We at Born & Bred and The Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center are excited to announce the return of The Born & Bred Concert Series on Saturday, January 20, 2024, at the historic Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center located at 444 W. Pike St. in Clarksburg, WV.
The Born & Bred Concert Series was created by Brendan Gallagher and debuted as a music festival in Grafton, WV. In its new concert series form, The Robinson Grand will be producing multiple shows a year featuring talented musicians and performing artists that have been shaped by the Mountain State. January 20th show is the fourth to include radio personality and musician, “Appalachian Soul Man,” Aristotle Jones as the host and the fifth Born & Bred concert series to be held at the Robinson Grand. Jones is also the curator of the concert series, and with his involvement, The Born & Bred Concert Series has elevated into a variety show-type of production with a similar tone to the radio show Jones hosts, Sounds Good to Me with Aristotle Jones.
The 5th edition of The Born & Bred Concert Series at The Robinson Grand features The Bob Thompson Unit, Creek Don’t Rise and The Heavy Hitters with special guest Lady D.
The Bob Thompson Unit is fronted by internationally known jazz pianist and recording artist, Bob Thompson. Thompson has enjoyed a long and active career as a performer, composer, arranger, and teacher. For decades he has played in West Virginia, and at festivals and venues around the country, including the Blue Note in New York, Blues Alley in Washington D.C. and the Newport Jazz Festival in Saratoga, NY. He has also taken his music to Europe, Africa, and South America. In December 2022 he was featured at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts playing solo piano as part of “A Jazz Piano Christmas”, which was broadcast on NPR. Bob Thompson was also a guest on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz, on National Public Radio. Since 1991 Bob Thompson has been pianist, and regularly featured artist on West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s NPR syndicated radio show, Mountain Stage. For the past thirty years he has also been co-producer and host of Joy to the World, a Holiday jazz show featuring Bob’s band, and each year, a special guest vocalist. The show is broadcast nationally on public radio stations. In October 2015, Bob Thompson was inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame.
Creek Don’t Rise is an eclectic four-piece band hailing from the mountains of West Virginia/Kentucky. Their soulful, blues inspired music takes influence from their native Appalachia, spanning across Country, Blues Soul, Rock and Roll. The band tackles and successfully plays several genres of music. “Our Niche is We Have No Niche”. Their original music cannot be easily labeled either with soul searching lyrics about life and powerful guitar and harmonica solos over rock steady rhythms and silky smooth dynamics. The band has played over 500 shows in their short career.
The Heavy Hitters Band is the funkiest band coming out of Huntington WV. The band draws influence from jazz, funk, soul, hip hop, gospel and rock and fuses it all together into their own homegrown sound. Whether it’s a cover or an original it is drenched in deep grooves. The five piece group has been playing steadily throughout the state and is a crowd favorite at every festival and event they are a part of.
Joining the evening as a special guest performer is the illustrious Lady D. Known as West Virginia’s First Lady of Soul, Lady D (Deloris Fields) has had a noted career. She began her career in church as a child. After life events caused her to pause her career for twenty years, Lady D returned and debuted an original one-woman stage play called “The Lady and the Empress” based on the life and music of blues legend, Bessie Smith. She released an accompanying soundtrack for the play entitled “Nobody’s Bizness” She went on to release five more cd’s and her original song “Go Higher” was chosen as the “Best Obama Inaugural Song” and Lady D and her band MI$$ION were invited to play the “Obama For Change Inaugural Ball in Washington D.C. in January 2009.
“2023 was an amazing year for the Born & Bred Concert series” said Gallagher “and this show is a fantastic way to kick off 2024”
Tickets for The Born & Bred Concert Series start at only $17 and go on sale to “Friends of the Robinson Grand” on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, and to the general public on Friday, Novemeber 17, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. All tickets can be purchased online at tickets.therobinsongrand.com or by calling the Robinson Grand ticketing center at (855) 773-6283.