday morning in a shot gun church. Our task is simple: To get free.”

Rev. Sekou’s illuminating experience on the front lines of the Ferguson protests inspired the simmering rage of his 2017 release In Times Like These (Zent Records). Contemporary protest chants like “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” are sung poetically and repetitively, encouraging the listener to stand up to injustice. Rev. Sekou’s modern-day protest songs uplift, inspire and believe in the overcoming force of good, despite these dark-times of unaccountable oppression and systematic corruption.

Opening up the evening is the fantastic South Seattle based acoustic blues duo, Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons. Historians, educators and community organizers, Hunter and Seamons have a deep love and respect for the genres of early blues, vintage jazz, ragtime, field hollers and old-time music that is apparent in their authentic renditions of America’s forgotten folk-music. Versatile multi-instrumentalists, proficient on the banjo, fiddle, guitar, and mandolin, they intertwine complicated harmonies and melodies with a delicate vocal delivery, securely supported by their expert technical instrumentation and historical awareness.

Fans of social activism, protest songs, and the blues will find Sunday evening’s showcase has a little bit of something for everyone.

What: Rev. Sekou/Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons

Where: The Hillman City Collaboratory. 5623 Rainier Avenue S

When: Sunday, February 25, 2018. Doors 7pm, Show 7:30pm

Tickets: $15 Advanced. $18 Door/  link