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Leighton Smith Photograph

Journals

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Sparky and Rhonda Rucker visit Hamilton

April 6, 2007   

The Hamilton music department has a rather nice practice of bringing in small acts to give short performances during the day. Each show starts at noon and runs for 50 minutes. Because this block of time serves as many peoples’ lunch break, the audience is encouraged to bring their lunch with them. It is really a nice, informal atmosphere.

           

The shows are typically half music and half lecture; they are meant to be informative as well as entertaining. Many music professors require that their students attend, but I go just for fun (a lot of people do). Today Hamilton hosted Sparky and Rhonda Rucker, a couple who specializes in traditional American folk, blues and Appalachian music. I saw the duo last year, and they were just as good this time around.

           

They played about five songs, ranging from a folk song from the Reconstruction period to a Robert Johnson blues number. Sparky played banjo and guitar mostly, while Rhonda played banjo, harmonica and piano. They each sang along to the songs, creating some rich melodies atop their acoustic accompaniment.

           

My only complaint about these shows is that they only last 50 minutes. I have been to about five in my two years at Hamilton, and every time I am left wanting to hear more. Of course, this is much better than the alternative scenario in which I would be desperate to leave. So, I am simply grateful to be exposed to the wide array of music that the music department sponsors, and I look forward to the next one.