New Florida Blues Band to Kick Off SEO History Center’s Spirits and Soul Series

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Music has long been at the heart of Appalachian culture, dating well beyond the invention of Spotify, iTunes, the CD or even the phonograph.

The Southeast Ohio History Center, keeping in line with its mission to “preserve and share Southeast Ohio’s unique cultural and natural heritage,” is planning to kick off their Spirits and Soul Concert Series on Friday, January 5 at 8 p.m. The series will illuminate regional live roots music of all varieties, all while also exposing the public to local wineries, breweries, and distillers.

The outfit that is headlining the very first installment in the series (which is scheduled to take place on the first Friday of every month through at least September 2018,) will be the New Florida Blues Band, who specialize in American piedmont style, southern blues, and other types of traditional American music.

“Burr Beard suggested that now that the Southeast Ohio History Center has such a great venue with such good acoustics that we should be trying to showcase more local music,” said Bosha Green, museum coordinator for the Southeast Ohio History Center. “Here in Southeast Ohio, we take music and we make it our own. If you leave a song in Appalachia long enough, it will be become Appalachian – take a song and leave it here long enough for the musicians to all play it and chew on it and morph it and pretty soon people will be clogging to it and playing spoons to it.”

Athens-based Dutch Creek Winery, which specializes in honey wine, or mead (as well as cider and fruit wines,) will be sponsoring the first Spirits and Soul concert. Alcohol and snacks will be available as a part of the ticket charge, which is $8 for members and $10 for non-members.

“I lived up north for 20 plus years, and I saw the tourism and wineries up there boom, and I know it’s something that can happen for us down here, too,” said Green. “We want to showcase everything that is happening down here: the music, the local breweries and wineries. Athens is a beautiful place, and we want to keep it that way. The more tourists we can bring in, the less likely it is that we will have to hope for some type of factory industry to move in to keep the economy stimulated. This series is a part of our mission to create a place for the community to gather and to build relationships and network, as well as preserve our history while making new history at the same time.”