UNION — The monthly Monday Night Music event at the Union County Arts Council (UCAC) offered something unique this week.
The UCAC holds Monday Night Music the third Monday of each month, with members of the community bringing instruments and gathering to play together at the UCAC headquarters on Main Street, Union. This week, author, professor and radio host Clair DeLune joined the Monday Night Music crew and discussed her new book, “South Carolina Blues.”
DeLune teaches music history at the University of South Carolina, and her book covers the genre’s history in South Carolina.
“The history of South Carolina blues is a long, deep — and sometimes painful — story,” DeLune said. “However, it is a narrative with aspects as compelling as the music itself.”
DeLune said geological differences in America led to variations in the styles of music which developed from African rhythms.
“The wet, marshy landscape and hot, muggy weather of the Carolina Lowcountry combined to cultivate not only rice, but a Gullah-based style of South Carolina blues,” she said. “In drier climates, toward the Midlands and the Upstate, the combination of European influences led to the emergence of Piedmont blues, which in turn spawned country music as well as bluegrass.”
DeLune’s book draws on archival photographs and rarely seen memorabilia from a generation of musicians’ personal collections. She said readers will not only learn new information about some famous players who left their musical mark on history, but even more about the not-so-famous ones, as well as modern masters who carry on the rhythms of their predecessors and are truly keeping South Carolina blues alive.
DeLune had copies of the book available for purchase, and she signed copies for UCAC patrons.uth carolina
Buffalo native Freddie Vanderford — who was recognized in 2010 with the state’s Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award for keeping Piedmont blues alive — is among the musicians featured in the book. Vanderford was also present at Monday Night Music, as he performed with those in attendance.
Monday Night Music is held the from 6:30-8:30 p.m. the third Monday of each month at the UCAC. This acoustic session is open to the public, and everyone is invited to join. For more information, contact the UCAC at (864) 429-2817 or visit www.facebook.com/UnionArts.
Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-762-4128 or firstname.lastname@example.org.