The show, which is produced by the Kennedy Center and the GRAMMY Museum, features Flemons as master of ceremonies for a star-studded lineup of talented artists, including Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, Buddy Miller, Lucinda Williams, and Valerie June.
Huddie Ledbetter, or Lead Belly as he was known, is a folk blues legend who has influenced countless artists from Nirvana to Led Zeppelin. He ranks among other pillars of American folk music such as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger.
“Lead Belly showed me there was a strong secular black folk song repertoire, separate from the blues,” Flemons says. He continues, “Lead Belly’s legacy can show us something that is truly human in music. I’m honored to have the opportunity to pay tribute to someone who has had such a strong influence on me.”
Lead Belly has received newfound attention this year with the release of “Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection” box set and documentary film “Legend of Lead Belly,” which has aired on the Smithsonian Channel.
Flemons pulls from traditions of old-time folk music to create new sounds. Having played music professionally since 2005, he received acclaim, including a GRAMMY win and nomination, as part of the African American string band the Carolina Chocolate Drops. His most recent album, “Prospect Hill,” his first since leaving the group, has received praise from The Boston Globe, Paste Magazine, and Living Blues Magazine, and he has been featured on NPR’s “Fresh Air with Terry Gross.”
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